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Bangladesh: Schizophrenia and autism treatment, services, and societal attitudes

Prevalence and nature of problems

  • “In a study of over 8000, 8–11 year old children in a rural area of Bangladesh, two to four out of 1000 had ASD. Boys more than girls had ASD. Conducting ASD assessment in this setting was difficult, but more such research is needed to understand what causes ASD and its consequences for the individual, families and the society in rural and urban areas of low-income countries.”

Hasmot Ali et al. (2022), “Autism spectrum disorder in a rural community in Bangladesh: A mid-childhood assessment”, Autism Research Volume 15, Issue 2, February 2022, Pages 328-339, last accessed: 20 February 2023


  • “In recent years, epidemiological studies have shown a rapid increase in the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Throughout the world, it is reported to be 1 in 150 children. In Bangladesh, it has been predicted that autism is an underestimated, yet significant health problem. […] 

The study found that the prevalence of autism is 0.75/1000 in rural children aged between 18–36 months…. Age specific autism (18-36 months) in children is found higher in rural community of Bangladesh. […]

This study found that 56.1% of the mothers of ASD suspected children had low level or no formal education background. Another study also found the highest prevalence of ASD amongst children whose mothers only attended primary schools. Contrary to this one study found children of parents with a higher educational background had a higher prevalence of childhood autism”

Shaheen Akhter et al., “Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) among the children aged 18-36 months in a rural community of Bangladesh: A cross sectional study”, last accessed: 20 February 2023


  • “In the Southeast Asia region, it is estimated that every 1 in 160 children has ASD. Recently, the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) in Bangladesh confirmed that almost 2 in 1000 children have been suffering from ASD in Bangladesh. Wherein, the urban prevalence is higher than the rural areas.”

Md Shaikhul Hasan “Autism spectrum disorder and its care in Bangladesh” The Daily Star, January 2020, last accessed: 21 February


  • “About 84% children with autism lived in urban area and about 52% were belonging at the upper middle class […] Among the studied children 59.74% were identified at the age range of 2 to 3 years.[…] it is observed that, birth weight of less than 2500 g increases almost two-fold risk of autism. […]

According to ‘Persons with disabilities Rights and Protection Act 2013’ of Bangladesh, among the population overall 2.80 percent have disabilities….autism is 0.05 per cent. […]

Persons with autism have major limitations in social and interpersonal behaviour (93.68 percent), frequent repetition of same things (88.40 percent), limitations in verbal or non-verbal communication (87.18 percent) and intellectual disability (86.42 percent).” 

Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, “Report on National Survey on Persons with Disabilities (NSPD) 2021”, June 2022, last accessed: 23 February