Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 7, pp 1491–1497 | Cite as

The Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Toddlers: A Population Study of 2-Year-Old Swedish Children

  • Gudrun Nygren
  • Mats Cederlund
  • Eva Sandberg
  • Fredrik Gillstedt
  • Thomas Arvidsson
  • I. Carina Gillberg
  • Gunilla Westman Andersson
  • Christopher Gillberg
Original Paper

Abstract

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is more common than previously believed. ASD is increasingly diagnosed at very young ages. We report estimated ASD prevalence rates from a population study of 2-year-old children conducted in 2010 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Screening for ASD had been introduced at all child health centers at child age 21/2 years. All children with suspected ASD were referred for evaluation to one center, serving the whole city of Gothenburg. The prevalence for all 2-year-olds referred in 2010 and diagnosed with ASD was 0.80%. Corresponding rates for 2-year-olds referred to the center in 2000 and 2005 (when no population screening occurred) were 0.18 and 0.04%. Results suggest that early screening contributes to a large increase in diagnosed ASD cases.

Keywords

Autism Autism spectrum disorder Prevalence Early detection Screening Diagnostic instruments 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gudrun Nygren
    • 1
  • Mats Cederlund
    • 1
  • Eva Sandberg
    • 1
  • Fredrik Gillstedt
    • 1
  • Thomas Arvidsson
    • 1
  • I. Carina Gillberg
    • 1
  • Gunilla Westman Andersson
    • 1
  • Christopher Gillberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre, Sahlgrenska AcademyUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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