Special Needs Kids in US

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Autism therapy toys - annual spend

This portion of the multi-request project is specific to the average dollar amount spent annually by a family, per autistic child, for learning and therapy toys and applications. Our research found data on applications specifically designed for children with autism. However, our research did not produce results specific to learning and therapy toys to aid children with autism. Gathered from the compilation of statistics on population, statistical information on the toy industry globally and within the United States, and information on the number of children diagnosed with autism, we have calculated the average dollar amount spent per autistic child for learning and therapy toys and applications to be $5,348 ($5,111 for toys + $237 for applications).

Below is a compilation of our findings and calculations: one calculation for the learning and therapy toys, and the other for the applications.


An extensive search of the public domain revealed no publicly accessible sources detailing the cost burden on therapy or educational toys on families with children with autism.
Since searching pre-compiled reports, new sources, studies or other sources did not prove fruitful, we then attempted to find the most relevant data possible in order to triangulate a figure. Albeit from 2014, a landmark study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics showed a lack of interest in additional financial burden from therapy toys. The study instead focused on healthcare, education, and time as additional burdens on families with autistic children. This seems to imply that the presence of an autistic children does not significantly increase the purchasing quantities of educational or therapy toys. Another article implies the largest expenses are, again, therapy, healthcare and then household items like diapers.

Given this, we had to make the assumption that toy spend is roughly equal to a family with neurotypical children. We were then able to source several market research reports helping us identify the US education toy market space:

1. Global average toy market revenue = $88.8B
2. United States toy market revenue = $20.74B
3. Global educational toy market revenue = $25.74B
20.74B/88.8B = 23.35% market share
(23.35/100) x 25.74B = $6.011B revenue of educational toys

Our research did not find population statistics specific to children ages 0-10; however, the projected statistics compiled by the Annie E. Casey Foundation of children ages 0-11 in the United States in 2018, resulted in 48.8M, as follows:

Ages 0-5 = 24.3M
Ages 6-11 = 24.5M
24.3M + 24.5M = 48.8M

Our research found a specific percentage of children in the United States with autism to be 2.41%. Therefore, the number of children within the United States with autism is approximately 1,176,080 ((2.41/100) x 48.8M).

Therefore, given the above calculations of the educational toy market revenue of $6.011B, and the calculation of the approximate number of children with autism of 1,176,080, the average spent on educational toys, per autistic child, is $5,111 ($6.011B/1,176,080 children) over their childhood.


From the information and statistics published regarding autism-friendly technology cited below, our research found specific numbers of total applications designed to aid autistic children at 162 (126 Apple + 36 Android)

Total average costs of these applications are $4.72 for Apple and $4.56 for Android. Therefore, the total average costs for these applications total $759.

Apple: 126 x $4.72 = $595
Android: 36 x $4.56 = $164
$595 + $164 = $759

However, of the total 162 applications, the average number of applications downloaded each year is 28 for Apple and 23 for Android. Therefore, when the average costs of these applications are applied to the total number of downloaded applications per year, the result is $237. (28 x $4.72) + (23 x $4.56) = $237

The end result is $5,348 ($5,111 for toys + $237 for applications).


Although our research did find one source to specifically answer the client's question, we were able to calculate the total average spent per year per autistic child from the ages 0-11 in the United States at $5,348 for learning and therapy toys and applications. The sources were direct as to applications designed for autistic children, but the sources as to learning and therapy toys were ancillary and required sequential calculations.

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