HC Deb 10 April 2002 vol 383 c482W
Miss Kirkbride

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what arrangements exist for monitoring numbers of children with autism; [43607]

(2) what figures exist for the number of children diagnosed with autism since 1990. [43608]

Yvette Cooper

All local statutory authorities are responsible for ensuring that they have sufficient knowledge of local needs and priorities to inform the pattern of services in their area.

Details of the number of children diagnosed with autism since 1990 are not available. In December 2001 the Medical Research Council (MRC) published a comprehensive review of autism research, which provides an authoritative overview of the current state of knowledge on the prevalence, incidence and causes of autism. The report was commissioned by the Department and produced with the help of a wide range of experts and a "lay" group including parents and representatives of autism charities. It is available on the MRC website at "www.mrc.ac.uk".