There is no cure for autism, but researchers recognise the need to work on ways to discover the condition earlier on in people's lives.
Autism is a "complex, lifelong neurological condition," according to Ambitious about Autism chief executive Jolanta Lasota.
However, she notes that early intervention can have a significant effect on how people with autism will develop and the extent to which they will be able to integrate into society.
"Early intervention, education and ongoing support are essential to enable people with autism to learn, develop and participate in society," she explained. "Early diagnosis of autism is critical to a child's development. However, most children are not diagnosed until the age of seven."
Recent breakthrough research published in the journal Current Biology last month suggested that babies who go on to develop autism already show different brain responses in their first year of life.
The findings, based on a study carried out by researchers at the University of London, Birkbeck, could be used as a springboard for further research to help better understand how the condition affects early development in children.
Find out about Barchester's support for adults and children with a wide range of Autistic spectrum conditions.