Study sheds light on ‘autism epidemic’

The so-called ‘autism epidemic’ is due to an increase in the diagnosis of children with less severe behavioural symptoms, not because there are more children being born with the disorder, according to a new Australian study.

The Telethon Kids Institute study, published in the international journal Autism Research, shows that while the prevalence of autism has increased 20-fold over the past 30 years there has actually been a reduction in the behavioural severity of individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis.

Professor Andrew Whitehouse, Head of Autism Research at the institute and lead author of the study, says the research shows the majority of the increase in autism prevalence was due to an increase in diagnosing children with less severe behaviours.

“In essence, there has been a clinical shift towards diagnosing children with less severe behavioural symptoms,” he said.

View Source

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here