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Estimated prevalence of autism spectrum conditions in Cambridgeshire is over 1%

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Question

Question:

What is the prevalence of autism in Cambridgeshire?

Population:

Children aged 5–9 years and their parents from all schools in the English county of Cambridgeshire (including mainstream and special schools in both private and state sectors).

Setting:

Mainstream, private and special schools in Cambridgeshire; surveyed February 2003–March 2004.

Assessment:

A survey of autism spectrum conditions (ASC) was performed using the Special Educational Needs (SEN) register. Schools submitted both the number of children aged 5-9 years at the school and the number of children with ASC recorded on the SEN register. Participating schools were sent questionnaire packs to distribute to the parents of children aged 5–9 years, including a diagnosis survey; information about behaviour or developmental concerns raised by teachers or professionals; the Childhood Autism Spectrum Test (CAST) plus questions about parental education and socioeconomic status. Families reporting a child with a diagnosed ASC were sent another form asking for further details, including the subgroup diagnosis if known. Confirmed cases were children diagnosed by a relevant health professional. These children were excluded from further assessment. All other children scoring 15 or above in CAST plus a randomly selected 33% of children scoring 12–14 were invited for …

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