A study of more than 55,000 South Korean children suggests that autism may be more prevalent in the general school population than experts thought.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that an average of one in 110 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder. For the new study, researchers tested all the 7- to 12-year-old children in a single Korean town and found a prevalence rate of about one in 38 children.
The 12 researchers concluded that two-thirds of the cases they found were undiagnosed, with students getting no special services in school. Their report, published this month in the American Journal of Psychiatry, suggests that more “rigorous screening and comprehensive population coverage” are needed to yield more-accurate estimates of the disorder’s prevalence.
A version of this article appeared in the May 18, 2011 edition of Education Week as Autism