Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of developmental disorders (autism, Asperger syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified) characterized by impairments in communication and social interaction and restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities. Difficulties with social interaction are considered the core feature of ASD and impact multiple aspects of daily life, including the ability to establish and maintain relationships with others. Some individuals with ASD may seek relationships but do not have the skills needed to successfully engage with others; on the other hand, some individuals with ASD may prefer to be alone and do not appear motivated to establish relationships with others. Both scenarios could result in aloneness.

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