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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.
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.