One out of every 88 children in the United States has been diagnosed with autism–a ten-fold increase in prevalence in the last 40 years. Autism is a general term for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors and activities.
To help the families of the more than one million children and teens with autism in the US, Microsoft has collaborated with Autism Speaks and the University of Washington Autism Center to release a series of free PowerPoint templates that families and therapists can customize to explain social situations to children with autism. Links to these templates can be found on the Autism Speaks page on Office.com along with an article to help families and therapists use these templates. Templates cover social situations such as going to a restaurant, going to the doctor, personal hygiene, getting ready for school, and getting ready for bed. More personalized story templates are currently under development.