This review aims to summarize evidence from published articles regarding the economic burdens on parents of children diagnosed with autism to elaborate on current research status, discern key findings and provide suggestions for future studies. A total of 1024 records were identified through our systematic literature research, and 33 studies were included in the review. The 33 included studies reported findings from 10 different countries around the world. These articles (published from 2003 to 2017) used a variety of research methods, including quantitative (n = 26), qualitative (n = 4), and mixed (n = 3) study designs. In summary, parents of autistic children were susceptible to adverse employment impacts and increased financial burdens, especially mothers. More attention should be given to the development of appropriate medical resource allocation and the alleviation of economic burdens on parents of children with autism.