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autism mortality report: personal tragedies, public crisis

Around 700,000 people in the UK have autism, many of whom are affected so severely that they do not speak, or only speak a few words, and the overwhelming majority will never work full-time. Despite being one of the costliest medical conditions and with controversy around its possible causes and treatments, there has been relatively little research into autism.

A new report details how people with autism die much earlier than we realised and highlights how severe the illness is. The report, Personal tragedies, public crisis, has been put together by the research charity Autistica.

Journalists came to the Science Media Centre to discuss issues such as:

  • Why do people with autism die at such a young age?
  • How much of the difference is directly down to the condition?
  • How can we only just be discovering such a big difference now?
  • Why does this medical condition cost so much – and why then is there so little research into it?
  • What needs to happen now? How preventable are these early deaths?



Prof. Patrick Bolton, Professor in Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, King’s College London

Dr Sarah Cassidy, Atypical Development Theme Lead, Coventry University

Jon Spiers, Chief Executive, Autistica

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