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Publication - Research publication

The microsegmentation of the autism spectrum: research project

Published: 26 Mar 2018

Economic research on autism and implications for Scotland, including how the economic cost of autism can inform strategy and planning.

357 page PDF

4.7 MB

357 page PDF

4.7 MB

Contents
The microsegmentation of the autism spectrum: research project
6 Prevalence And Intellectual Ability: The Scottish Context

357 page PDF

4.7 MB

6 Prevalence And Intellectual Ability: The Scottish Context

6.1 The data we have generated on prevalence and intellectual ability may be applied to the specific context of the Scottish population. On that basis it is now possible to provide accurate data for the number of individuals with ASD, together with numbers with and without intellectual disability, in every age range for the whole of Scotland and for every Council or Health Board area. It should be noted that these are the numbers on which planning should be based, that is, those who have ASD, whether diagnosed or not. At the youngest ages, it is not expected that children will yet be at the stage where diagnosis can be reliably carried out.

6.2 Table 6.1 shows these estimates in relation to the Scottish population. These population figures have been statistically adjusted to age 67 years to take account of longevity in terms of the available ASD research in this field (Shavelle & Strauss, 1998). The adjustment for longevity does not imply that individuals with autism are not to be found in older age ranges, and the data collected in the survey illustrate that point. Rather, it provides a standard method for adjusting figures to accommodate longevity statistics.

Table 6.1 Prevalence of autism in Scotland by age and intellectual disability

Scotland ASD population Total population b
with ID without ID Total
Children (0-1) 380 781 1,161 112,100
Children pre-school (2-4) 593 1,220 1,813 175,138
Children primary school (5-11) 1,394 2,867 4,261 411,638
Children secondary school (12-15) 735 1,512 2,247 217,041
Adults (16-67 a) 12,345 25,406 37,751 3,647,409
Total 15,445 31,786 47,231 4,563,326

a The age range for which data is reported here reflects findings from longitudinal ASD studies. For further details see para. 6.2, and for data relating to the total population see Table 6.2. b Total population statistics taken from ONS (2017).

6.3 Table 6.2 shows the same figures for the total adjusted population of all Scottish Council areas.

Table 6.2 Prevalence of autism by Council area and intellectual disability


Council area

ASD population

Total population b
with ID without ID Total
SCOTLAND 18,293 37,646 55,939 5,404,700
Aberdeen City 778 1,601 2,379 229,840
Aberdeenshire 888 1,826 2,714 262,190
Angus 395 811 1,206 116,520
Argyll & Bute 295 607 902 87,130
City of Edinburgh 1,717 3,533 5,249 507,170
Clackmannanshire 174 358 532 51,350
Dumfries & Galloway 507 1,041 1,548 149,520
Dundee City 502 1,033 1,535 148,270
East Ayrshire 414 851 1,265 122,200
East Dunbartonshire 365 749 1,113 107,540
East Lothian 353 725 1,077 104,090
East Renfrewshire 318 653 971 93,810
Falkirk 540 1,110 1,650 159,380
Fife 1,254 2,579 3,833 370,330
Glasgow City 2,082 4,284 6,366 615,070
Highland 795 1,635 2,430 234,770
Inverclyde 269 551 820 79,160
Midlothian 301 617 918 88,610
Moray 326 669 995 96,070
Na h-eilean Siar 92 187 279 26,900
North Ayrshire 461 946 1,407 135,890
North Lanarkshire 1,149 2,364 3,513 339,390
Orkney Islands 75 152 227 21,850
Perth & Kinross 511 1,049 1,560 150,680
Renfrewshire 596 1,225 1,821 175,930
Scottish Borders 388 798 1,186 114,530
Shetland Islands 79 162 241 23,200
South Ayrshire 381 784 1,165 112,470
South Lanarkshire 1,074 2,208 3,282 317,100
Stirling 318 653 971 93,750
West Dunbartonshire 305 626 931 89,860
West Lothian 610 1,255 1,865 180,130

a Figures reported here are based upon the total population; for estimates reflective of longitudinal findings relating to ASD see Table 6.1, and for more information on this see para. 6.2. b Total population statistics taken from ONS (2017).

6.4 Table 6.3 shows the figures for the total adjusted population of each of the Health Board area in Scotland.

Table 6.3 Prevalence of autism by Health Board and intellectual disability


Health Board area

ASD population

Total population a
with ID without ID Total
Ayrshire & Arran 1,047 2,154 3,201 309,238
Borders 322 661 983 95,019
Dumfries & Galloway 423 870 1,293 124,948
Fife 1,036 2,131 3,167 305,996
Forth Valley 847 1,744 2,591 250,296
Grampian 1,647 3,391 5,038 486,778
Greater Glasgow & Clyde 3,222 6,631 9,853 952,017
Highland 904 1,862 2,766 267,235
Lanarkshire 1,842 3,792 5,634 544,336
Lothian 2,420 4,980 7,400 714,994
Orkney 61 125 186 17,981
Shetland 65 135 200 19,347
Tayside 1,167 2,401 3,568 344,782
Western Isles 77 158 235 22,705

a Total population statistics taken from ONS (2017)

6.5 The total relevant population figures for Council areas and Health Board areas are derived by applying the overall adjustment used for Scotland as a whole. This will show some variation across Council and Health Board areas depending on the age structure of the population in each area.

6.6 The calculations used here will provide a basis for any individual Council or Health Board to compute accurate figures for autism, both with and without intellectual disability, using any age breakdown best suited to their purposes and also adjusting figures for any given year to take account of population change. Services differ in their specific requirements. For example, the relevant age bands for education may correspond to preschool, primary, secondary and post-school populations, while Health Boards may wish to focus on age bands for child and adolescent services or other types of age-related provision. In each case the numbers may be computed by obtaining a total autism figure of 1.035% of the relevant population. From that figure, there will be a distribution of 32.7% with intellectual disability, and 67.3% without intellectual disability.


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