Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 317–330

Diagnostic and Assessment Issues in Autism Surveillance and Prevalence

Authors

  • Jennifer Saracino
    • Department of Psychiatry, The Montreal Children’s HospitalMcGill University
  • Julianne Noseworthy
    • Department of Psychiatry, The Montreal Children’s HospitalMcGill University
  • Mandy Steiman
    • Department of Psychiatry, The Montreal Children’s HospitalMcGill University
  • Lisa Reisinger
    • Department of Psychiatry, The Montreal Children’s HospitalMcGill University
    • Department of Psychiatry, The Montreal Children’s HospitalMcGill University
    • Canada Research Chair in Child PsychiatryMcGill University
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10882-010-9205-1

Cite this article as:
Saracino, J., Noseworthy, J., Steiman, M. et al. J Dev Phys Disabil (2010) 22: 317. doi:10.1007/s10882-010-9205-1

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of the results of published epidemiological surveys of the prevalence of pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) between 1966 and 2010(61 studies). Recent survey estimates suggest that the rate for autistic disorder is about 22/10,000 and that for all forms of PDD is around 70/10,000. Prevalence rates have increased over time in most countries. A discussion of the possible interpretations of time trends in prevalence estimates is also provided. The recent, upward trend in the rates of PDD is likely explained, at least in part, by changes in case definition and identification, public awareness, social services and policies, and study design variables. True changes in the underlying incidence of PDDs cannot nevertheless be ruled out. Surveillance of epidemiological trends in PDD incidence is required in future years.

Keywords

Pervasive developmental disorderAutistic disorderEpidemiologyPrevalenceIncidenceTime trend

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010