Children with profound autism more likely to be female, from racial and ethnic minority groups, low socioeconomic status
By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter
MONDAY, April 24, 2023 (HealthDay News) — More than one-quarter of 8-year-old children with autism have profound autism, with higher prevalence seen among girls and racial and ethnic minority groups, according to a study published online March 20 in Public Health Reports.
Michelle M. Hughes, Ph.D., from the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed population-based surveillance data from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network for 20,135 children aged 8 with autism. Children who were nonverbal, minimally verbal, or with an IQ <50 were classified as having profound autism.
The researchers found that 26.7 percent of those with autism had profound autism. Children with profound autism were more likely to be female, from racial and ethnic minority groups, of low socioeconomic status, born preterm or with low birth weight, have self-injurious behaviors, have seizure disorders, and have lower adaptive scores compared to those with nonprofound autism. The prevalence of profound autism was 4.6 per 1,000 8-year-olds in 2016. Compared with non-Hispanic White children, the prevalence ratio of profound autism was higher among non-Hispanic Asian/Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic children (prevalence ratios, 1.55, 1.76, and 1.50, respectively).
“As the population of children with autism continues to change, describing and quantifying the profound autism population is critical for planning to ensure this group receives the services and supports needed during the life course and is appropriately represented in research and intervention studies,” the authors write.
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