Although over 700,000 people in the UK have autism (more than 1 in 100 people), false and often negative perceptions about the condition are commonplace.
This lack of understanding can make it difficult for people on the autism spectrum to have their condition recognised and to access the support they need. Misconceptions can lead to some people who have autism feeling isolated and alone. In extreme cases, it can also lead to abuse and bullying.
Without the right support, it can have a profound - sometimes devastating - effect on individuals and families.
Autism doesn't just affect children. Children with autism grow up to be adults with autism.
Autism is a hidden disability - you can't always tell if someone has it.
Seventy per cent of adults with autism say that they are not getting the help they need from social services. Seventy per cent of adults with autism also told us that with more support they would feel less isolated.
At least one in three adults with autism is experiencing severe mental health difficulties due to a lack of support.
Only 15% of adults with autism in the UK are in full-time paid employment.
Only 10% of adults with autism receive employment support but 53% say they want it.
What are we doing and why?