The mum of a six-year-old boy with autism has talked to Daybreak about the daily challenges she faces caring for her son.
Cheryl Broadfoot survives on "three to five hours sleep" per night in order to look after her son Bobby, who has not spoken since he was three.
Some 27% of autism sufferers want supermarkets to be more aware of their condition, a charity has found.
Data released by the charity Dimensions found:
- Nearly a third of sufferers say they wish supermarkets were more autism friendly.
- Some 32% want restaurants to be more ware.
- A further 17% feel their needs are not met when going to the leisure centre
- And 10% want shops to be better with autistic customers.
The public do not understand the difficulty some autism sufferers have completing every day tasks and more needs to be done to make them aware, a charity has said.
Statistics released exclusively to Daybreak exposed the lack of understanding most people had of autism and the effect it has on a sufferer's ability to communicate.
Autism is a spectrum condition, meaning symptoms present themselves with different severity.
Some sufferers experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours, while some 25% remain non-verbal for the whole of their life.
Schools are required to follow "strict rules" on excluding pupils, a spokesman for the department of education said.
The spokeswoman suggested data exposing the thousands of autistic children excluded from school every year was not in line with Government policy on pupils with special needs.
– A Department for Education spokeswoman
All councils must ensure children are educated in a placement which meets their needs, and we have been clear that schools have a duty to follow our strict rules when excluding pupils.
We are spending over £3.5 million on Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators in schools to provide targeted support to children with SEN, and have given the National Autistic Society £440,000 to provide advice to parents and teachers about how to support autistic children at school.
Three out of every 10 parents with an autistic child in the UK have been asked to keep them at home, a disability charity has found.
Ambitious About Autism found of the 70,785 children who have autism:
- More than half of them were kept out of school by their parents who did not feel their child had the right support at school.
- One fifth (20%) had their child formally excluded from school in the last twelve months.
- Two fifths (40%) of parents had been asked to collect their child at an unscheduled time.
- The report also pointed out teachers were struggling with autistic pupils - 60% of educators felt they did not have enough training to deal with a student who had the disability.
Thousands of children with autism are being illegally excluded from school - partly because they are informally asked to leave the classroom for a few days - research has found.
Youngsters with the developmental disability are being asked to miss school trips, come to lessons part time or stay at home altogether, according to charity Ambitious about Autism.
Researchers from the charity spoke to 500 families, 1000 school staff and local councils to find how many autistic children were being excluded from school.
It found that four in 10 children with autism have been informally excluded from school temporarily - an illegal practice.
Jolanta Lasota, chief executive of Ambitious about Autism, said: "All schools are legally bound to provide quality full-time education to all pupils, including children with autism.
"Asking parents to collect their children early or putting them on part-time hours is against the law and fails to address the underlying need for schools to make reasonable adjustments to include children with autism."
The early signs of autism can be identified in the first months of life, according to new research. Scientists used eye-tracking technology to measure the way infants look at and respond to social cues.
– Dr Ami Klin, director of the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta, US
We found a steady decline in attention to other people's eyes, from two until 24 months, in infants later diagnosed with autism.
Children later diagnosed with autism showed a reduced tendency to notice the gaze of other people from the age of two months onwards.
Pregnant women exposed to high levels of air pollution are twice as likely to have a child with autism as women who lived in low pollution areas, a study has found.
US scientists found that the risk was doubled for women living in the most polluted locations.
For the study, researchers identified 325 women who had a child with autism and 22,000 who had children without the disorder.
Data collected was used to assess pollution exposure in the areas where the women lived.
The scientists found a clear link between being pregnant somewhere with high levels of pollution and having an autistic child. Diesel and mercury pollution showed the strongest link.
Women living in the top fifth of locations with the highest levels of these pollutants were twice as likely to give birth to a child with autism as those in areas with the lowest levels.
Upholding the complaint, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) noted that the website makes clear that the original allegations of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism by Andrew Wakefield was "strongly rejected" by government and the medical establishment".
"We understood that the position held by the World Health Organisation and the Department of Health was that no evidence existed of a causal association between the MMR vaccine and autism or autistic disorders, and that the Cochrane review, looking at the general evidence available, could find no significant association between MMR immunisation and autism.
But the ASA said consumers are likely to infer from the website's claims that the vaccine might have played a role in the "increase" in the number of children with autism.