The Department for Education collects data on children's special educational needs. The following table shows those children in schools in the last five years whose primary need was autistic spectrum disorder. These figures will not include pre-school children with autism, children with autism who have a different primary special educational need, or those not in receipt of special educational support. The Special Needs and Autism Project which studied prevalence of disorders of the autism spectrum in children in South Thames reported in 2006 that prevalence of all autistic spectrum disorders was 116.1 per 10,000 (or 1.161%).
The new arrangements for joint commissioning for children and young people with special educational needs and disability, to be introduced from September, provide an effective framework for clinical commissioning groups and local authorities to work together on single, co-ordinated assessments to meet the needs of children with autism and other special educational needs, focusing on the outcomes which make a difference to the child and their families.