Much about autism remains a mystery, but a few facts are indisputable: of the 285,000 kids born in Australia this year, about one in 160 - not much short of 2000 of them - will be on the autism spectrum.
And the number is rising significantly.
Some will be so disabled, and needing constant care, that normal life for them, their parents and siblings will be out of the question.
Others may suffer Asperger's Syndrome and be socially clumsy, but will lead independent lives.
The Herald Sun article is not all gloom and doom. There is hope for autism through treatment. The article features the Raymond family and their 4 year old son, Brandon, who has autism and has benefited from early intervention at the Learning for Life Autism Centre:
The centre runs early intervention programs for autistic children, intensive one-on-one sessions that help the kids work on simple tasks.
"It's intensive work - puzzles, drawing building blocks, things tat other kids do naturally by observing each other, where as Brandon has to be taught, step by step.
"I now feel like Brandon is part of my world.
``He not off doing his own little thing on his own little planet - he spends more time in our world, doing things with us. Learning For Life has changed our lives."
Thumbs up to the Melbourne Herald Sun for honest reporting on some of the challenges presented by autism disorders and what can be done to address those challenges.