2012 Autism Awareness Charity Ball held Friday

ST. MARYS – The second annual Autism Awareness Charity Ball, presented by the Dickinson Center, Inc. Autism Program, was held on Friday at The Red Fern Banquet and Conference Center in St. Marys. The evening included a performance by Jack Garret and the Swingin' Starz, as well as live and silent auctions. With roughly $25,000 raised through last year's efforts, this year's goal was set at $50,000, with proceeds to benefit the center's Autism Program. Dickinson’s Possibilities Autism Center was established in 2010 in an effort to provide area families with greater and more immediate access to diagnostic and treatment services to support their children living with autism.In addition, the program's literature indicates the need for services relating to the treatment and diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) as being greater than ever, with one in 110 children currently diagnosed with ASD, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study. In addition, it states that more children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes, and cancer combined, and that the neurological disorder costs the nation over $35 billion per year. The Possibilities Autism Center serves 11 counties, including Elk, Clearfield, Jefferson, Centre County, and McKean counties. Melissa Hunter, a psychologist with Possibilities Autism Center, said that the mission of the center is to provide comprehensive services for area families dealing with autism, as well as supplying a support network. Pick up a copy of the Tuesday, June 19, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.