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Suffer from the social stigma associated with persons with disabilities and their families and caregivers.

Experience financial stress due to the exorbitant costs of caring for a child/youth with ASD.

Encounter grief, isolation and fear of the future.

Believe that their personal value and societal judgment is based on their child’s behavior.

Many children and youth with ASD:

Have no physically distinguishing characteristics

Exhibit repetitive behaviors

Are often inflexible

Exhibit various levels of verbal skills while some are non-verbal

Have low muscle tone and postural control

Demonstrate hyper or hypo states of sensory responsiveness

Exhibit poor motor skills

Exhibit deficits in social skills including many areas of pragmatics

May present as having mental retardation

Exhibit poor auditory and visual processing

Demonstrate idiosyncratic methods of communicating such as pointing, using simple gestures or making a particular sound

May exhibit compromised immune systems

Often demonstrate food and environmental intolerance

May develop severe behavioral issues such as tantrums, SIB and aggression

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