Epidemiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Adults in the Community in England

Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, England.
Archives of general psychiatry (Impact Factor: 14.48). 05/2011; 68(5):459-65. DOI: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.38
Source: PubMed


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.

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    • "000) (Kielinen et al. 2000). In few British studies conducted in children aged 9– 10 years, the prevalence of ASD was 116/10 000 children (Baird et al. 2006), in population older than 16 years 98/10 000 (Brugha et al. 2011), while in the latest study ASD prevalence in 8-year-old males was calculated as 38/10 000 and 8/10 000 in females at the same age; therefore, the overall prevalence in children aged 8 years was 23/10 000 (Taylor et al. 2013). The comparison of those groups is impossible due to different age of ASD persons and narrow age range in group presented by Taylor (Taylor et al. 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) varies worldwide from 1.4/10 000 children in the Arabian Peninsula to 185/10 000 children of Asian population. In Europe, the highest prevalence has been observed in Sweden, while the lowest in Croatia (115/10 000 and 2-3/10 000, respectively). There have been no epidemiological studies on the prevalence of ASD in Polish population. The aim of our study was to assess the prevalence of ASD in children aged 0-16 years, inhabitants of West Pomeranian and Pomeranian regions. Material and methods: In total, 2514 children (2038 males, 81.1%) were included. The estimates were based on the government registries, whereas data were obtained from Provincial Disability Services Commissions. Results: The prevalence of ASD in children aged 0-16 years varies between two regions of Poland - 32/10 000 in West Pomeranian and 38/10 000 in Pomeranian region. Conclusions: The average prevalence of ASD was 35/10 000 children and was about 4-fold higher in males (P < 0.05). More studies are necessary.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
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    • "The recent review papers on ageing in ASD (Povey et al, 2011, Mukaetova-Ladinska et al, 2012, Piven et al, 2012, Happe and Charlton, 2012, Smith, 2012, Wright et al, 2013) have all highlighted the number of unknowns in respect to epidemiological, biological, psychological and social aspects of older adults with this syndrome. Although largely based on empirical observations, these reviews also included studies on prevalence rates (Brugha et al, 2011) and quality of life and psychological distress in adults with ASD (Stuart-Hamilton et al, 2010), as well as a small number of published case reports on diagnosing ASD for the first time in older adults and changes in their cognitive abilities, in terms of problems thinking, loss of memory, decreased attention span, and difficulty with word-finding (James et al, 2006). "

    Preview · Article · Jan 2016
    • "Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterised by pervasive difficulties in social interaction and communication, and a restricted range of interests and behaviours[1]. Approximately 1 in every 100 children in the UK[2]is diagnosed with an ASD; with around 700,000 people with autism living in the UK[3]. The economic cost to society of supporting individuals with autism and their families is significant with the estimated annual cost at £3.1 billion in the UK, and $61 billion in the US[4]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) find it difficult to engage in reciprocal, shared behaviours and technology could be particularly helpful in supporting children’s motivations and skills in this area. Designing educational technologies for children with ASD requires the integration of a complex range of factors including pedagogical and cognitive theories; the affordances of the technology; and the real-world contexts of use. This paper illustrates how these factors informed the design of a novel collaborative virtual reality environment (CVE) for supporting communicative perspective-taking skills for high-functioning children with ASD. Findings from a small-scale study involving eight typically developing (TD) children (aged 8 years) and six children with ASD (verbal mental age 9 years) are also reported. Children with ASD were supported to be reciprocal and collaborative in their responses, suggesting that this CVE could form the basis for a useful technology-based educational intervention.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction
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