Original Research

A retrospective case report on demographic changes of learners at a school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Gauteng Province

Sumari van Biljon, Alta Kritzinger, Salomé Geertsema
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 5, No 1 | a349 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v5i1.349 | © 2015 Sumari van Biljon, Alta Kritzinger, Salomé Geertsema | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 September 2015 | Published: 04 September 2015

About the author(s)

Sumari van Biljon, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Alta Kritzinger, University of Pretoria
Salomé Geertsema,

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Limited research has been published about the demographic characteristics of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in South Africa. Describing the profiles of learners from a school for children with ASD may contribute to local knowledge in the field. A retrospective comparative design was utilised to compare the demographic characteristics of learners over two time intervals: 1992-2002 (Group 1, n=32) and 2003-2014 (Group 2, n=109). A total of 141 historical admission records in paper-based files were reviewed. Results indicated that there is a large male gender bias (8.4:1) in learners, which increased over the years. The age of the child when parents first became concerned and the age at diagnosis and assessment at school increased over both time periods. There was also an increase in the diversity of home languages after 2002. Parental qualifications decreased, but social class improved in recent years. The low qualification of a mother was associated with an advanced age of the child at school entry. The data serves as a point of reference for future studies about the characteristics of school children with ASD in South Africa.


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), demographic characteristics, family, Gauteng, gender ratio, learners, special school, case report, South Africa


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Crossref Citations

1. Early identification of learners with autism spectrum disorder: drawing on developmental histories
S. van Biljon, Alta Kritzinger
Early Child Development and Care  vol: 189  issue: 1  first page: 157  year: 2019  
doi: 10.1080/03004430.2017.1301934