The Staggering Statistics of Autism

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States. ASD is nearly twice as prevalent as it was just 10 years ago and more than 3.5 million Americans and their families currently live with the diagnosis.

Here are some of the alarming statistics:

  • ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups
  • About 1 in 68 births in the United States will develop the disorder
  • Boys are nearly 5 times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with the disorder
  • Lifetime care of an individual with ASD is estimated to be nearly $2.4 million
  • The U.S. spends over $250 billion annually on services related to ASD
  • ASD tends to occur more often in individuals with certain chromosomal and genetic disorders
  • Families with an ASD child have nearly a 20% chance of having additional children with the disorder
  • Firstborn offspring of 2 older parents are 3 times more likely to develop autism
  • ASD commonly occurs in conjunction with other neurological, psychiatric, and developmental disorders

Autoimmune Disease and Autism Statistics

ASD is now believed to be caused by the interaction of genetic predispositions and external triggering factors. Studies around the world are now being conducted to discover the genetic susceptibilities and determine what activates them.

One such area of research is in the field of autoimmune diseases, particularly concerning when it occurs in the mother. Recent studies have discovered a link between maternal autoimmune disease and the birth of a child with autism. Statistical data from these studies includes:

  • 40% of autistic children have one or more family members with an autoimmune disorder
  • Rheumatoid arthritis in the mother increases the risk of having an autistic child by 80%
  • Maternal celiac disease increases the risk by 350%

As leading authorities in the field of reproductive immunology, Braverman Reproductive Immunology is one of the only facilities in the world that exclusively monitors and treats autoimmune conditions during pregnancy. Many of our patients come to us after multiple unexplained miscarriages only to discover their diagnosed or previously unknown autoimmune disorder was the culprit. Our patient statistics reflect the data cited above, particularly if the mother experiences an inflammatory flare during her second trimester of pregnancy.

Our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Braverman, is currently moderating an online discussion form in an effort to gain more information on the relationship of autoimmune disorders and the birth of autistic children. If you have an autistic child, a history of miscarriages, and are weighing the risks of another pregnancy, please join in our dialog. It is our hope that through candid discussion and relevant medical advice, we can learn more about the possible correlation.

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