Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 323-339

First online:

A prevalence study of autism in tuberous sclerosis

  • Ann HuntAffiliated withSection of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Park Hospital for Children
  • , Charles ShepherdAffiliated withRoyal Hospital for Sick Children

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An estimate of the prevalence of autism in tuberous sclerosis (TSC) was made by interviewing the parents of 21 children between ages 3 and 11 ascertained during a previous population study of the condition in the West of Scotland. Five of the children (24%) were rated autistic and a further four (19%), all of whom were girls, has socially impaired behavior categorized as pervasive developmental disorder, without fulfilling all the DSM-III-R criteria for autism. One further boy had disruptive attention-seeking behavior that had excluded him from his, normal school. The estimated prevalence from this study of autism in TSC is 1 in 4 children in general, and 1 in 2 of those with mental retardation. Tuberous sclerosis could be a significant cause of autism and pervasive developmental disorders, particularly in girls.