Are Autism Spectrum Conditions More Prevalent in an Information-Technology Region? A School-Based Study of Three Regions in the Netherlands
- First Online:
- 1k Downloads
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.
KeywordsAutism spectrum conditions Prevalence Regional differences Hyper-systemizing theory
- American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (text revision) (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
- Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Skinner, R., Martin, J., & Clubley, E. (2001). The autism-spectrum quotient (AQ): evidence from Asperger syndrome/high-functioning autism, males and females, scientists and mathematicians. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31, 5–17.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Baron-Cohen, S., Richler, J., Bisarya, D., Gurunathan, N., & Wheelwright, S. (2003). The systemizing quotient: an investigation of adults with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism, and normal sex differences. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society London, 358, 361–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- LISA. (2010). Netherlands (Database of all employer business establishments in the Netherlands). Available at http://www.lisa.nl.
- Rice, C. (2009). Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders—Autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, United States, 2002. Surveillance Summaries, 58, 1–20.Google Scholar
- Rutter, M. (2005). Genetic influences and autism. In F. R. Volkmar, R. Paul, A. Klin, & D. Cohen (Eds.), Handbook of autism, pervasive developmental disorders (3rd ed.). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Statistics Netherlands: Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) (2008). Available at http://statline.cbs.nl/StatWeb/?LA=en.
- Wiercx, P. (2009). ZO-Brabant worstelt met autisme. Eindhovens Dagblad. Available at (GGZ Eindhoven): http://www.ggze.nl/cms/uploads/publicatiemodule/090110_ZO_Brabant_autisme.pdf.
- World Health Organization. (1993). The ICD–10 classification of mental and behavioural. Disorders: Diagnostic criteria for research. Geneva: WHO.Google Scholar