Children: Autism

Health written question – answered on 9th July 2014.

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Photo of Simon Kirby Simon Kirby Conservative, Brighton, Kemptown

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate how many autistic children there were in the most recent five year period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb The Minister of State, Department of Health

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%).

2009 51,160
2010 56,260
2011 61,570
2012 66,195
2013 70,780

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.

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