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The Cost of Autism Report - University of Calgary

When a child is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, the significance of the impact that diagnosis can have on his or her family’s life is incalculable, except in one respect: cost. If that child is severely impacted and requires constant and lifelong supports, then the value of caregiver time required to support that individual is approximately $5.5 million higher than that for someone without autism. An autism diagnosis of a high-needs child at age two represents the equivalent of telling the family that they must make an immediate lump-sum investment on that day of $1.6 million, invested at a five-per-cent return, to pay for the lifetime costs of care and support their loved one will require. And that amount does not even account for added professional services, such as speech therapists, psychologists, and occupational therapists, or additional out-of-pocket expenses that may be required, such as special equipment or diets.


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