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Jessica's Journeys

The average cost of raising a child born in 2013 up until age 18 for a middle-income family in the U.S. is approximately $245,340 (or $304,480, adjusted for projected inflation), according to the latest annual "Cost of Raising A Child" report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.Aug 18, 2014.


"A new study has found that the cost of supporting a person with an autism spectrum disorder throughout his or her lifetime can soar as high as $2.4 million.The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics on Monday and funded by the nonprofit Autism Speaks, suggests that autism's financial toll on individuals, families and society as a whole is 'much higher than previously suggested,' its authors write, and includes direct medical, educational and residential costs, as well as indirect costs such as lost wages. On average, the cost for children with autism and an intellectual disability in the U.S. was more than $107,800 per year up to age 5, and roughly $85,600 per year between ages 6 and 17." This quote directly from Huffpost Parents, 6/9/14, as reported in article entitled "Lifetime Costs Of Autism Can Exceed $2 Million, Study Says" as authored by Catherine Pearson.


Autism Speaks blog post dated February 10, 2014 states. . .


"Autism Speaks continues to fund research on the lifetime costs of autism and how to meet them. Preliminary findings set the national costs of autism at around $137 billion annually. This translates into an average lifetime cost of $1.4 million for a person affected by autism that is not complicated by intellectual disability. An estimated 1 in 5 persons with autism also has intellectual disability. This increases the average lifetime cost of care to $2.3 million."


As the parent, advocate, and guardian for an adult with autism, these figures affirmed my own struggle to keep my financial head above water through these years (at this writing I am 70 and my daughter is 44). Because of my desire to be in service and support to other families, I am in the process of establishing a not-for-profit foundation called JESSICAS JOURNEYS (web site The purpose of which will be to donate 90%+ of moneys received to fund grants to individuals and families affected by autism. Because establishing this foundation and publishing the web site are journeys in themselves and not yet a reality, I am asking for your support to guide me, direct me, share ideas, join my team (will need to establish a board of directors!), and volunteers.


I look forward to hearing from you.


In gratitude, Kathy



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