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Clifton Park benefit raises money in support of autism

Colleen Pausley, owner of Bella Maternity, who organizes several fundraisers, said she decided to raise money for autism because her friends, Kurt and Michelle Brand of Ballston Spa, have a 7-year-old son with autism.

Although, Zachary Brand does not know he is 1 and 150 children in America born with autism, his parents are thankful for the support they have in the community.

"It's always good to meet people dealing with the same thing," Michelle said of talking with other families of autistic children.

Autism is a developmental disability characterized by significant social interaction and communication impairments. Individuals suffering from autism also typically present unusual behaviors and interests and can vary in capabilities from gifted to severely challenged according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

While autism can affect a person from any racial, socio-economic, or ethnic background it is four times more likely to occur in boys than girls reported the Center for Disease Controls.

Dinner was donated by Ninety-Nine Restaurant, Villa Pizza, Halfmoon Sandwich Shop and Nothing But Noodles. Pausley said the balloon animals made by Melvin's Magnificent Magic Shop were a big hit with the kids in attendance as was the face painting done by Annette Stewart, who works at Karalina's.

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