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Autism. 2007 Sep;11(5):453-63.

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

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  • 1Centre for the Economics of Mental Health, CEMH, Health Service Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill, London, UK.


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.

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