AIHW report on autism - 2017

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The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) produced a brief report that summarises recent Government data on autistic people in Australia.

It says:

  • "an estimated 164,000 Australians had autism in 2015"
    • The number of people with autism in Australia has increased considerably in recent years, up from an estimated 64,400 people in 2009
    • 143,900 were identified as also having disability (88%)
    • with 83% (of autistic people] aged under 25 [years]
  • The majority (85%) reported difficulty at school, with more than 1 in 4 (28%) attending a special school 
  • The most common types of difficulty experienced were fitting in socially (63%), learning difficulties (62%) and communication difficulties (52%)
  • The majority of people with autism (65%) had a disability with a profound or severe limitation in core activities (ABS 2016b). Core activity limitation refers to needing help or supervision with communication, mobility or self-care because of a person’s disability or long-term health condition. Around 58% of people with autism and disability had severe or profound restrictions in communication, which involves understanding or being understood by others
  • Almost 4 in 5 (79%) NDA service users with autism were aged under 25 and close to 2 in 5 (37%) were aged 5–14 years. Male service users outnumbered females by about 4 to 1—79% of service users with autism were male.
  • Almost 1 in 4 (24%) were employed and 1 in 3 (34%) were unemployed.