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Created 2 years ago, updated a month ago

The information about ASD is based on Autism Spectrum Disorders in adults living in households throughout England: Report from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007 was published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre in September 2009.

The prevalence of ASD was found to be 1.0% of the adult population in England, using the threshold of a score of 10 on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule to indicate a positive case. The rate among men (1.8%) was higher than that among women (0.2%), which fits with the profile found in childhood population studies.

The report Prevalence of disorders of the autism spectrum in a population cohort of children in South Thames: the Special Needs and Autism Project (SNAP), Baird, G. et al, The Lancet, 368 (9531), pp. 210-215, 2006. found that 55% of those with ASD have an IQ below 70%.

The National Autistic Society states that 'estimates of the proportion of people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who have a learning disability, (IQ less than 70) vary considerably, and it is not possible to give an accurate figure. Some very able people with ASD may never come to the attention of services as having special needs, because they have learned strategies to overcome any difficulties with communication and social interaction and found fulfilling employment that suits their particular talents. Other people with ASD may be able intellectually, but have need of support from services, because the degree of impairment they have of social interaction hampers their chances of employment and achieving independence.'

The prevalence rates have been applied to ONS population projections of the 18 to 64 population to give estimated numbers predicted to have autistic spectrum disorder to 2035.