Autism is not as rare as we once thought. Recent Australian research indicates autism occurs in one child in 160, and half a million Australians are living in a family that has a child or adult with autism. The annual cost of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) to the community is estimated at between $4.5 and $7 billion. It is an expensive disability for both the government and for families. For example, the cost of intensive applied behavioural analysis for a family is around $40 000 per annum, with a program in the preschool years lasting 2 to 4 years.
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.