New Study Estimates Higher Autism Rate in South Korea
A new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry reports that an estimated 1 in 38 children (with a higher number of girls) in South Korea have autism. The research was conducted on 55,266 school children (between 7 to 12 years old) in the Ilsan district of Goyang city. 23,234 parents participated in a screening questionnaire that was provided. About 1,214 children tested positive for autism, but less than one-third were evaluated further and officially diagnosed with autism.
Researchers do not believe that more children have autism in South Korea; instead, the higher number is contributed to longer, in-depth research (though only on children listed in the school system). The study was compiled from five years of research and was funded by various organizations including Autism Speaks and National Institute of Mental Health. Currently, in America, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates 1 in 110 children have autism. Most of the data about children with autism are compiled from medical and education records, not from surveys.
The results from this study have encouraged researchers to focus more on global autism research (particularly in India, Mexico, South Africa, and Taiwan) through long-term surveys on children inside and outside of schools.