Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders Among Children with Intellectual Disability


The study examined the prevalence, stability and characteristics pf ASD in children diagnosed with an intellectual disability.


The methodology used to assess the prevalence of ASD in children diagnoses with an intellectual disability identified 2,208 children through the South Carolina Autism and Developmental Disabilities Network. The data reviewed was done in threes phases including screening, extraction and case evaluation. The process included screening each child’s clinical  records, and public school information. Records were abstracted that included information on diagnoses, behavior descriptors and characteristics. The records were then evaluated for both an intellectual disability and autism status.


  • Rates of ASD in intellectual disabilities were substantially higher than ASD rates reported in the general U.S. population
  • Rates demonstrated elevated and increasing rates of ASD within diagnosis of an intellectual disability.
  • These efforts are warranted to reduce public health costs and support individual well-being for the approximately 24% of people with an intellectual disability who also meet the ASD criteria.


Tonnsen, B.L.; Boan, A.D.; Bradley, CC.; Charles, J.; Cohen, A.; Carpenter, L.A (2016). Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders Among Children with Intellectual Disability. American Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. 121 (6). 487-500

Williams Syndrome- Facts and Statistics

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May is Williams Syndrome Awareness Month. It is a rare genetic condition that affects over 1 in 10,000 people worldwide. If you teach in a special needs classroom or work in an adult day habilitation program, it is likely you have experienced working and teaching a student or individual diagnosed with Williams Syndrome. Below you will find some interesting facts and statistics on the disorder:

  • It is a genetic condition that is present a birth.
  • It is a developmental disorder
  • Tend to have a mild or moderate intellectual disability.
  • It is also known as Beuren Syndrome and Williams-Beuren Syndrome.
  • The symptoms were first described by John C.P. Williams in 1961.
  • A year later, German Physician, A.J. Beuren described three new incidents of patients with similar facial features.
  • It is caused by the spontaneous deletion of 26-28 genes on Chromosome #7
  • The deletion is caused by either the sperm or the egg.
  • The deletion is present at the time of conception
  • The most common symptoms of Williams Syndrome includes unusual facial features and heart defects.
  • The diagnosis is typically confirmed after identifying facial features and genetic testing.
  • An individual with Williams Syndrome has a 50% chance of passing the disorder on to their children.
  • Williams Syndrome affects 1 in 10,000 people worldwide.
  • An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people in the United States are affected.
  • It occurs in both males and females equally
  • It is found in every culture
  • Individuals with Williams Syndrome tend to be overly friendly.
  • People with Williams Syndrome often have difficulty with visual-spatial tasks
  • Congenital heart defects (CHD) occur in approximately 75 percent of children
  • By the age of 30, the majority of individuals with Williams Syndrome have pre-diabetes or diabetes.




Genetics Home Reference

National Organizations for Rare Diseases

William Syndrome Association

Stress Is An Added Dimension For Those With Disabilities

Stress Is an Added Dimension for Those with Disabilities
Written by: Jessica Grono
Published by: Cerebral Palsy News Today

A common question many people ask of us who have disabilities is, “How do you do it every day?” Or, my favorite comment, “I don’t know how you do it! I couldn’t handle doing what you go through.” My initial reaction is to feel a bit offended and annoyed because, really, what choice do I have? I am just living my life as anyone would and making the best of it. But I forget to ask myself if I am living my life as anyone else would. Read the rest of the story here.