Is It True That Autism Occurs More Often In Upper- Than Lower-Income Families?

Dr. Geschwind answers the question: 'Upper-Income Families And Autism Risk?'

Oct. 23, 2008 -- Question: Is it true that autism occurs more often in upper- than lower-income families?

Answer: Autism occurs equally in all socioeconomic strata. That is, children from parents who are either upper or lower income are at no greater or lesser risk than any other children. It is interesting that in Leo Kanner's original 1943 description of autistic disorder, he noticed an aggregation, or an increase in parents with very high socioeconomic status and high levels of education and functioning.

However, this has not really been borne out. And in very large population studies, people from all areas of the population, all different walks of life and jobs, are at risk.