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Autism: A Global Framework for Action

Autism: A Global Framework for Action

Kerim M Munir Tara A Lavelle David T Helm Didi Thompson Jessica Prestt Muhammad Waqar Azeem

This report explores the root causes and challenges linked with children suffering from Autism spectrum Disorder (ASD) and how can communities provide support to these individuals and their families.

Executive Summary

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) represents a group of lifelong neurodevelopmental disorders emerging during early childhood and interfering with a person’s ability to socially relate to and interact with others.

As of 2010, there were an estimated 52 million cases of ASD worldwide, representing a substantial increase over the past 40 years.3 Meanwhile, the economic impact of ASD in the United States (US) alone – based on direct medical, direct non-medical and productivity costs – reached an estimated $268 billion in 2015, a figure that is expected to rise to $461 billion by 2025.4 ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders also affect the quality of life of those with the conditions, as well as of their families and caregivers.

This report provides an overview of ASD and the challenges we face globally in supporting and caring for those with the condition. In proposing recommendations for the future, we emphasize five primary areas of action.