At just under 1 percent, the estimate is roughly in line with the “1 in 100” figure for Hispanic children diagnosed with autism in the United States. Autism’s overall prevalence in the United States is an estimated 1 in 68. Experts generally agree that the lower Hispanic number reflects a lower rate of identifying autism – not a true lower prevalence. The same may be true of the new estimate for Mexico.
There are no epidemiological data on autism for Mexico. This study was conducted to generate a first estimate of ASD prevalence in Mexico. We surveyed children age eight in Leon (Guanajuato). The sample was stratified in two strata: (1) children having special education and medical records (SEMR; N = 432) and (2) children attending regular schools (GSS; N = 11,684). GSS children were screened with the SRS and those with the highest scores were invited to a diagnostic evaluation.
The final sample comprised 36 children (80.6 % male) who had confirmed ASD. A third had intellectual disability, 25 % were non-verbal, 69 % had co-occurring behavioral problems. The prevalence overall was 0.87 % (95 % CI 0.62, 1.1 %). This survey provides an estimate for ASD prevalence in Mexico that is consistent with recent studies.
This is a rate of 1 in 115.