Project Detail
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Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Autism Study  

The primary aim of the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Autism Study is to find out how best to identify children who are suffering from autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in South Africa. In addition to the limited information about autism epidemiology and the lack of service availability, South Africa is a region of the world with a very high prevalence of HIV infection. This presents a unique opportunity to study autism in the context of HIV infection and explore the possible link between the two. The health personnel from Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital (IALCH), Phoenix Assessment and Therapy Center (PATC), and the ASENZE Study, along with personnel from Columbia University and support from the KZN Department of Health, will design and carry out a study that will test how best to identify and assess children with ASD in the Zulu language and culture, explore the prevalence of autism in South Africa, and further explore the hypothesized relationship between autism and HIV infection. The team will adapt and translate the Ten Questions (TQ), Social Communications Questionnaire (SCQ), and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), and use those tools to conduct a pilot epidemiology study that will identify a population of children with autism in South Africa. In addition, this group will work to conduct important ethnographic analyses which will explore awareness and understanding of autism and how autism is perceived by the community. Ultimately, this study will develop the necessary research infrastructure to allow for the identification of children with autism in South Africa, will shed light on the awareness of and service availability for autism in the region, and will provide the groundwork to investigate the possible connection between HIV infection and autism. Project Status


Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $0.00
Project Number 5618
Principal Investigator Kauchali, Shuaib
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 7: What Other Infrastructure and Surveillance Needs Must Be Met? (Infrastructure)
Strategic Plan Objective New! Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 7J. Develop the personnel and technical infrastructure to assist states, territories, and other countries who request assistance describing and investigating potential changes in the prevalence of ASD and other developmental disabilities by 2013. IACC Recommended Budget: $1,650,000 over 3 years.
Federal or Private? Private
Institution University of KwaZulu-Natal
State/Country South Africa
Web Link 1 KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Autism Study (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Autism Study | $60,000.00 | 2010 | 5618
KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Autism Study | $60,000.00 | 2011 | 5618
KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Autism Study | $51,000.00 | 2012 | 5618