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World Autism Awareness Day

The numbers are startling, one in 68 children has autism in the U.S. Monroe County has the second largest amount of autistic children in western NY.
Since the day he was born, Beth Ciardi's son Christopher was always a playful, energetic child. When he turned three, his mother felt something was off.
"He wasn't really talking he wasn't playing peek-a-boo he wasn't pointing or waving or saying hi and goodbye," Beth says.
Christopher has autism, Beth won't that define him.
"He was diagnosed at three years old that was only five years ago the rate back them was one in 150 today with the CDC's numbers one in 68 it goes to show how prevalence rates has increased dramatically," says Beth.
Autism has also touched the life of Greece Athena Visual Arts teacher Dean Latten.
His nine year old son Ian is also on the spectrum. With his son inspiring him, Dean and his special education students lined the driveway into Greece Athena with blue puzzle pieces, in recognition of World Autism Awareness Day.
"Through my experience with them I've become a better teacher and a better individual," Dean tells us.
Jason "JMAC" McElwain, Greece Athena's basketball manager with autism came back to his old stomping grounds to celebrate.
He's even running in the Boston Marathon in a few weeks in honor of Autism Awareness Month, to prove to students no matter what, you can do anything you set your mind to.
"Just find a passion once you find it set goals and strive for them and you can accomplish anything in your life," Jason says.
Even though autism isn't easy, Beth Ciardi and her family tries every day to find the silver lining.
"For my son it could be him trying new foods or learning to jump," says Beth.





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