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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Autism Spectrum Disorders: Genetic Testing. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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ASD Facts and Statistics

In 2014, about 1% of the world population had received the diagnosis of ASD, with prevalence in the United States (US) estimated to be 1 in 68 births. Over 3.5 million Americans live with the disorder and, in the US, the prevalence of ASD in children increased by about 120% from 2000 to 2010. The disorder is the fastest growing development disability in the US. ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, but is almost five times more common among boys than among girls
It is estimated that ASD cost US citizens $236-262 billion annually. Moreover, the cost of lifelong care can be reduced by two thirds with early diagnosis and intervention. About 35% of young adults (ages 19-23) with autism have not had a job or received postgraduate education after leaving high school. In addition, it costs more than $8,600 extra per year to educate a student with autism.
Because ASD is a complex disorder that lacks clear-cut biologic markers for diagnosis and identification of changes in clinical definitions over time, there are challenges in monitoring the prevalence of ASD. Accurate reporting of data is essential to understand the prevalence of ASD in the population and can help direct appropriate research.