According to this piece, the lead researcher said: "“Our research shows that many children who get into trouble at school are being labelled ‘disruptive’ or ‘aggressive’ by their teachers and peers, when in reality they are displaying behaviours that are consistent with traits we see in clinically diagnosed autism. The children involved in our study have been recommended for appropriate treatment and their educational needs should now be recognised and adjusted accordingly.
“Teachers should be supported to identify these children before they are unfairly excluded from school and they miss out on the education and learning opportunities they deserve.”
A study on persistently disruptive primary school children found 35% met criteria for atypical autism or Asperger syndrome. (35% = 9 children)
An excerpt of the report from a google search said: "All 56 mainstream primary schools in the London borough of Hackney and the local pupil referral unit were invited to participate in the study."
" Many persistently disruptive children have undetected disorders of social communication, which are of potential aetiological (causal) significance."
Social communication deficits in disruptive primary-school children
BJP 2010 196: 282-289.