How many children have “autism”? Is that number increasing? Is there an “epidemic” of autism or have we merely been continually refining it, expanding it and moving the goalposts?
A 2017 article in the Universal Journal of Clinical Medicine shows a 2012 global median autism prevalence figure of 17/10,000 or 1 in 588 for autistic disorder and 62/10,000 or 1 in 161 for all pervasive developmental disorders. That is at some considerable variance from the 1 in 59 figure in the U.S.. One of the important remaining tasks in the search is to bring the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-V definition of autistic spectrum disorder in line with the definition in the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases–Eleventh Revision (ICD-11). They’re still inconsistent.