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National Autism Indicators Report: Health and Health Care

Paul Shattuck

Jessica Rast, Anne Roux, Kristy Anderson, Lisa Croen, Alice Kuo, Lindsay Shea, Paul Shattuck


Access to Services, Health and Mental Health

Indepth Report

Data Source
Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, National Inpatient Sample, Kaiser Permanente Northern California previously published research, National Survey of Children’s Health

# Pages

Key Findings

Children and adults with autism spectrum disorder have a lot of health concerns and complex healthcare needs. Even so, comprehensive care was less common in children with ASD than their peers. Health and health care also varied by race and ethnicity in children with ASD.


Health and health care are critical issues for many children and adults on the autism spectrum. They may experience more frequent use of services and medications. They may need more types of routine and specialty healthcare. And their overall health and mental health care tends to be more complex than people with other types of disabilities and special health care needs. This report provides indicators of health and health care for autistic persons across the lifespan. Topics covered include overall health, health services, medication, insurance, and accessing services. We need to understand health and healthcare needs across the life course to support recommendations on how to improve health and health care at critical points across a person’s life. The purpose of this report is to catalogue indicators to aid in decision making to this end.

Suggested Citation

Rast, Jessica E., Roux, Anne M., Anderson, Kristy A., Croen, Lisa A., Kuo, Alice A., Shea, Lindsay L., and Shattuck, Paul T. National Autism Indicators Report: Health and autism. Philadelphia, PA: Life Course Outcomes Program, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, Drexel University, November 2020.