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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?


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 …

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  • For correspondence: Professor Gillian Baird, Newcomen Centre, Guy’s Hospital, London, UK; gillian.baird{at}

  • Sources of funding: Wellcome Trust and Department of Health, UK.