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      • Autism is increasing in the district
      • Autism spectrum disorders are evenly distributed across the district.

The Population

Autism is a spectrum disorder (ASD), meaning that while all autistic people share certain difficulties, being autistic affects them in different ways. ASD is a lifelong development condition that affects social interaction, communication, interestes and behaviours. Autism is not a medical condition with treatments or ‘cures’, but some people with autism will need support to help them with certain things. People with ASD often have symptons or aspects of other conditions such as learning disabilities, epilepsy, depression or bipolar disorder, which may also increase the level of care or support needs that an individual has. Autism is something a person is born with; if you’re autistic, you’re autistic your whole life.

It’s estimated that over 695,000 people in the UK may be on the autistic spectrum, that’s around 1 in every 100 people1. There isn’t an official register or record of people who are on the autistic spectrum so it’s hard to know exactly how many people have autism. Estimates of the prevalence of autism are generally made on studies, although information about people accessing services and support may also be used.

    Source: Wakefield Council Social Care
    The above shows the number proportion across the three age bands of those known to Wakefield Council who are diagnosed with Autism in 2019. the true number of resident who have an Autistic Spectrum Disorder is greater, as not all families will chose to have a social care assessment for their child. however its is reasonable to assume that the age representation of this is not skewed in any way.

The below are modeled estimates that represent a truer reflection of those with an Autistic spectrum disorders in Wakefield District. The increasing life expectancy whilst excellent for individuals and what all professionals involved in care strive for, this does place increasing demands on a social services already under pressure. The demands faced in this regard within the Wakefield District are outlined below.

People predicted to have Learning Disabilities
Year 201720182019202020212025
People aged 18-641,1141,1131,1121,1111,1081,108
% Change -0.1%-0.1%-0.1%-0.3%0.0%
People Aged 65+184186189192195208
% Change 1.1%1.6%1.6%1.6%6.7%

    Source:PANSI 2018

Although the national data predicts a small decrease in people aged under 65 the age range 65+ is projected to increase, bringing with it a new challenge of understanding the support needs of older people with autism.

People predicted to have Autistic Spectrum Disorders
Year 201720182019202020212025
People aged 18-642,0072,0092,0011,9981,9971,960
% Change 0.1%-0.4%-0.1%-0.1%-1.9%
People Aged 65+601611626638650712
% Change 1.7%2.5%1.9%1.9%9.5%

    Source:PANSI 2018
    Advances in health and care technology and improving practice is increasing life expectancy for those with Autism, as is the case in the whole population. The consequence of this excellent work however is an increased demand on health and social care services for Wakefield District.

The Challenges

    Source: PHE PHOF

Wakefield District falls in line with prevelance levels and trend for Autism Spectrum disorders, they mainly occur in males and are on a steady increase in our district as is the national trend

The Inequality

    Source: Wakefield Council Adult Social Care
    The inequality of those living with Autistic Spectrum disorders known to Wakefield Council is demonstrated in above. The chart does not have an inequalities gradient, reflecting that all communities across the district have a similar number of individuals with an Autistic Spectrum disorder.


Autism factsheet