Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 223-228

First online:

Social class and infantile autism

  • Christopher GillbergAffiliated withBarn-och ungdoms-psykiatriska kliniken, Göteborgs Universitet
  • , Helen SchaumannAffiliated withBarn-och ungdoms-psykiatriska kliniken, Göteborgs Universitet

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Twenty infantile autistic children, constituting what is likely to be the majority of the total population of autistic children born in the years 1962 through 1973 and living in Göteborg, Sweden, by the end of 1978, were compared with a random population sample of 59 7-year-old Göteborg children with regard to social class. Two different social classification systems were used, one that takes account only of the father's occupation and one that includes several other parameters. The distributions of social class were almost identical in the infantile autism group and in the random group. With respect to some other social circumstances the two groups were very similar. Thus, the present results lend no support for the view that autistic children tend to come from high social classes.