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Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, communication and language difficulties [3]. It is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain [2], which can manifest differently in each person [5]. Symptoms may include difficulty communicating and interacting with others, restricted interests and repetitive behavior patterns [6]. Treatment typically includes behavioral therapy, medications and other interventions tailored to individual needs. There are also resources available for individuals on the autism spectrum as well as their families such as support groups, educational programs and advocacy organizations like Autism Speaks [1] and the Autism Society [4], which provide education & resources about ASD. Research into causes & treatments of ASD is ongoing at institutions such as the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) [7] and the Autism Research Institute (ARI) [8].

[1]: Autism Speaks: Autism Education & Resources (
[2]: Signs and Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders | CDC (
[3]: What Is Autism? | Autism Speaks (
[4]: Autism Society (
[5]: Autism spectrum - Wikipedia (
[6]: Autism spectrum disorder - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic (
[7]: NIMH » Autism Spectrum Disorder (
[8]: Autism Research Institute (


Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, communication difficulties, and restricted and repetitive behavior. It affects people of all ages and can range from mild to severe. Symptoms may include difficulty with social interactions, difficulty understanding language or nonverbal cues, limited interests or activities, repetitive behaviors such as hand flapping or rocking back and forth, sensitivity to sensory input such as loud noises or bright lights, and difficulty transitioning between activities. Treatment typically includes behavioral therapy (such as Applied Behavior Analysis), speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, medications for associated conditions (such as anxiety), dietary changes (for those with food sensitivities), parent training/education programs on how to best support their child’s needs at home.