Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complicated brain disorders that often makes it hard to communicate with and socially interact with others. The symptoms and severity of autism spectrum disorders vary widely, but most types affect a child’s ability to connect with people. Autistic children may have trouble developing language skills (or not develop them at all), exhibit repetitive behaviors, and appear uninterested in the world around them. As they grow, children with autism have trouble recognizing social cues, like facial expressions, which makes it difficult for them to interpret what others are feeling or thinking.
ASD appears in early childhood and, for many, the struggle to relate to others is a life-long battle. While there is no cure for autism, behavioral therapy is often a critical part of the treatment plan and can help the child develop social and language skills. Parents and siblings of children suffering from autism can also benefit from therapy to help them develop healthy and supportive ways of coping.