width=282A study found out that those children with autism who attend weekly playgroups improves the development of their social skills. This supports the addition of children with autism into mainstream education.

Playgroup Australia found out in their study that 80 percent of the families who took active part in activities designed for autistic children reports improvement in the child's social development.

They found out that lack of play can cause social isolation for autistic children, delaying their transition to school.

Karen Merange, Playgroup Australia's chief executive, said that playgroups have an autism-friendly environment where children can interact with each other in preparation for school.

The more that the children are exposed to a playful environment, the more they will be prepared for schools that may or may not be autism-friendly, Ms Merange said.

Families Minister Jenny Macklin said that 1 in every 160 Australian children have autism spectrum disorder.

A NSW parliamentary investigation found out that there has been a 165 percent increase in children with autism for the past six years, causing debate on whether children with autism should be placed in mainstream classes.

According to the NSW government submission to the investigation of 33,000 students, almost half were placed in mainstream classes and did not receive utmost support.

In a mainstream class of 30, a teacher will hold students who have varying abilities and interests. It may also have students who have quite distinct and special needs, Joan Lemaire, vice president of NSW Teachers Federation said.

With no adequate support, this will place an enormous pressure on the teacher and the students, and shall otherwise impact the learning outcome of all students. she added.

Minister Verity Firth from the state's education department said that there was a recorded budget this year that shall meet the needs of children with autism.

We will provide more than 1400 teacher specialist to support the students with learning difficulties, including autism, she said.