Adult autism often go undiagnosed in England, with many people totally unaware that they have the disorder, says a new study in Europe.
Researchers in the United Kingdom examined data from a 2007 survey of adult autism. It took place in two phases and involved 618 people. The study, published in the journal General Psychiatry, revealed that autism is more common in males, those without higher education, and those who live in social housing.
The study revealed that 1 per cent of the adult population had an autism spectrum disorder. Interestingly, children who had the disorder were at 1 per cent too. This fact disproves the existence of an autism 'epidemic.' If there really is an epidemic, the incidence rate of autism would be very high in the younger age groups and lower among older people. This is not so.
There is a better understanding of the disorder and with better case-finding and diagnosis more children and adults suffering even from a mild form of autism are being identified.
Dr Traolach Brugha, the study's lead author comments, "Overall, our findings suggest that prevalence is neither rising nor falling significantly over time. This favors the interpretation that methods of ascertainment (case finding) have changed ..."
Further research is vital as adult sufferers usually go through the pain of social rejection. These concealed victims must be helped through more extensive studies.