Original paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 734-739

Are Autism Spectrum Conditions More Prevalent in an Information-Technology Region? A School-Based Study of Three Regions in the Netherlands

  • Martine T. RoelfsemaAffiliated withAutism Research Centre, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge
  • , Rosa A. HoekstraAffiliated withAutism Research Centre, Department of Psychiatry, University of CambridgeDepartment of Life Sciences, The Open University
  • , Carrie AllisonAffiliated withAutism Research Centre, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge
  • , Sally WheelwrightAffiliated withAutism Research Centre, Department of Psychiatry, University of CambridgeUniversity Surgical Unit, Southampton General Hospital
  • , Carol BrayneAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health and Primary Care, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge
  • , Fiona E. MatthewsAffiliated withMRC Biostatistics Unit, Institute of Public Health
  • , Simon Baron-CohenAffiliated withAutism Research Centre, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

We tested for differences in the prevalence of autism spectrum conditions (ASC) in school-aged children in three geographical regions in the Netherlands. Schools were asked to provide the number of children enrolled, the number having a clinical diagnosis of ASC and/or two control neurodevelopmental conditions. Prevalence was evaluated by negative binomial regression and adjustments were made for non-response and size of the schools. The prevalence estimates of ASC in Eindhoven was 229 per 10,000, significantly higher than in Haarlem (84 per 10,000) and Utrecht (57 per 10,000), whilst the prevalence for the control conditions were similar in all regions. Phase two is planned to validate school-reported cases using standardized diagnostic methods and to explore the possible causes for these differences.

Keywords

Autism spectrum conditions Prevalence Regional differences Hyper-systemizing theory