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Raising Awareness About Autism in Our Community

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By Aimee Burnett

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) One in eighty–eight children have autism spectrum disorder.

That's according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Saturday a walk to raise awareness about the disorder was held at St. Luke's Magic Valley.

"Clayton, he's 4–years old. He's such a good boy. He's the sweetest little boy you'll ever meet, but he gets very overwhelmed in crowds," said Karee Conner, event participant.

Clayton Conner has autism.

His mother Karee is one of dozens hoping to make an impact on our community.

Their mission is to raise awareness about autism spectrum disorder.

"When they don't know how to be verbal, screaming is how they communicate. So, we want people to understand that, that they're not being bad," said Conner.

ASD's are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause social, communication and behavioral changes.

Spectrum disorders impact each child differently and can range from mild to severe.

"When he was first diagnosed he was severe, now with all the early intervention he's mild to moderate," said Conner.

ASD is almost five times more common in boys than in girls and impacts all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

"One of the great things about our walk this year is we also have signs posted throughout the walk that give information about autism," said Amy Starr, event organizer.

For children like Clayton, events like this make all the difference.

"People with Autism are phenomenal. They're amazing people and you know just take the time to get to know them. And, if you know someone with autism it'll make you a better person," said Conner.

Walking to educate...just one more piece of the puzzle.

All of the money raised from Saturday's event goes to the St. Luke's Magic Valley Health Foundation, which supports individuals with special needs.


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