Article published on 12th August 2008

Autism has far reaching, life-time consequences ranging from the health, economic wellbeing, social integration and quality of life for the individual affected to everyone closely associated with them such as their families.

Autism is much more common than most people think affecting over half a million people in the UK.

Autism is a developmental condition affecting the way your brain processes information. People from all nationalities and cultural, religious and social backgrounds can have autism, although it appears to affect more men than women. It is a lifelong condition and although it depends on the degree and severity of the Autism, children with autism grow up to become adults with autism. Whilst the causes are still being investigated, some experts believe that there may not be a single cause and could be caused by both genetic and environmental factors. Only 15% of adults suffering with Autism are currently in full time employment.

Although there is currently no known 'cure' for autism, this doesn?t mean that there is nothing that can be done to help them. There may well be some supporting training schemes available in your area. The European ?Charter of Rights for People with Autism clearly lays out the way that sufferers can expect to be treated.

The lifetime cost for someone with high-functioning autism was found to be ?3.1 million and ?4.6 million for someone with low-functioning autism*.

Interventions and services currently used to treat or support children and adults with ASD include services provided by medical practitioners, nurses, dieticians, psychologists, speech and language therapists, teachers and various providers of complementary and alternative medicine, such as music therapy, aromatherapy, homeopathic remedies, naturopathic remedies, manipulative body therapies, and spiritual healing. These treatments, services and supports all impose costs, either to the state or to a charity or to the families of people with ASD who have to pay for them out of their own pockets, meaning the carers of those suffering with Autism need to ensure that they have adequate life insurance to ensure that they are cared for should the worst happen.


The Economic Consequences of Autism in the UK carried out by Centre for the Economics of Mental Health, King?s College London, Institute of Psychiatry by The Foundation for people with Learning Disabilities.

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