A new 14-week "boot camp" is helping autistic teens recognize the social cues most of us take for granted every day, enabling them to make new friends and socialize at a reasonably functional level.

Thirteen-year-old Andrea Levy ticked off a mental list of rules to follow when her guest arrived: Greet her at the door. Introduce her to the family. Offer a cold drink.

Above all, make her feel welcome by letting her choose what to do.

"Do you want to make pizza now, or do you want to make it later?" the lanky, raven-haired teen rehearsed in the kitchen, as her mother...

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