Prevalence of Autism

Autism Prevalence

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1:68 children in the U.S. have an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Autism Prevalence among Military Dependents

Just as the research conducted by the CDC in establishing its prevalence ratio reported varying ratios in the different geographic locales studied, the prevalence rate among military dependents is different.

According to numbers released by the Department of Defense (DoD) in response to a request filed under the Freedom of Information Act in June 2008, there are 13,243 active duty family members and an additional 8,784 dependents of retired service members with diagnoses on the autism spectrum.

The numbers provided in response to the FOIA request and the total number of military dependent children (1,177,190 according to a 2005 DoD study) result in a 1:88 prevalence ratio among children of active duty military service members. When one considers that the numbers cited tilt heavily toward service members in the more junior ranks and the youngest parents, (i.e. the ones even less capable of bearing any extra burden financially), the implications for and potential impact on military healthcare are significant.