Estimating the prevalence of autism spectrum conditions in adults

Estimating the prevalence of autism spectrum conditions in adultsThis report combines data from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) 2007 with findings from a new study based on a sample of people with learning disabilities living in private households and communal care establishments.

It aims to estimate the prevalence of autism in England, furthering previous research that suggests people with learning disabilities are more likely to have autism. It also addresses the fact that the APMS did not include people with severe learning disabilities.

The report estimates that the prevalence of autism:

  • Is 1 per cent in the general population.
  • Is approximately 35 per cent among adults with severe learning disabilities living in private households.
  • Is approximately 31 per cent among adults with mild or severe learning disabilities living in communal care establishments.
  • Increases with greater severity of learning disability or lower verbal IQ.

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