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The Facts

  • Autism affects approximately 1 in 100 children. There are c. 107,000 children with autism in the UK 1
  • It affects four times as many boys than girls 2
  • It is estimated that as many as 80% of partnerships where a child is born with autism will break down
  • Many families with autism live in poverty as it costs on average 3 times more to raise a child with a severe impairment than a non-disabled child 3
  • Only 11% of carers who have children with autism work full time. 70% cite the lack of appropriate care facilities as the main barrier to working. 4
  • In schools who have children with autism, only 22% of teachers have received autism specific training. The majority of training given is typically one to fours hours. 5
  • There are approximately 7,500 specialist places for over 100,000 children with autism in the UK. 6
  • One in five children with autism have been excluded from school. 67% have been excluded on more than one occasion. 7
  • Over 40% of children with autism have been bullied at school 8
  • 40% of children with autism wait at least 3 year for a formal diagnosis 9
  • 45% of parents say it took over a year for their child to receive any support 10
  • 50% of children with autism are not in the kind of school their parents believe would best support them. 11
  • In mainstream schools only 27% of parents say that all their teachers could adjust their approach and teaching materials, thereby meeting their legal duties in the SEN and Disability Act (2001). 1

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1 The economic consequences of autism in the UK : Foundation of People with Learning Difficulties
2 Mental health of children and young people in Great Britain, London: Palgrave Macmillan (82% of children with autism in the sample were boys.
3 Sharma, N (2003), Still Missing Out? Ending poverty and social exclusion: messages to government from families with disabled children, Barnardos: London.
4 Broach, S et. al. (2003), Autism: Rights in Reality, NAS: London.
5 Barnard, J et. al. (2003), Autism in Schools: Crisis or Challenge?, NAS: London.
6 Jones, G (2002), Educational Provision for Children with Autism and Asperger Syndrome: Meeting Their Needs, David Fulton Publishers: London.
7 Batten, A et. al. (2006), Autism and Education: The Reality for Families Today, NAS: London.
8 Batten, A et. al. (2006), Autism and Education: The Reality for Families Today, NAS: London.
9 – 12 Making Schools Make Sense : NAS