Teenagers and young adults with severe autism are spending weeks or even months in emergency rooms and acute-care hospitals, sometimes sedated, restrained or confined to mesh-tented beds, a Kaiser Health News investigation shows.

These young people — who may shout for hours, bang their heads on walls or lash out violently at home — are taken to the hospital after community social services and programs fall short and families call 911 for help, according to more than two dozen interviews with parents, advocates, and physicians in states from Maine to California.

The story was also published by The Washington Post.