One in every 100 adults in England has some degree of autism, official DH figures suggest.
The report Estimating the Prevalence of Autism in Adults: Extending the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey also found adults with a severe learning disability or lower verbal IQ face an increased risk of having autism.
Researchers combined data from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) 2007 with findings from a new study based on a sample of people with learning disabilities living in private households and communal care homes.
It is estimated that 1.1% of the English population has autism, suggesting that some 570,000 people are currently living with the disorder in across the country.
Autism was also found in 35% of adults with severe learning difficulties living in private households and around 31% of adults with mild or severe learning disabilities living in communal care homes.
“This shows a large group of adults have been consistently overlooked by services and society,” said Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society, in a statement to NiP.
“There has long been a tendency to view autism as solely a condition affecting children but this is the first study to find that the prevalence of autism is roughly the same for adults as it is for children.
“The Government cannot afford to ignore the dramatic cost benefits of investing in autism services in the long-term. Not only does the right support at the right time make an enormous difference to the lives of people with autism, it could also save the Government millions, if not billions, each year.”
Question: Are autism services lacking in your local area?