Autism in Egypt

August 19, 2016

This was the first study ever done on the cost consequences of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Egypt or any other developing country.

A statistical sample of 185 households, with at least 1 autistic family member, in the Greater Cairo Region was surveyed. Households were drawn from 3 distinct geographic clusters (urban, suburban and rural). In addition, relevant ASD policies were content analyzed.

We find that care and support for autistic Egyptian children and adults are typically based on a household-provider model, in contrast to western, institution-based models.

ASD costs in Egypt largely originate from much higher investments in time, attention and behavioral acclimation on the part of family caregivers. Hence, autism cost consequences in Egypt significantly differ from many developed countries.Opportunity and transaction costs, feedback effects and spillover consequences of the household-provider model should be carefully considered in health policy formulation. Making autism care and support available, affordable and reliable should be a major health concern of the

state.

Cultural context may significantly influence the age of noticing abnormality, the age of starting intervention, developmental and perinatal problems, family concerns about managing the problem as well as neurodevelopmental disorders, which has an important impact on clinical symptomatology and severity of autism. Culture also influences significantly the ways of investigating and treating autism.

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