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Walking For Autism: Sixth Annual J. Brooks Walk-A-Block Held In Clear Lake

This article originally appeared on KIMT.com

According to Autism Speaks, an estimated 1 in 59 children in the U.S. are affected by autism. And on Saturday morning, April 13, many people came out to One Vision's campus in Clear Lake to not only raise funds for the Children's Autism Center during the 6th Annual Walk-A-Block, but to raise awareness as well.

Two of Brandon and Jessica Magritz's adopted children are on the autism spectrum.

"For One Vision, we have four appointments a week between the two children."

Their oldest works on hands-on and behavioral skills, while their son works on motor and speech skills. 

When they started their family, they didn't have much knowledge about what autism was, but soon gained more knowledge about it, in part because of One Vision.

"The early intervention is really what helped him [their son]. He started speaking within the first year that we got help. He wasn't diagnosed right away, but they were set on helping him."

Now, they're spreading the word to help those who might need it.

"Just recently, a friend of mine believed that his child might be, and we told we can help get you services and get her diagnosed."

NIACC baseball coach Travis Hergert's oldest son Brody also has autism, and says it's been a journey tracking his son's development.

"How he learns and how to get the most out of his language and communication, and it's been a great process. There have been a lot of people that have been supportive for us and for him."

He values what the Children's Autism Center has done for his son, and for countless others.

"We've used our program as a platform and Brody's story to not only help him but all those other families that have children that are affected with this. And we want to bring that awareness and show that support and the community has been fantastic."

"We're so thankful for One Vision, and all the help and support they've given to our family throughout the years. If it wasn't for them, our family probably wouldn't be what it is today," the Magritz's add.

The center supports more than 80 North Iowa children and 100 families through therapy, support groups, and activities.