Autism Spectrum Disorder Prevalence in Children Aged 12–13 Years From the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children

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This study aimed to provide an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) prevalence update from parent and teacher report using the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). The LSAC is a prospective cohort study of Australian children representative of the population with two cohorts: Kinder (birth year 1999/2000) and Birth cohort (birth year 2003/2004). Children in the Birth and Kinder cohort with parent- and teacher-reported ASD prevalence were compared to children without ASD. There were N = 3,381 (66%) responding in the Birth cohort at age 12 and N = 3,089 (62%) for the Kinder cohort at age 16. Quality of life was measured by the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory, and emotional/behavior problems using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Parent-reported ASD prevalence increased to 4.36% [95% CI 3.56–5.19] at age 12–13 years in the Birth cohort and 2.60% [95% CI 2.07–3.31] in the Kinder cohort. Kinder cohort ASD children had more parent- and teacher-reported social problems, and lower parent-reported social and psychosocial quality of life. As expected, parent-reported ASD prevalence continued to rise. The higher prevalence in the Birth cohort may relate to milder cases of ASD being diagnosed. Autism Res 2020, 13: 821–827.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-827
Number of pages7
JournalAutism Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • autism spectrum disorder
  • emotional and behavioral problems
  • epidemiology
  • longitudinal
  • prevalence

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