Autism Facts

  • About 1 in 68 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from the Center of Disease Control (2012).
  • ASDs are reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.
  • ASDs are almost 5 times more common among boys (1 in 42) than among girls (1 in 189).
  • 1% of the population in Asia, Europe, and North America have an autism spectrum disorder.
  • The cost of autism over the lifespan is 3.2 million dollars per person. 60% of costs are in adult services.  Cost of lifelong care can be reduced by 2/3 with early diagnosis and intervention.
  • More children are being diagnosed at earlier ages—a growing number (18%) of them by age 3. Still, most children are not diagnosed until after they reach age 4. Diagnosis is a bit earlier for children with autistic disorder (4 years) than for children with the more broadly-defined autism spectrum diagnoses (4 years, 5 months), and diagnosis is much later for children with Asperger Disorder (6 years, 3 months).
  • ASD commonly co-occurs with other developmental, psychiatric, neurologic, chromosomal, and genetic diagnoses. The co-occurrence of one or more non-ASD developmental diagnoses is 83%. The co-occurrence of one or more psychiatric diagnoses is 10%. (Read study summary).

According to the California Department of Education DataQuest Report (Dec 2013), just in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, there are 8,836 students between the ages of 3-21 with an autism spectrum disorder.