Relationship-Based Therapies for Autism Spectrum Disorders
According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (American Psychiatric Association, 2013), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by a presentation of severe deficits in social reciprocity, delays in the acquisition of communication skills, and restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior. This triad of symptoms has been the framework for the diagnosis of autism for several decades. While the variability and heterogeneity of ASD are high, these symptoms form the essence of the disorder, although their manifestation and the resulting impact are variable. Hence, there are levels of ASD associated with differing degrees of impact on social and personal functioning. In recent years, there has been more attention paid to ASD, as prevalence rates have increased. Concomitantly, many interventions have been developed to address the triad of defining features.