The French government is setting out to tackle the poorly understood brain disorder with a national campaign launching this month.
Today marks the annual World Autism Awareness Day, a day set aside to highlight the need to improve the lives of people with autism.
However, the brain disorder is often poorly understood.
In France, campaigners say the state’s treatment of autistic children is shameful and 50 years behind some other countries.
The children have little access to mainstream schools and are often placed in psychiatric hospitals.
Now, the government wants to tackle the problem with a national campaign launching this month.
Al Jazeera’s Natacha Butler reports from Paris.