Buddy the Labrador has become ten year old Jacob Baker's best friend and has transformed his life. Jacob, from Gillingham, has autism and found it difficult to communicate. Tom Savvides talks to Jacob, his mother Christine Steady and vet Aoife McCormack from the charity PDSA
Video. Imagine your child not ever being able to really talk to you. That is what the families of those with autism often face. But now new research from the University of Kent could be able to change that for the better.
Pioneering work carried out at several special schools across the country resulted in significant improvements in the way autistic children responded to the world around them.
One third of pupils showed improvements in the way they communicated with others.
Many more saw a reduction in autistic symptoms. Researchers will officially release the findings soon but Christine Alsford has this exclusive report.
She spoke to Gillian Burns, Kieran's mother, Professor Nicola Shaughnessy from Imagining Autism Project and Lisa Richardson from the University of Kent.
This week a multi million pounds free school has opened in Reading creating 50 additional places for children with autism. Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford has been given exclusive access to the school, to talk to families whose lives it will change.
It had been a driving ambition from a young age - to become a qualified driving instructor. Harry Debling has autism which can make communication difficult. Tom Savvides talks to Harry, his mother Chloe Georgiou and father Graham Debling.
A new scheme designed to alert people if someone is autistic has been rolled out in Berkshire. It's thought there are around eight thousand people with the condition in the county - however it's difficult to recognise the disability that leads to behaviour which maybe seen as anti-social.