Prevalance of Asperger Syndrome

A 1993 total population study carried out in Sweden found that, at a minimum, 3.6 per 1000 school-aged children definitely meet the criteria for Asperger syndrome. If merely suspected cases are included, the prevalence becomes approximately 7.1 per 1000 (Ehlers & Gillberg). Data for the adult population are not available.

Like other conditions classified as autism spectrum disorders, Asperger syndrome appears to be more prevalent among males than females, with males making up approximately 75-80 percent of diagnoses. Many clinicians believe that this may not reflect the actual incidence among females; well-known Asperger syndrome expert Tony Attwood suggests that females learn to better compensate for their impairments because of differences in socialization. Some preliminary evidence for this is found in the Ehlers & Gillberg study, which found a 4:1 male to female ratio in the people they thought definitely had Asperger's but a much less lopsided 2.3 to 1 ratio when merely suspected or otherwise borderline cases were included.

The overwhelming majority of available information on Asperger syndrome relates to children; there is currently more conjecture than hard evidence on how it affects adults. It is thought that most people with Asperger syndrome learn to cope with their symptoms later in life. However, there is no "cure" as such, and many, including prominent clinicians such as Attwood and many of those diagnosed with Asperger's, would strenuously argue that a cure is neither possible nor desirable. Organizations such as Cure Autism Now disagree; this remains a highly controversial area.