home
RSS
Schools picking up autism tab
February 11th, 2014
11:55 AM ET

Schools picking up autism tab

The surge in autism diagnoses since the year 2000 has come with a massive cost that’s shouldered largely by the public school system, say researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health.

In what’s billed as a conservative estimate, they say the “economic burden” of an autism diagnosis is more than $17,000 a year through age 17, with medical costs making up less than 20% of the total. The biggest chunk of the tab, $8,610, is picked up by schools, according to their paper, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

“The education system is already under a lot of financial strain,” says Tara LaVelle, the lead author, who is now an associate policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. “We need policies at the federal, state and local level to make sure funds are available to provide appropriate intervention.”

The number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) jumped 78% between the year 2000 and 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although there is an ongoing debate over whether ASD is truly more common or if parents and physicians are simply more aware. The 2012 report, based on medical records, said approximately 1 in 88 children have the disorder. Last year, based on a survey of parents, the CDC said the figure may be even higher – as high as 1 in 50. Most experts believe the actual number is somewhere between the two.

The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires schools to provide a “free and appropriate” education to children diagnosed with ASD, as well as those with other disabilities. The cost can be high, since many of the students require a one-on-one or small group setting.

In the study, 78% of children with ASD attended public school, compared with 62% of other children. Researchers found 76% of children with ASD use special education services, compared with 8% of the overall school population.

As autism diagnoses surged in the early 2000s, so did federal grants for special education – from $5 billion in 2000 to $12 billion just five years later. More recently, the pace of federal spending has slowed, leaving states and cities struggling to make up the difference.

Aside from the burden on schools, the paper found an ASD diagnosis costs the average family the equivalent of $5,089 a year in time devoted to additional caregiving, $3,020 in higher medical costs and $350 for the cost of therapy and other services.

Interestingly, LaVelle and her team found that most parents spent very little out-of-pocket, except for those whose children were diagnosed as most severely affected. One possible reason: 34 states have passed laws requiring insurance companies to pay for at least some autism treatment.

“This might mean insurance reform is working, if families are not feeling such large out-of-pocket costs,” says Michael Rosanoff, associate director for public health research at the advocacy group Autism Speaks, which helps to push for the laws.

Rosanoff says other studies have found a higher out-of-pocket cost, and notes that the study sample was relatively small – it looked at 137 families coping with an ASD diagnosis and 121 other families – and may have missed the most extreme cases. Some parents report spending as much as $100,000 in a year for assessments, medical care and intense therapy. And a 2006 study estimated it can cost $3.2 million to care for a person with autism throughout their life, taking into account medical bills, therapy and lost economic opportunities.

In making the case for insurers to foot the bill for early treatment, advocates say it saves money in the long run, by reducing the burden on schools and by enabling more people to live independent lives.

One often-cited study found that of children who began treatment before turning 3, nearly half improved to the point where they were indistinguishable from same-age peers.

Melissa Solares, whose son Arturo was diagnosed with ASD in 2012 at the age of 4, says the massive intervention has paid off. “Arturo is doing amazing,” she says. While he initially could speak less than 50 words, he’s now at grade level or advanced academically. “We are looking for him to lose his diagnosis in the next year or two.”

But it’s also true that costs might rise, at least in the short term, if all parents were able to access high-quality treatment. According to the new report, only 31% of families reporting an ASD diagnosis used any kind of formal therapy in the previous year.

Indeed, other studies have found a significantly higher cost burden; one study in the United Kingdom found an annual price tag of $44,063 while another in Sweden pegged the annual cost at more than $68,000 per child.

“The reality is that almost every family or individual seeking needed support and services is unable to afford the cost,” says Scott Badesch, president and CEO of the Autism Society of America. “The bigger challenge we constantly face is how to support the needs of the vast majority of those impacted by autism who have limited resources and struggle each day to get by.”


soundoff (647 Responses)
  1. propane gas near me

    Iím amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog thatís both educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that too few folks are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I stumbled across this in my search for something regarding this.

    http://naglesigns.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bulknearme.com

    June 21, 2021 at 00:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. dry cleaners near me

    I need to to thank you for this good read!! I definitely loved every bit of it. I have you saved as a favorite to look at new things you postÖ

    http://berkshire-hathawayrealty.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bestservicenearme.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 04:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. shoprite near me

    http://incestfire.com/out.php?p=51&url=https://bestshopnearme.com

    June 21, 2021 at 06:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. medical supply store near me

    http://nyc.hiremedical.com/home/redirect/?site=https://nearmyspot.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 08:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. takeout near me

    There is definately a great deal to learn about this subject. I like all the points you made.

    http://fce2.4connexions.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.bestservicenearme.com

    June 21, 2021 at 11:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. lakes near me

    https://ultramar-ti.com/redirect/Index.asp?url=https://www.bulknearme.com

    June 21, 2021 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RV Repair Shop Near My Location

    This is the perfect site for everyone who really wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want toÖHaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject that's been written about for ages. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!

    http://yabuno.net/w3a/redirect.php?redirect=https://ocrvcenter.com

    June 21, 2021 at 12:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. appliances near me

    http://www.derbyfab.com/dot_emailfriend.asp?referurl=//bestlocalnearme.com

    June 21, 2021 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Body Damage Shop Near Me

    http://brunosworkersunite.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvfleetservices.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Repair San Clemente California

    The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won't disappoint me just as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read, however I really believed you would have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something you could fix if you weren't too busy looking for attention.

    http://danchess.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.ocrv.tv/

    June 21, 2021 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Chassis Repair Near Me

    This is a topic that's close to my heart... Take care! Where are your contact details though?

    http://beckywang.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.art

    June 21, 2021 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Cheri Mulcahy

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life authors and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2004/09/point-and-purpose-anyone-who-thinks.html

    June 21, 2021 at 19:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Ram Cargo Van Repair Shop

    Very good blog post. I certainly appreciate this website. Keep it up!

    http://midiams.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvfleetservices.com

    June 21, 2021 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RV Repair Near Me Now

    Having read this I believed it was rather informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this information together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

    http://effectivecommunication.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=orangecountyrvrepair.com

    June 21, 2021 at 21:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Johnathon Rheome

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl authors and blogs

    http://digitalbeginnings.blogspot.com/2009/02/

    June 21, 2021 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. golf courses near me

    Great article. I will be experiencing a few of these issues as well..

    http://www.amhomelife.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=earme.a2hosted.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Sprinter Vanrooftop A/C Leak Repair

    http://www.amarilloroad.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=sprintervanrepair.com

    June 21, 2021 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. pawn shop near me

    I have to thank you for the efforts you've put in penning this site. I really hope to view the same high-grade blog posts by you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my very own site now 😉

    http://www.brica.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=earme.a2hosted.com

    June 22, 2021 at 00:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. mind group

    https://scripts.affiliatefuture.com/AFClick.asp?affiliateID=29219&merchantID=2543&programmeID=6678&mediaID=0&tracking=&url=https://www.realchrisburns.com

    June 22, 2021 at 01:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa

    http://elistingtracker.olr.com/redir.aspx?id=112365&sentid=161371&email=zae@mdrnresidential.com&url=http://fleettruckrepairshop.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 02:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Dent Repair

    http://rayhumancapital.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=fleetautorepairshop.com

    June 22, 2021 at 03:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Mercedes Sprinter Brake Caliper Repair Kit

    I must thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this blog. I am hoping to check out the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own blog now 😉

    https://www.triathlon.org/?URL=www.commercialrepairshop.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 04:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Mercedes Winnebago Sprinter Repair

    http://www.ricefamily.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=fleettruckrepairshop.com

    June 22, 2021 at 08:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Blair Pascuzzi

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Many thanks, However I am having issues with your RSS. I donít understand why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anybody else getting identical RSS problems? Anyone who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

    http://georgewbushlibrary.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=nearme.a2hosted.com/internet-marketing-service-agency-near-me-now

    June 22, 2021 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Van Rust Repair

    Having read this I thought it was rather informative. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this content together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

    http://www.lighthouseseries.com/cgi-bin/at3/out.cgi?id=1077&tag=toplist&trade=http://fleetrepairshops.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 15:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. joe rogan elon musk podcast

    After looking into a handful of the articles on your blog, I truly appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I book marked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my website as well and let me know how you feel.

    http://donay.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=backbonehunters.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Sprinter Broken Flex Pipe Repair

    http://www.bemfazer.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=fleetvehiclerepairshop.com

    June 22, 2021 at 16:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Social Media Marketing Firms

    Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Taking the time and actual effort to produce a good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.

    http://www.crosstexenergyinc.info/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=consciousgrowthmarketing.com

    June 22, 2021 at 17:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Video Marketing Consultants

    Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not fail me just as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read, nonetheless I really thought you'd have something interesting to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you can fix if you weren't too busy searching for attention.

    http://nutrigence.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=consciousgrowthmarketing.com

    June 22, 2021 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Fiberglass Repair Near Me

    https://www.drsgate.com/company/gateway/index3.php?c=c00000&url=http://ocrvcenter.com

    June 22, 2021 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. true anon podcast

    Good information. Lucky me I came across your website by chance (stumbleupon). I've book marked it for later!

    http://www.johnsantore.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=backbonehunters.com

    June 22, 2021 at 19:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Repair Near Here

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It will always be interesting to read through articles from other writers and use something from their websites.

    http://www.enrollcom.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    June 22, 2021 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Digital Marketing Consultants

    Good write-up. I absolutely appreciate this website. Continue the good work!

    http://somethinglikeaphenomenon.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=consciousgrowthmarketing.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 22:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. SEO Marketing Agency

    I was pretty pleased to uncover this web site. I want to to thank you for ones time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely really liked every part of it and I have you book marked to check out new information in your web site.

    http://usenetpedia.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=consciousgrowthmarketing.com

    June 23, 2021 at 03:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. RV Roof Repair Service Near Me

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful post. Many thanks for providing this information.

    http://www.the40daychallenge.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.ocrvmotorsports.org

    June 23, 2021 at 04:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Social Media Marketing Agencies Near Me

    Very nice blog post. I certainly love this website. Stick with it!

    http://marlboroughrotary.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=consciousgrowthmarketing.com

    June 23, 2021 at 06:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Repair Near My Location

    http://www.algeriasurf.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    June 23, 2021 at 08:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. this american life podcast

    Very nice blog post. I definitely appreciate this website. Keep writing!

    http://www.restavracije-gostilne.si/banner.php?id=44&url=https://backbonehunters.com

    June 23, 2021 at 09:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Google Marketing Specialists

    After going over a handful of the articles on your website, I really like your technique of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my web site too and let me know what you think.

    http://livesummerside.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=consciousgrowthmarketing.com

    June 23, 2021 at 10:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. colin cowherd podcast

    http://www.ressop.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=backbonehunters.com

    June 23, 2021 at 10:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Social Media Marketing Agency

    http://couplecoffeehouse.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=spokanevalleywebdesign.com

    June 23, 2021 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. mall near me

    http://www.libertyphotos.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=nearmyspot.com

    June 23, 2021 at 16:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. 24 Hour RV Repair Near Me

    You are so cool! I don't believe I have read something like this before. So great to discover somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality!

    http://zxibicity.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvexperts.com

    June 23, 2021 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RV Mobile Repair Near Me

    An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a friend who has been conducting a little homework on this. And he actually bought me breakfast simply because I discovered it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this subject here on your internet site.

    http://danielhollander.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvandtrucks.com

    June 23, 2021 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Mobile Repair Service Near Me

    A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment. I think that you ought to publish more about this subject matter, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people don't speak about these issues. To the next! All the best!!

    http://presto-pre.com/modules/wordpress/wp-ktai.php?view=redir&url=https://ocrvmotorsports.org

    June 23, 2021 at 19:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Repair Shops Near Me

    http://shop.hokkaido-otobe-marche.com/shop/display_cart?return_url=https://www.ocrvmotorsports.life

    June 23, 2021 at 20:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. ups near me

    I love reading an article that will make people think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!

    http://1000love.net/lovelove/link.php?url=https://bulknearme.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 00:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Emergency RV Repair Near Me

    Hello! I could have sworn Iíve visited this website before but after looking at many of the articles I realized itís new to me. Anyhow, Iím certainly happy I came across it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!

    http://www.hyoito-fda.com/out.php?url=http://rvcollisionrepairpaintshop.com

    June 24, 2021 at 01:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Internet Marketing Mechanics

    http://www.hirerx.com/home/redirect/?site=https://internetmarketingoregon.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 02:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. dealerships near me

    Itís nearly impossible to find experienced people in this particular subject, but you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks

    http://elitemiami.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=reviewnearme.com

    June 24, 2021 at 02:44 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Leave a Reply to Denver Westerman


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.