Autism Aware
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Autism Prevelance 2018

Viewing time: 3 min

This presentation looks at the prevalence of autism has on both a national and international scale. It focuses on the increasing rates of autism since the CDC began monitoring the rates of autism in the US in 1975 and how this seems to be reflected in Ireland and the UK.


In this presentation we will look at the prevalence of autism both nationally and internationally.

The World Health Organisation and Centre for Disease Control have been monitoring the rates of autism diagnosis since 1975…

  • In 1975, one in every 5,000 births had a diagnosis of Autism.
  • In 1985, prevalence increased to one diagnosis in every 2,500 births.
  • The upward trend continued through 1995, 2005 and 2010 where one in every 500, 250 and 110 births had a diagnosis of Autism, respectively.
  • The most recent figures, from 2014, saw one diagnosis in every 68 births.

In Ireland, a centralised system to record the prevalence of Autism does not exist. Lets look at the rates of Autism diagnosis in the US. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) monitor the prevalence of Autism in the United States.

In 2018, they estimated that 1 in every 59 children born in the US were on the Autism Spectrum.
This equates to 1.7% of new births.

In 2014 the World Health Organisation (WHO) called for international recognition of this increase in diagnosis by “increasing the capacity of health and care systems to provide services for individual’s with autism spectrum disorders and for their families”.

Based on the CDC report in 2014 we have learned that;

Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the world today.

An estimated 3.4 million people may have a diagnosis of autism in the USA.

The National Autistic Society estimates there are over 800,000 people with a diagnosis of Autism in the UK.

Despite the lack of national data in Ireland, it is estimated by Autism organisations that between 45,000-60,000 people have a diagnosis of Autism.

That is roughly the population of County Carlow!

It estimated that 1% of the population worldwide are on the Autism Spectrum, which equates to 72 million people.

That is almost equal to the entire population of France!

A diagnosis of Autism effects another 6-8 people in the family group, from parents and siblings to grandparents and other family members. That is a lot of people touched by Autism when you do the Maths!

People with Autism are living in every community in the world.

Author: Laura Crowley - Director of Educational Support Services
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