A film following a group of young women on the spectrum as they prepare for the social challenges of attending a dance is set to air on HBO later this month.

The documentary “How to Dance in Ohio” focuses on three Columbus, Ohio women with autism who work with a psychologist for 12 weeks leading up to a spring formal.

Marideth, 16, Caroline, 19, and Jessica, 22, open up in therapy sessions, work on their social skills and learn to dance ahead of the big day. Detailed preparations include reviewing the layout of the venue, understanding how to accept an invitation to dance and learning to touch another person.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

“How to Dance in Ohio” follows three young women with autism leading up to a spring formal. (Laela Kilbourn)

“How to Dance in Ohio” follows three young women with autism leading up to a spring formal. (Laela Kilbourn)

“For many of them, there’s like a giant wall between them and everybody else,” said psychologist Emilio Amigo of Amigo Family Counseling who helped the women prepare. “And the simple task of learning how to say hello, make eye contact, be in a back-and-forth conversation, can be incredibly difficult, if not crippling.”

HBO picked up the film just prior to its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

“How to Dance in Ohio” will debut on the cable channel Oct. 26 at 9 p.m. ET.