This review aims to appraise the disparities in the prevalence and management of childhood autism in developed and developing countries, and to discuss strategies that will possibly close the gaps. Autism is one of the pervasive developmental disorders or autism spectrum disorders which are characterized by developmental delays in socialization and communication. Following the revised definition by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders, Fifth edition (DSM-V), the term ‘autism spectrum disorder’ (ASD) is now used as the nomenclature to identify children with autism and other related disorders. Unlike in developing countries, more research work has been conducted in the developed world where advanced support services and use of standardized screening and diagnostic instruments are the norm. Thus, disparities exist in the prevalence rates as high figures are reported from developed countries while the rates from developing countries are low. Furthermore, wide therapeutic options are available for children with ASD in the developed world. In developing countries, treatment interventions are largely unavailable coupled with dearth of the requisite health care professionals. To close the huge gaps in epidemiologic data and management of ASD between the developed and developing nations, there is need for international bodies such as ‘Autism speaks’ to increasingly drive the global advocacy action for children with ASD. It is also recommended that the governments of these developing nations should prioritize the funding of autism research, undertake massive public enlightenment and build the capacity of health professionals in synergy with international advocacy groups.