Autism is linked to inequality and poverty by new University study

A new province-wide study has revealed a '˜clear link between autism, poverty and inequality'.

Mr Chris Alexander CE of Triangle Housing Association, Professor Karola Dillenburger Director of Centre for Behaviour Analysis Queens University with Mervyn Storey MLA

The findings of the research project were unveiled at a Stormont briefing hosted by North Antrim DUP assemblyman, Mervyn Storey.

Researchers at QUB found that, in Northern Ireland, delayed diagnosis was common and had negative effect on future prosperity and quality of life. For children diagnosed early, the project identified that early intensive behavioural interventions can be of major benefit for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.

Mr. Storey said: “While autism affects at least 2.3% of school children in Northern Ireland and the costs of autism is estimated to be £1-1.4 million per lifetime (depending on level of support need), the BASE report (Benchmarking Autism Service Efficacy) exposed a clear link between autism, poverty and inequality. Many of my constituents contact me regarding service provision for autism and I hope this research can go some way to providing more information.”