South African children with autism may lack access to schools

Only about 0.1 percent of children in the Western Cape province of South Africa have autism, according to a review of school records. The unpublished results were presented today at the 2017 Regional International Meeting for Autism Researchin Stellenbosch, South Africa.

The worldwide prevalence of autism is at least 10 times higher, at 1 to 2 percent. “I have no reason to believe [autism] is less common here than in the rest of the world,” says lead investigator Petrus de Vries, Sue Struengmann Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Cape Town.

Instead, de Vries says the rate could be artificially low because some children are undiagnosed, and others are not in school.

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8th September 2017