Merseyside – Diagnosis of Autism in children on the increase

Liverpool, Merseyside – There has been an increase in the number of children beng diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in the Merseyside area. Experts believe that this is down to the role that social media plays in raising awareness of the condition.

The Liverpool Echo report that children in the Mersey region who have been diagnosd with ASD has risen by 12.3% , a total of 2271 children were diagnosed with ASD in 2013.

In Liverpool alone  there are  875 children who are on the  autistic spectrum, with a rise of 17.6%.

Steve Vasey who is the children and family services manager at the Wirral Autistic Society,  said:

 “This is not statistically provable but it feels as if families are becoming more familiar with the issues associated with the condition and are potentially going to paediatric appointments and other professionals with a greater understanding of their child’s issues and their own concerns.”

He then goes on to add that this growing awareness could be linked to the higher diagnosis rates.

Knowsley Council have implemented a  base at Alt Bridge Secondary Support Centre in Huyton for children with ASD.
Liverpool city council are also set to expand the number of places available in the city’s specialist schools due to this increase in demand as more students now have a diagnosis of  ASD.
Cabinet member for education, Cllr Jane Corbett, , said:

“Our children with the most needs deserve the best teaching in quality buildings. We are responding to the increase in demand by replacing worn out facilities with better quality buildings and making sure we can cope with demand.”

The original article by Lorna Hughes on he Liverpool Echo website can be read here