|A staggering 100,000 Australian children are directly affected by autism. The incidence has dramatically increased in the last decade and affects boys in three out of four cases. The traits include a lack of social skills, communication difficulties, and obsessive behaviour.
Often a diagnosis of autism is not given until the child is around two. Up until then families believe their child is normal - they reach all milestones like crawling, walking and first words. But then the child changes, leaving families shattered. Many questions surround what has been dubbed the 'silent epidemic'.
Why is it on the increase? What causes autism? And is there a cure? Research is still in preliminary stages, and although a series of therapies have been tried - all of them are costly and controversial. Some families have been forced to shell out their life savings, sell their family home and dig into their superannuation, to fund these treatments.
Insight brings together desperate families searching for answers, autistic adults who can reflect on their struggle as well as leading experts and researchers. (An SBS Television production, in English)