Companies struggle to meet soaring demand for autism treatments

The Centre for Autism and the Developing Brain sits on a pastoral campus north of New York city. In cheerful rooms staff meet children and adults, offering diagnoses and treatment to help them enjoy as full a life as possible. Downstairs researchers work on their analyses. The centre, part of New York-Presbyterian Hospital, is led by Catherine Lord, one of America’s top autism researchers. It is the kind of place to which any anxious parent would send their child, if they could. But the centre is not cheap to replicate.

Autism is a challenge for those who have it as well as their parents and other carers. Its prevalence makes it a big business opportunity. One in 68 American children is autistic. Demand for assessments and therapies is booming. Yet the health-care industry is struggling to meet it.

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13th December 2014