Autistic Spectrum Disorder, formerly known as ASD, is running rampant throughout the world. ASD is something that no parent wishes to hear that their child has. As any family that has a child with autism can attest, receiving that diagnosis begins a journey that places profound demands on the family, friends, and financial resources for the remaining lifetime of the child. Autism is a biologically based developmental disorder that impairs an individual's ability to communicate, build relationships, and relate appropriately to the environment. Diagnosis is usually made in early childhood after a multi-disciplinary assessment of behavior, developmental level, and communication ability. According to Jeff Sells, the vice president of Advocacy and Public Policy for the Autism Society of America, ASD has gone from one out of every 500 children in 1999, to one out of every 150 children in 2009 (Dusenberry, 200). By March of 2012, it was figured that one out of every 88 children have ASD (Cottle, 2012, p. xx). It would appear that ASD is becoming more prevalent year after year. Reasons for the sudden and insistent surge in the incidence of autism are hotly debated, yet still there is no answer as to why they are multiplying in numbers. Although with ASD on the rise, educating ourselves on how ASD financially impacts an individual's family is seemingly more essential, as well as finding out what our government is doing to assist those facing the financial difficulties that come with raising a child with ASD. There has been a plethora of research, and studies done on the effects of autism on the family and the economy, most of which primarily focus on the biological, psychological, and social effects that ASD has on the family, and society. Not many studies have been primarily focused on the financial aspects of ASD. .
With ASD individuals multiplying rapidly, the costs are rising as well. Therefore, it is important that we research how costly it is living with ASD.