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      Amarillo family speaks out about living with Autism

      Autism is something that touches the lives of millions throughout the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Autism affects 1-in-88 children. While the number may seem like a small ratio, for families living with Autism, it's a journey that they struggle with every day.

      The Smith family of Amarillo has a six-year-old son, Jackson, who is living with Autism. Jackson's mother, Amy Smith states that it was when Jackson was about 2 1/2 that they noticed a change in him. "He just stopped showing expression, stopped talking," said Smith. "He wouldn't respond to us when we called his name. He wouldn't respond to us when we walked into the room."

      She states that her and husband did not have much direction or help with the disorder when they first learned that Jackson had Autism. The word autism only made them think of the worst. "The most severe case is what we thought of. And we just didn't see that in Jack."

      That was until they discovered Specialized Therapy Services. There, they provided help for both Jackson and his parents. "Immediately we felt like a huge weight was lifted off of our shoulders. We were asking questions and getting answers," said Smith. "And not only were we getting answers but we were getting tools that we needed to be parents for Jack."

      Together they say they are working to be better parents for their son.

      The Amarillo Area Autism in Action Walk will be Saturday, April 13th at Thompson Park. The 5K run is held to raise funds to benefit families dealing with Autism as well as raise awareness about autism, its detection and treatment options. For more information on the walk you can call the Specialized Therapy Services at (806) 468-9400. To register, you can visit their website: