Quote of the Day

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

— Theodore Roosevelt

I was reading an article on autism and the article mentioned that autism is much more prevalent in boys than girls. This article states that

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that about 1 out of every 88 children are diagnosed with ASD [Autism Spectrum Disorder]. The disorder also affects 1 in every 54 boys, while in girls the rate is 1 in every 252.

I thought I would take a quick look at how the value "1 out of every 88 children" is computed.

In the childhood years, the number of boys slightly exceeds the number of girls. The Wikipedia has table of the gender ratios in each country. This article I am reading is about the United States, and our gender ratio for children under 15 is listed as 104 males to 100 females.

I can use Mathcad to compute the overall population ratio given the girl and boy autism ratios, and the ratio of boys to girls. Figure 1 shows my calculation. These calculations are rough because actual populations ratios are not integral. All of the ratios listed in the article are approximate.

So I see where the ratio 1 in 88 children comes from.

I know parents who are dealing autism, Asperberger's syndrome, and ADHD. I have great sympathy for their situation. Some correlation has been found with the prevalence of Asperberger's syndrome with engineers and mathematicians. I have no doubt about this − I have plenty of anecdotal evidence.