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About 1% of children in the South Thames region have an autistic spectrum disorder

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 Q How common are autism and autism-related spectrum disorders in children in the South Thames region of the UK?

METHODS

Embedded ImageDesign:

Prospective cohort study.

Embedded ImageSetting:

Twelve districts, South Thames, UK; time period of assessment not stated.

Embedded ImagePopulation:

56 946 children born between 1 July 1990 and 31 December 1991 in South Thames (mean age at assessment 12 years, range 9.8–14.4 years).

Embedded ImageAssessment:

Children with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) or with social and communicative impairment were identified from the child health and speech and language therapy services registers. Children with a possible undiagnosed ASD (defined as those having a statement of special educational needs) were identified using the special needs register. All 1770 children identified in this survey received the social communication questionnaire (SCQ). In-depth clinical assessment using the autism diagnostic interview-revised (ADI-R), autism diagnostic observation schedule-generic (ADOS-G) plus IQ, language and adaptive behaviour assessment was carried out on a random …

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