Autism diagnosis surge puts financial strain on schools

The cost of special education and medical services for a child with autism averages $17,000 annually, according to a new study by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues. Schools bear the brunt of the economic burden, according to the study. The researchers found that parents of children with autism faced no greater out-of-pocket medical expenses than other parents, which may suggest that insurers are providing more coverage for autism therapies.

One out of 88 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder, according to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study was published online February 10, 2014 in Pediatrics.

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