The Irish Society for Autism completed a survey on children and adults with Autism in 1996. It covered the area comprising the Eastern Health Board – Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow. The study identified 272 children and adults ages 4 to 25 years giving an overall prevalence of 4.95 per 10,000 births.
A summary of the findings provided no real surprises but highlights a significant lack of adequate training for staff in the education and development of People with Autism.
A follow up study completed by the Irish Society for Autism in June 2001 showed a marked increase in the prevalence of Autism. It stood at 1 in 600 children.
Since then the numbers of children being diagnosed has increased dramatically. Recent studies have shown the prevalence of Autism closer to 1 in 100 children. The Lancet reported in 2007 that the prevalence was 1 in 86 children.
The most recent study carried out by the Cambridge University Autism Research Centre indicates that 1 in 58 children will have some form of Autism Spectrum Disorder.