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Autism Spectrum Disorder and the Family

  • By: Melissa Dodd Inglese
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in socialization, limitations in communication, and the presence of restricted and repetitive behaviors and/or interests. ASDs are a spectrum of disorders because the symptoms can occur in a variety of combinations and present with varying degrees of severity.

Each child with ASD is unique and requires intervention tailored to meet his or her needs. To achieve the best possible outcomes for children with ASD, care needs to involve the child and the family, and intervention needs to include minimizing stressors associated with caring for a child with ASD and maximizing support available to families. Following an introduction to ASD, this entry focuses on caring for an autistic child in the context of the family and ...

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