Over half a million people in the UK are currently estimated to be autistic, posing a series of challenges for society, patients and relatives. While researchers are constantly working to find ways to prevent the development of the condition and improve its treatment, the effects of autism on the parents of children with the developmental issue are often overlooked. Writing in BBC News Magazine, Louis Theroux stated: "Raising a child on the autistic spectrum presents a very demanding, though often rewarding, set of challenges." Many of the behaviours that children naturally grow out of are permanent or long-lasting features in those with autism, he explained. For example, while babies and young children will wake regularly during the night, in those with autism this can continue into teenage years. "Many parents of diagnosed children remain in a kind of "newborn" mode for 10 or 15 years," Mr Theroux wrote on the news site. Language difficulties and regular, unexplained tantrums are also common place, causing difficulties for families and limiting the activities they can do on a daily basis. Find out about Barchester's support for adults and children with a wide range of Autistic spectrum conditions.