Socioeconomic characteristics of autistic children: a comparative study

Zoshita Hamid, Sarmin Sultana, Saika Nizam, Rabeya Yasmin, M. H. Faruquee, Sk Akhtar Ahmad


Background: Prevalence of autism is increasing and growing as an important public health problem. Prevention of autism is still a complicated issue. Thus, the management and rehabilitation of autistic children socially could be the main option.  For which the role of socio-economic factors of the autistic children needs to be considered.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional comparative study conducted among the autistic and non-autistic children to compare their socioeconomic characteristics. A total of 90 autistic children from two specialized schools and age-matched 180 non-autistic children from nearby schools were included in this study.

Results: Overall the mean age of the children was 8.01±2.974 years. More than fourth-fifths (84.4%) of the autistic children were male. In comparison to non-autistic children, significantly (p<0.05) autistic children had small family size (4.79) and higher family income (Taka=34588). Higher education of both father and mother was also found to be significantly associated with autistic children. However, logistic regression analysis revealed that post-graduate education of the father had the strongest (6.4 times) ability to predict the occurrence of autism. The mean age of the mother at birth of autistic children was significantly higher (31.16 years) and logistic regression analysis revealed that higher age of the mother at birth had 1.3 times ability to predict the occurrence of autism. Moreover, the analysis revealed that mothers who were housewife 2.3 times more likely to predict the occurrence of autism.

Conclusions: The study revealed that some socio-economic factors were significantly related to autistic children compared to those of non-autistic children.


Autism, Autistic, ASD, Birth order, Higher education, Housewife, Socioeconomic

Full Text:



Evans B. How autism became autism: the radical transformation of a central concept of child development in Britain. History Human Sci. 2013;26(3):3-31.

Autism awareness. Definition of autism. Available at: https:// autism awareness centre. com/ definition-autism. Accessed on 21 January 2020.

Autism Society. What is autism. Available at: https:// Accessed on 21 January 2020.

Faras H, Ateeqi NA, Tidmarsh L. Autism spectrum disorders. Ann Saudi Med. 2010;30(4):295-300.

WHO. Autism spectrum disorders. Available at: detail/ autism- spectrum-disorders. Accessed on 21 January 2020.

Bhuiyan MR, Islam MZ, Rafi A, Kawsar AA, Akhtar K. Socio-demographic characteristics and related factors affecting children with autism spectrum disorder. JAFMC Bangladesh. 2011;13(1):56-61.

Lyall K, Croen L, Daniels J, Fallin MD, Acosta CL, Lee BK, at el. The changing epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders. Annu Rev Public Health. 2017;38:81-102.

Goldani AAS, Downs SR, Widjaja F, Lawton F, Hendren RL. Biomarkers in autism. Frontiers Pshchiatry. 2014;5:1-13.

Rossignol DA, Genuis SJ, Frye RE. Environmental toxicants and autism spectrum disorders: a systematic review. Transl Psychiatry. 2014;4:1-23.

Elsabbagh M, Divan G, Koh YJ, Kim YS, Kauchali S, Marcín C, at el. Global prevalence of autism and other pervasive developmental disorders. Autism Res. 2012;5:160-79.

CDC. Data and statistics on autism spectrum disorder. Center for disease control and prevention. Available at: https:// www. cdc. gov/ ncbddd/ autism/data.html. Accessed on 21 January 2020.

Raina SK, Chander V, Bhardwaj AK, Kumar D, Sharma S, Kashyap V, at el. Prevalence of autism spectrum disorder among rural, urban, and tribal children (1-10 years of age). J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2017;8:368-74.

New Age-17 in 10,000 children autistic. Available at: https://www. newagebd. net/ article/ 45831/ 17-in-10000- children-autistic. Accessed on 21 January 2020.

Bhuiyan MR, Hossain SMM, Islam MZ. Financial burden of family for the children with autism spectrum disorder. Int J Med Health Sci. 2018;12(9):432-8.

Yang W, Xia H, Wen G, Liu L, Fu X, Lu J, Li H. Epidemiological investigation of suspected autism in children and implications for healthcare system: a mainstream kindergarten-based population study in Longhua District, Shenzhen. BMC Pediatrics. 2015;15:207.

Akhter S, Hussain AHME, Shefa J, Kundu GK, Rahman F, Biswas A. Prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among the children aged 18-36 months in a rural community of Bangladesh: a cross sectional study. F Research. 2018;7:1-14.

Islam MS, Kanak F, Iqbal MA, Islam KF, Mamun AA, Uddin MS. Analyzing the status of the autism spectrum disorder amid children with intellectual disabilities in Bangladesh. Biomed Pharmacol J. 2018;11(2):689-701.

Afrin S, Akter MA, Akter A, Akhter T, Akhter S. Parental educational background and socio economic status of ASD children in Bangladesh. ARC J Psychiatry. 2017;2(4):9-14.

Dickerson AS, Pearson DA, Loveland KA, Rahbar MH, Filipek PA. Role of parental occupation in autism spectrum disorder diagnosis and severity. Res Autism Spectr Disord. 2014;8(9):997-1007.

Windham GC, Fessel K, Grether JK. Autism spectrum disorders in relation to parental occupation in technical fields. Autism Res. 2009;2(4):183-91.

Wheelwright S, Cohen SB. The link between autism and skills such as engineering, maths, physics and computing. Autism. 2001;5:223-7.

Ugur C, Tonyali A, Goker Z, Uneri OS. Birth order and reproductive stoppage in families of children with autism spectrum disorder. Psych Clinic Psychopharmacol. 2018;29(4):509-14.

Halkola RK, Larsson H, Lundström S, Sandin S, Chizarifard A, Bölte S, at el. Reproductive stoppage in autism spectrum disorder in a population of 2.5 million individuals. Molecular Autism. 2019;10:45.

Martin LA, Horriat NL. The effects of birth order and birth interval on the phenotypic expression of autism spectrum disorder. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(11):e51049.