International Meeting for Autism Research: Use of Services and Cost of Autism in Adulthood

Use of Services and Cost of Autism in Adulthood

Friday, May 13, 2011
Elizabeth Ballroom E-F and Lirenta Foyer Level 2 (Manchester Grand Hyatt)
10:00 AM
M. Farley1, D. Bilder2, H. Coon3, W. M. McMahon4 and R. Nelson5, (1)University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, United States, (2)Psychiatry, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, (3)University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, (4)Department of Psychiatry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, (5)Division of Epidemiology, University of Utah, Salt Lake, UT
Background:  Early adulthood may be among the most expensive periods of life for people with ASD, their caregivers, and society; yet, little is known about the range of services used by adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or the costs incurred.  Published studies target subgroups of adults with ASD, use administrative data, or have small samples.  This study addresses some limitations of previous research by collecting direct assessments from a moderately large sample of adults across the range of intellectual and functional abilities.

Objectives:  Aims were: to estimate direct and indirect costs of ASD for a sample of adults across the spectrum of functional abilities, to assess the types of healthcare and adult support services used, and to explore what individual factors inhere the greatest financial burden to families and society.

Methods:  Direct assessment data were collected from 70 adults with ASD and their caregivers.  Data concern functional ability, residential status, daytime occupation, and co-occurring medical and psychiatric conditions. Caregivers completed an adapted version of the Client Service Receipt Inventory (CSRI; Beecham & Knapp, 2001), resulting in detailed data about specific services used, out-of-pocket expenditures, and indirect costs.    

Results:  Cost data specific to age, functional ability level, and co-occurring conditions will be presented.  Results will be compared and contrasted to existing information about costs of ASD for subgroups and using different sources.

Conclusions:  Information concerning costs of ASD in adulthood is necessary to balance resource allocation against maximizing opportunities for individuals with ASD.  Results from this study suggest relative financial burdens related to specific characteristics that may aid in development and selection of interventions.

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