Empowering Autistic Girls and Women

Today the government published the adult psychiatric morbidity which has a chapter on autism in it .This is a really important document because it confirms the prevalence rate that was first found in 2007 for adults which is around one percent

More Information 

The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) series provides data on the prevalence of both treated and untreated psychiatric disorder in the English adult population (aged 16 and over).

This survey is the fourth in a series and was conducted by NatCen Social Research, in collaboration with the University of Leicester, for NHS Digital.

The previous surveys were conducted in 1993 (16-64 year olds) and 2000 (16-74 year olds) by the Office for National Statistics, which covered England, Scotland and Wales. The 2007 Survey included people aged over 16 and covered England only.

The survey used a robust stratified, multi-stage probability sample of households and assesses psychiatric disorder to actual diagnostic criteria for several disorders.

The report features chapters on: common mental disorders, mental health treatment and service use, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychotic disorder, autism, personality disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, alcohol, drugs, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts and self-harm, and comorbidity.

Key findings

Trends in mental illness

One adult in six had a common mental disorder (CMD): about one woman in five and one man in eight. Since 2000, overall rates of CMD in England steadily increased in women and remained largely stable in men.

Reported rates of self-harming increased in men and women and across age groups since 2007. However, much of this increase in reporting may have been due to greater awareness about the behaviour.

Young women have emerged as a high-risk group, with high rates of CMD, self harm, and positive screens for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and bipolar disorder. The gap between young women and young men increased.

Most mental disorders were more common in people living alone, in poor physical health, and not employed.

Claimants of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), a benefit aimed at those unable to work due to poor health or disability, experienced particularly high rates of all the disorders assessed.


Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) Autism Chapter

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), also referred to as autism, are developmental
disorders characterised by impaired social interaction and communication,
severely restricted interests, and highly repetitive behaviours.
• This chapter presents data on the profile of ASD among adults living in the
English household population. This is the second time such data have been
collected in England, after it was covered for the first time in the 2007 Adult
Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS)



Rates were higher in men than women, as found in most research on autism (Brugha 2011a).
However, it has been suggested that assessments for autism may draw more on how the condition manifests in men, and this may lead to under identification of autism in women (Trubanova et al. 2014).


Another question that comes to mind is why females had to have a higher score than males during first assessment to go through to second stage ?


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