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Economic Costs of Autism. Martin Knapp London School of Economics & King’s College London (IoP) Based on research conducted with Renee Romeo & Jennifer Beecham. Our over-riding concern is how to meet personal & family needs … So why is economics relevant?

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economic costs of autism

Economic Costs of Autism

Martin Knapp

London School of Economics

& King’s College London (IoP)

Based on research conducted with

Renee Romeo & Jennifer Beecham

slide2
Our over-riding concern is how to meet personal & family needs …

So why is economics relevant?

Scarcity  never enough resources to meet all of society’s needs or wants.

So … economists are asked to look carefully at:

  • costs
  • cost-effectiveness
  • how to improve resource allocation

Why?

Today’s focus

slide3
Prevalence
  • Level of functioning
  • Place of residence
  • Service use patterns
  • Family expenses
  • Lost employment
  • Costs per person
  • UK-wide costs
  • Lifetime costs

Methods

slide4
Many different prevalence estimates, growing over time …

Could be due to:

  • Better recognition of needs?
  • More accurate diagnosis?
  • Or underlying growth in prevalence?

Most recent study is by Gillian Baird et al (Lancet 2006) in SE England of children aged 9-10

 We have assumed prevalence of 1% of total UK population have ASD

Prevalence

slide6
The autism spectrum contains a number of different conditions or needs …

… with different behavioural characteristics,

… and different implications for support from families, formal services etc

… and hence (probably) different costs

We were hampered by lack of data and we have simply distinguished:

  • low-functioning ASD (IQ<70)
  • high-functioning ASD (IQ>70)

From Gillian Baird’s study we assumed:

  • 55% of people with ASD are low-functioning
  • 45% are high-functioning

Functioning

slide7
Where do people with ASD live?

Again – very difficult to find any national or even local data … so estimates made from various sources (NAS, Emerson report on people with ID, Bebbington & Beecham on Children in Need …)

Children:

  • All high-functioning children live in private households
  • 2% of low-functioning children are in residential care or foster placements

Residence

slide9
What services and supports do people with ASD receive?

We got data from:

  • Our own previous studies of people with intellectual disability – looking at those with ASD – mostly from England
  • Jeni Beecham’s work on Children in Need data for England
  • The ONS survey of mental health problems (children) 2004, Great Britain
  • A Scottish study by Anna Cooper et al
  • A Swedish study of HF ASD people

We re-grouped and inflated these data to fit residence categories and cover UK

Services

slide10
In addition we looked atfamily costs:
  • Out-of-pocket payments for services or treatments
  • Time spent on informal care … but could not find any data
  • Lost income because of disrupted employment (= lost productivity)

And we also looked at:

  • Lost productivity for people with ASD who were not in employment

And we estimated social security benefits received – but these might ‘double-count’ some other costs

Other costs

costs of asd uk 2005 06
Costs of ASD – UK - 2005/06

Children – annual cost in the UK

Low-functioning ASD = £1,727 mill.

High-functioning ASD = £991 mill.

Adults – annual cost in the UK

Low-functioning ASD = £16,907 mill.

High-functioning ASD = £8,573 mill.

overall uk cost of asd
Overall UK cost of ASD

Aggregate cost – for children and adults - for high-functioning and low functioning autism:

£28 billion

lifetime cost of asd
Lifetime cost of ASD

Someone with low-functioning ASD =£4.7 million

Someone with high-functioning ASD = £2.9 million

slide16
Huge overall economic impact
  • Costs are widely spread across different budgets and parts of government – need coordination
  • High costs fall to families – Is this fair? Is it sustainable?
  • High costs associated with lost employment: Can we do better to support people into jobs?
  • High costs of supporting adults with ASD  can we reduce them by offering better and earlier intervention?

And so …?