To our knowledge, there is no published information on the epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in adults. If the prevalence of autism is increasing, rates in older adults would be expected to be lower than rates among younger adults.
To estimate the prevalence and characteristics of adults with ASD living in the community in England.
A stratified, multiphase random sample was used in the third national survey of psychiatric morbidity in adults in England in 2007. Survey data were weighted to take account of study design and nonresponse so that the results were representative of the household population.
General community (ie, private households) in England.
Adults (people 16 years or older).
Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Module 4 in phase 2 validated against the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised and Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders in phase 3. A 20-item subset of the Autism-Spectrum Quotient self-completion questionnaire was used in phase 1 to select respondents for phase 2. Respondents also provided information on sociodemographics and their use of mental health services.
Of 7461 adult participants who provided a complete phase 1 interview, 618 completed phase 2 diagnostic assessments. The weighted prevalence of ASD in adults was estimated to be 9.8 per 1000 (95% confidence interval, 3.0-16.5). Prevalence was not related to the respondent's age. Rates were higher in men, those without educational qualifications, and those living in rented social (government-financed) housing. There was no evidence of increased use of services for mental health problems.
Conducting epidemiologic research on ASD in adults is feasible. The prevalence of ASD in this population is similar to that found in children. The lack of an association with age is consistent with there having been no increase in prevalence and with its causes being temporally constant. Adults with ASD living in the community are socially disadvantaged and tend to be unrecognized.
"Fourth, contributing to the reluctance of professionals to burden the distressed parents of a blind child with the additional ASD diagnostic label is unawareness of its potentially better prognosis for loss of diagnostic criteria (''recovery'') than in sighted children. ASD is widely considered a permanent condition (Brugha et al. 2011). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autism spectrum disorders affected 19 of 38 unselected children at a school for the blind in Cordoba, Argentina. Autism was linked to total congenital blindness, not blindness' etiology, acquired or incomplete blindness, sex, overt brain damage, or socioeconomic status. Autism "recovery," had occurred in 4 verbal children. Congenital blindness causes profoundly deviant sensory experience and massive reorganization of brain connectivity. Its ≥30 times greater prevalence than in sighted children suggests a distinct pathogenesis. Unawareness of autism's high prevalence in blind individuals includes blindness' rarity, misunderstanding of autism as "disease" rather than dimensional behavioral diagnosis, reluctance to diagnose it in blind children, and ignorance of its potentially more favorable outcome. Future investigation may suggest interventions to prevent or mitigate it.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 09/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10803-015-2612-5 · 3.06 Impact Factor
"With the exception of a small minority of children who lose their diagnosis (Fein et al. 2013), the vast majority of children with ASD grow up to become adults with ASD (Billstedt et al. 2007). The prevalence of ASD in children has been increasing over the years (Baio 2012; Kim et al. 2011), suggesting that the prevalence in the adult population, estimated at 1 % (Brugha et al. 2011), will also increase. Previous surveys among various groups of healthcare providers reported gaps in knowledge about ASD, deficiencies in diagnostic abilities, and a lack of self-perceived competency in treating children with autism (Bakare et al. 2009, 2008; Eseigbe et al. 2015; Garg et al. 2014; Golnik et al. 2009; Hartley-McAndrew et al. 2014; Heidgerken et al. 2005; Igwe et al. 2011; Imran et al. 2011; Khanna and Jariwala 2012; Nicolaidis et al. 2015; Oskoui and Wolfson 2012; Rahbar et al. 2011). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We conducted an online survey of adult health care providers at Kaiser Permanente Northern California and semi-structured interviews with a subset of physicians. The survey assessed providers' ability to recognize autism spectrum disorder (ASD), asked them to rate their autism knowledge, comfort level in treating affected patients, and evaluated training and resource needs. 922 providers completed the survey (response rate 25.3 %), and 9 were interviewed by telephone regarding their autism training and experiences caring for patients with autism. Most providers reported lacking skills and tools to care for this adult patient population. A high proportion of adult providers were not aware that they had patients with ASD. These findings underscore the need to educate physicians caring for adults with ASD.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 09/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10803-015-2579-2 · 3.06 Impact Factor
"While ASD is associated with intellectual disability (APA 2013), around 50 % or more of individuals have an IQ in the normal range (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2014; Mayes and Calhoun 2003). The prevalence of ASD is currently estimated to be at least 1 % (APA 2013) and in the UK, a recent survey found that 1 % of older adolescents and adults were living in the community with undiagnosed ASD (Brugha et al. 2011). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little research directly examines the needs of post-secondary students with ASD. The experiences and support needs of 23 students with ASD enrolled in two universities and four colleges, and 15 family members were explored in 15 semi-structured focus groups. Thematic analysis identified five themes: core ASD features, co-morbid conditions, transition, disclosure, and services and support. Most students felt educationally but not socially supported; most families felt support was poor in both areas. Transition from secondary school was often unplanned, and disclosure of diagnosis usually occurred after enrolment, often following a significant problem. Many parents provided substantial student support. Thus disclosure of ASD diagnosis and meeting the individual needs of these students are important considerations as higher education enrolments increase.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 07/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10803-015-2535-1 · 3.06 Impact Factor
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