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Teenager found dead in bath after epileptic fit at care home: inquest highlights 'serious failings'

He was a vulnerable teenager relying on the NHS to keep him safe. But today an inquest found 'neglect and serious failings' at an Oxfordshire care home contributed to the death of Connor Sparrowhawk. Juliette Fletcher reports.


  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Plea from father of autistic girl

A father from Kent says his wife killed herself after the strain of looking after their autistic daughter became too much when they didn't get the help they wanted from social services.

Daniel Barnett's wife Carol had a history of depression and alcohol problems but, he says, the authorities should have done more for their daughter.

He wants Kent County Council to send her to a specialist residential school to help her develop - the council says she's better off at home. David Johns has the story.

Dogs are trained to help autistic children

We've heard how dogs can help the blind, disabled and hard of hearing.

But now some pioneering schemes are being launched around the country that specially train animals to support autistic children.

The dogs have a calming and soothing effect - and can help relieve the stress and stimuli that can overwhelm boys and girls with the condition.

One family have been explaining the remarkable improvements they've seen since their trusty companion arrived. Christine Alsford talked to mum Katie Fenton and Andy Clarke, founder of Woofability.

Autistic teenager is attacked on family holiday

A mother from Surrey has started an online campaign to find out who attacked her autistic son on a family holiday.

Thomas Attwater, who's 18, suffered multiple cuts and bruises to his face when he was punched at a holiday camp on the South Coast.

Police now want to speak to two teenage girls from the Reading area who may have witnessed the attack. Ria Chatterjee has our report.


New research to help autistic children communicate

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.