A new study into adult autism in the UK has revealed a group of individuals with the condition who are believed to have escaped all previous statistical analysis.
Sixty per cent of men and 43 per cent of women with severe learning disabilities who were polled as part of the study were diagnosed with autism by researchers at the University of Leicester.
These individuals with severe learning disabilities made up the largest proportion of participants who were eventually diagnosed with autism.
Lead researcher Dr Terry Brugha of the University of Leicester explained: "This new information will be of particular importance for those who plan and provide services to support those with learning disabilities.
"It will be vital to repeat such studies in future years in order to make sure that the national strategy is working effectively."
Autism is being studied more frequently as understanding of the condition improves. Research carried out in November 2011 found that boys with a particular type of regressive autism tend to have larger brains than those of a similar age without the condition.
However, this trend was not present in children diagnosed with early onset autism.
Find out about Barchester's support for adults and children with a wide range of Autistic spectrum conditions.