By Laura PIzzo
UC Davis researchers search tirelessly for solutions for families affected by autism
When 16-year-old Kira Duley wants to tell her mom how she’s feeling, she does a Google image search. For love, she points to a heart. For sad, a frowning emoji. For lonely, a photo of a woman standing alone on a beach, looking off into a sunset.
Kira communicates this way because she has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Although autism presents itself differently in different people, 25 percent of people with autism—like Kira—do not develop spoken language.