A rogue doctor who offered a ‘miracle cure’ for autism with brain injections is wanted by the police

Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder that affects how people behave across a broad spectrum.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autistic people can have problems with social, emotional and communication skills.

Others may find bright lights or loud noises overwhelming and stressful, or exhibit repetitive behaviors.

Autism is not a disease or condition.

How common is it?

It is estimated that around 700,000 people, including adults and children, in Britain have a diagnosis of autism.

According to research from Newcastle University published in 2021, around one in 57 (1.76 percent) children in Britain are on the spectrum.

In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 5.4 million adults, about 2.2 percent of the population, are autistic.

People of all nationalities and cultural, religious and social backgrounds can have autism.

However, rates are up to five times higher in men and boys.

The exact reason remains unclear, but some research suggests that boys are at greater risk for the varied genetic causes of autism.

Researchers also believe that many girls “fly under the radar” because they struggle to get a diagnosis, are diagnosed later in life, or are misdiagnosed with conditions other than autism.

Are there different types?

Previously, autism was split into several diagnoses, including Asperger syndrome, autistic disorder, Kanner syndrome, childhood autism, atypical autism, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).

Because each diagnosis shared features of autism, they were replaced with autism spectrum disorder, which is now the umbrella term for the group.

However, some people diagnosed with Asperger’s still choose to use the term.

According to the National Autistic Society, people with Asperger’s do not have the learning difficulties that many autistic people have. The NHS says some people call this ‘high-functioning autism’.

What causes it?

Despite years of research, scientists do not know what causes autism.

Instead, studies have suggested that it may develop through a combination of genetic and environmental influences.

Concerns arose in the late 1990s about a possible link between MMR vaccines and autism.

But numerous scientific studies have since shown that there is no link at all between vaccines – or any of their ingredients – and autism.

Bad parenting is also not a cause.