Monday, January 31, 2011

Autism facts and statistics

Some thought-provoking facts from the National Autistic Society:

  • Autism affects 1 person in every 100. That’s over half a million people in the UK, and two million people if you include their families.
  • In the average local authority area there are likely to be 2,500 people with autism.
  • In the average Member of Parliaments’s constituency there are likely to be 3,000 people affected by autism (people with the condition and their family members).

  • Over 50% of children with autism are not in the kind of school their parents believe would best support them
  • There are more appeals to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal about schooling for children with autism than for children with any other type of special education need. 79% of parents who have appealed to the Tribunal won their case.
  • Over 70% of schools are dissatisfied with their teachers’ training in autism and 44% of teachers report they do not feel confident teaching children with autism.
  • 27% of children with autism are excluded from school at least once, compared with 4% of other children.
  • 34% of parents say that a delay in accessing the right support at school had a negative impact on their child’s mental health.
  • 42% of children with autism have no friends (compared to 1% of other children).

Adult services:
  • Two thirds of adults with autism do not have enough support to meet their needs.
  • A third of adults with autism have experienced severe mental health problems because of a lack of support.
  • 60% of parents say that a lack of timely support has resulted in their son or daughter having higher support needs in the long term.
  • If local services identified and supported just 4% of adults with high functioning autism and Asperger syndrome the outlay would become cost neutral over time.
  • If they did the same for just 8% it could save the Government £67 million per year.

  • Adults with autism say that finding a suitable job would improve their lives more than anything else, yet only 15% are in paid employment.
  • 79% of adults with autism who are currently on Incapacity Benefit want to work.
  • One third of adults with autism, over 100,000 people, are currently without a job or benefits.
  • Over half have spent some time without either work of benefits, some for more than ten years.

  • In a 2009 survey, 68% of carers said they were caring for over 71 hours a week.
  • 69% of respondents of those carers who were not working had had to give up work because of their caring responsibilities.
  • 76% of parents and carers of adults with autism are not currently receiving any support from their local authority.

Health (including mental health):
  • 71% of children with autism have at least one mental health problem, such as anxiety disorders, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder, and 40% have two or more.
  • 1 in every 10 children who use child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) has autism, that’s over 10,000 children every year.
  • In a survey of parents whose children had accessed CAMHS, two thirds said that CAMHS had failed to improve their child’s mental health.
  • Parents are twice as likely to say that CAMHS has improved their child’s mental health where they have had support from a professional who specialises in autism.
  • 80% of GPs feel they need additional guidance and training to manage patients with autism more effectively.