Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 521–530 | Cite as

Changes in the Administrative Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Contribution of Special Education and Health from 2002–2008

  • Judith Pinborough-ZimmermanEmail author
  • Amanda V. Bakian
  • Eric Fombonne
  • Deborah Bilder
  • Jocelyn Taylor
  • William M. McMahon
Original Paper


This study examined changes in the administrative prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in Utah children from 2002 to 2008 by record source (school and health), age (four, six, and eight), and special education classification. Prevalence increased 100% with 1 in 77 children aged eight identified with ASD by 2008. Across study years and age groups rates were higher when health and school data were combined with a greater proportion of cases ascertained from health. The proportion of children with both a health ASD diagnosis and a special education autism classification did not significantly change. Most children with an ASD health diagnosis did not have an autism special education classification. Findings highlight the growing health and educational impact of ASD.


Autism Prevalence Epidemiology Special education classification 



This work was partially supported by funding from the Utah Department of Health and Utah State Office of Education. Special thanks to Marc Babitz, Paul Carbone, Nan Gray, Harper Randall, Robert Satterfield and Nan Streeter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith Pinborough-Zimmerman
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Amanda V. Bakian
    • 1
  • Eric Fombonne
    • 2
  • Deborah Bilder
    • 1
  • Jocelyn Taylor
    • 3
  • William M. McMahon
    • 1
  1. 1.University of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.McGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Utah State Office of EducationSalt Lake CityUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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