Autism is usually thought to be a disorder that affects children. And it does - possibly more than previously thought. But what about adults with autism spectrum disorder?
Community survey studies by the University of Leicester found that adults in England who have autism or Asperger's syndrome often don't know they suffer from the disorder.
In the first ever general population survey of autism in adulthood, none of the people diagnosed with symptoms knew they were autistic or had received an official diagnosis of autism or Asperger syndrome.
The research has already revealed that autism is more common in males who are not well-educated and living in government financed housing, according to Dr Traolach Brugha, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Leicester.
Findings are based on a two-phase epidemiological (study of disease patterns) survey in England conducted in 2007. Of the 7,461 people screened through interviews, 618 were diagnosed with austism spectrum disorder.
Brugha said the findings don't suggest that the prevalence of the disorder is either increasing or decreasing over time. He says better diagnostic screenings being used in recent surveys may account for the differences.
The findings are published the Archives of General Psychiatry.