ABS estimates of autism in Australia

Date: Sat, 21 Dec 2019 11:27:30 +1100
From: Bob Buckley (A4 Convenor) <convenor@a4.org.au>
Organization: Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4)
To: Dr Helen Nugent OA <chair@ndis.gov.au>
CC: ...

Dear Dr Nugent

The ABS recently released its SDAC data on autism from its 2018 survey.

These data showed another 25% increase to 205,000 and the rate with severe and profound disability rose from 64.8% in 2015 to 28.9% in 2018. Following is the updated table with these results.

  2018 increase 2015 increase 2012 increase 2009 increase 2003
total 205,200 41,200    164,000   48,600     115,400   50,800       64,600   34,200     30,400
severe & profound 68.9%     64.8%     73.0%     74.0%     87.0%
141,383 35,111 85.22% 106,272   22,030 45.3%     84,242   36,438 71.7%     47,804   21,356 62.4%   26,448
mild & moderate 63,817 6,089 14.78%     57,728   26,570 54.7%     31,158   14,362 28.3%     16,796   12,844 37.6%     3,952

This shows that the 25% increase in numbers from 2015 to 2018 is due substantially more to people whose autism results in severe or profound disability. This is a significant reversal from the previous dataset.

Bob Buckley
Convenor, Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4)
website: http://a4.org.au/

A4 is the national grassroots organisation advocating for autistic people, their families, carers and associates. A4 is internet based so that Australians anywhere can participate.

“The first step in solving any problem is recognising there is one.” Jeff Daniels as Will McEvoy in The Newsroom.
 

On 7/7/18 4:14 pm, Bob Buckley (A4 Convenor) wrote:

Dear Dr Nugent

I apologise. I was wrong about growth in the number of diagnoses of severe and profound disability indicated by the ABS data from 2012 to 2015: the increase in autistic people with mild & moderate disability from 2012 to 2015 is bigger than the increase in those with severe & profound.

Here is a table showing the history of the ABS reporting with formula separating severe & profound from mild & moderate disability ...

 

  2015 increase 2012 increase 2009 increase 2003
total   164,000   48,600     115,400   50,800       64,600   34,200     30,400
severe & profound 64.8%     73.0%     74.0%     87.0%
  106,272   22,030 45.3%     84,242   36,438 71.7%     47,804   21,356 62.4%   26,448
mild & moderate     57,728   26,570 54.7%     31,158   14,362 28.3%     16,796   12,844 37.6%     3,952

 

From 2012 to 2015, the estimate of the number of autistic Australians increased by 48,600. The increase estimate is made up of 22,030 with severe or profound disability ... and 26,570 (a bigger number) with mild or moderate disability. That is 45.3% and 54.7% of the increase respectively.

So in the latest reported ABS SDAC data (which is from 2015), growth in mild & moderate exceeds growth in severe & profound by almost 10%.

--
Bob Buckley
Convenor, Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4)
website: http://a4.org.au/

A4 is the national grassroots organisation advocating for autistic people, their families, carers and associates. A4 is internet based so that Australians anywhere can participate.

“The first step in solving any problem is recognising there is one.” Jeff Daniels as Will McEvoy in The Newsroom.