According to the National Center for Education Statistics, it costs over $8,600 more each year to educate a student with autism when compared to a neurotypical student. “On a national level, the researchers estimated that these additional costs exceeded $11.5 billion in 2011,” according to Autism Speaks.
“These findings are important for better guiding policy makers about how to support the education and healthcare systems already under great financial strain, yet we have reason to believe that these numbers are only a portion of the financial impact on families and society,” says Michael Rosanoff, Autism Speaks associate director for public health research and epidemiologist.
The majority of the additional cost was related to school-based special ed services and programs at an average of $8,610 per child, per year. In addition, caregivers of individuals with ASD faced additional annual costs of $3,020 for medical expenses.
Ultimately, the quality of life an individual with ASD can expect is tied to the services, programs, therapies and educational opportunities they can access while they are students.
Author’s Note: I’ve been researching the impact the level of preparation and access to services during high school has on an individual with ASD having the opportunity for a fulfilling and successful life. Stay tuned for an in-depth report.