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Tri County Walk for Autism draws thousands of people, thousands of dollars for Autism Society of Alabama

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - Communities from Madison, Morgan and Limestone Counties took steps to support a cause that unites them all: Autism Spectrum Disorder.

"It helps to get out the awareness," Clifton Miller said. "Lots of people walking around here don't know what autism is."

Miller is the grandfather of Jadyn Miller. He gathered his family to walk with purpose on Saturday at James Clemens High School. He said his family doesn't miss many opportunities to support awareness for the disorder that impacts them all.

"This helps get the word out about autism because if not a family member, someone else," Miller said.

Hundreds of people walked for awareness during the tri-county walk. Each of them loves children as diverse as the disorder that affects them.

"It's anywhere from children, like I said, my son doesn't speak, to really high functioning," Mother Jessica Evans said. "Maybe it's just a social thing they struggle with. It is a huge spectrum and all kids are different."

The benefits of the two mile tri-county walk didn't end at the finish line; its benefit continues through the Autism Society of Alabama.

"We have fall and spring camps, therapies, we have several network groups throughout the state," Community and Program Coordinator Todd Tomerlin said. "A lot of the money towards these proceeds the network groups which in turn supports local families."

Tomerlin's son, Gage, is diagnosed with autism, so he knows how important the programs are to families.

"Especially early on, he's 16 now, without these resources, we would have been in trouble," Tomerlin said.

The proceeds from Saturday's event benefits the many programs of ASA.