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What is autism?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex, lifelong developmental disability that can impact an individual’s social skills, communication, relationships, and self-regulation. Symptoms typically present themselves during early childhood and can be characterized by deficits in speech and nonverbal communication, social communication and interaction skills, display of restricted or repeated behaviors, and sensory sensitivities. Since autism is a spectrum, each individual has their own set of distinct strengths and challenges. Not all individuals diagnosed with autism will require high-level care or therapy in their treatment. While some may need significant support, others may require less, and in some cases, reach full independence in their daily lives.