SIR – The only reason I can think of for publishing Nicholas Hatton’s letter on autism (Not best use of NHS resources, March 6) is to highlight the continuing ignorance of what autism and autistic spectrum disorders are, and how much more certain people need to learn.

He quotes Simon Baron-Cohen whose work has been systematically criticised by many academics and institutions not least for a lack of empathy towards parents of children with autism. We can perhaps see in Mr Hatton’s own comments why he likes his work so much!

His simplistic recommendations to ‘read more’, and quotations from fictional characters show not only a lack of knowledge, caring and basic understanding, but a flippancy normally found in people with an ‘I’m alright Jack’ attitude.

May I suggest that he reads the writings of Lorna Wing, study the ‘triad of impairments’, and meet children or adults with either autism or an autistic spectrum disorder, instead of quoting from To Kill A Mockingbird?

It is never too late in anyone’s life to gain greater knowledge. Or for that matter to gain some integrity, and some manners.

Richard Farrell-Adams,