Is a doble fase cross sectional study which is being conducted in school-aged population of Tarragona.


This project aimed to investigate the epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), social communication disorder (TCS) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); and to determine its prevalences at provincial level.

Psychopathological, neuropsychological and sociodemographic aspects are going to be analyzed. The influence of prenatal, perinatal and postnatal factors risk factors (including the effect of environmental toxicants exposition from prenatal development), parents psychological characteristics, and impact on the school environment, are also going to be studied.

We pretend to study a representative sample of approximately 7,000 subjects, in two age periods: 4-5 and 10-11 years. Access to participants will take place in schools, through an agreement with Generalitat of Catalonia. In the first phase, the target population will be administered the screening questionnaires Childhood Asperger Syndrome Test (CAST), CONNERS and EDUTEA (developed ad-hoc), which will be answered by parents and teachers. In the second phase, a subsample of subjects at risk and their respective controls will be selected. Diagnostic will be performed according to DSM-5 criteria with the information collected from the family (ADI-R, K-SADS) and children (ADOS, WPPSI-III/WISC-IV and specific tests of BLOC, ENFEN depending on the age).

We expect to find a prevalence of subclinical symptoms and diagnosis similar to that found in other countries, higher in the male gender, and with enough statistical power to be extrapolated at national level. We think that a percentage of them have not been diagnosed nor in the school or clinics and unidentified intellectual disabilities will also be detected. High psychopathological comorbidity and a high level of interferences both in family and school environment is expected. We think that there are an association between early risk factors, including pollution due to the characteristics of our environment, and psychopatological symptoms studied and neuropsychological functioning of the sample.