The economic consequences of autistic spectrum disorder among children in a Swedish municipality

Autism. 2007 Sep;11(5):453-63. doi: 10.1177/1362361307079602.


In this study, the societal economic consequences of autistic spectrum disorder were investigated using a sample of parents of children identified with the disorder and living in a Swedish municipality. Cost information was collected using a postal questionnaire that was developed through experiences gained from an earlier study. Using conservative assumptions, the additional societal cost due to the disorder was estimated to be approximately 50,000 annually per child. Parents of children with the disorder spent an average of about 1000 hours per year additionally caring for and supporting their child. The study indicates that the major cost drivers for autistic spectrum disorder among children can be found within the community for support and schooling, while the major impact on relatives is on time spent and thereby quality of life rather than a financial burden.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Adolescent
  • Asperger Syndrome / economics*
  • Asperger Syndrome / therapy
  • Autistic Disorder / economics*
  • Autistic Disorder / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Community Mental Health Services / economics*
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Drug Costs / statistics & numerical data
  • Education, Special / economics*
  • Female
  • Financial Support
  • Financing, Government / economics
  • Financing, Personal / economics*
  • Home Nursing / economics*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Learning Disabilities / economics
  • Learning Disabilities / therapy
  • Male
  • National Health Programs / economics*
  • Social Support
  • Sweden