The number of autistic children excluded from schools in England has dramatically increased over the past seven years, a charity says.
The rise has been most sharp in the northwest of England, where the number of exclusions has doubled since 2011.
Every part of England has also seen significant increases.
The research by the charity Ambitious about Autism found 4,485 children who are on the autism spectrum were excluded either permanently or for a fixed period in 2015/16.
Chief Executive Jolanta Lasota said: “The impact of these exclusions can’t be underestimated – not only do children fall behind academically, but the isolation from their peers creates deep unhappiness, social anxiety and mental health problems.
“Our evidence clearly shows children with autism are disproportionately at risk from exclusion, compared to other pupils.”
Violent or disruptive behaviour in classrooms is a huge problem for many teachers and exclusions are normally a last resort.
The charity believes though that occasionally autistic children, and those with other special needs, have been unfairly kicked out of schools.