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Prevalence of autism in South Korea estimated at 1 in 38 children
Date:5/8/2011

may be more common than previously thought, said Grinker.

According to Kim, the studys corresponding author, experts disagree about the causes and significance of reported increases in ASD, partly because of variations in diagnostic criteria and incomplete epidemiologic studies that have limited the establishment of actual population-based rates. We were able to find more children with ASD and describe the full spectrum of ASD clinical characteristics, said Kim, assistant professor in the Yale Child Study Center. Recent research reveals that part of the increase in reported ASD prevalence appears attributable to factors such as increased public awareness and broadening of diagnostic criteria. This study suggests that better case finding may actually account for an even larger increase.

Kim said that while the current project did not investigate potential risk factors in this particular population, the study does set the stage for ongoing work to examine genetic and environmental factors contributing to the risk of ASD.

She also noted that the study is further evidence that autism transcends cultural, geographic, and ethnic boundaries and is a major global public health concern, not limited to the Western world.

We know that the best outcomes for children with ASD come from the earliest possible diagnosis and intervention, said Kim, whose co-investigator, Yun-Joo Koh of the Korea Institute for Childrens Social Development, reported that in response to the study findings, Goyang City, host of the Korea study, has courageously begun to provide comprehensive assessment and intervention services for all first graders entering their school system. We hope that others will follow Goyang Citys example so that any population-based identification of children with ASD is accompanied by intervention services for those children and their families.


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Contact: Karen N. Peart
karen.peart@yale.edu
203-432-1326
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert

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