AlShenaiber, Leena – An Investigation of Autism Spectrum Disorders (Dr. Sarah Symons)

 Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have been thoroughly studied, with a special subset of research which explores the influence of ASD on family, and vice versa. Specifically, many studies have explored the emergence of autistic-like symptoms in the siblings of autistic individuals, the influence of ASD on familial stress and functioning, and family-driven early intervention. However, no study has explored all three topics from a single lens, creating a substantial gap in the literature. The current review will fill in this gap in order to understand the problem and potentially suggest a mediation of the effects of ASD which will improve family functioning. This review will include peer-reviewed North American papers that have been published in the last 10 years. Results show a link between ASD and family, and the potential of family-driven interventions in mediate the effects of ASD and families on one another. This project also has an additional component which explores the prevalence of stereotypes and myths that are viewed as fact by the general public. This topic has been explored before, however, it has not been provided in a clear format for the general public. This project will provide the missing information about the topic in an infographic that will be posted on social media and in government facilities in the community. Overall, this project will fill in areas that have been overlooked in the literature through a thorough review of the literature and an easy to understand infographic.