NORTH WILKESBORO — The High Country Support Group of the Autism Society of North Carolina will welcome the UNC-Chapel Hill SPARK team for a special presentation from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15, at Wilkes Playmakers, located at 300 D Street, North Wilkesboro.

Corrie Walston, UNC SPARK Project Coordinator, will lead the presentation on SPARK, a new genetics research project aimed at learning more about Autism Spectrum Disorder.

SPARK’s mission is to speed up research and advance the understanding of the causes and treatments of autism. SPARK will be the nation’s largest autism study to date. UNC-Chapel Hill is one of 21 SPARK partners around the nation, and it is the only SPARK clinical partner in North Carolina.

The ASNC High Country Support Group provides a place for families of children and adults with autism to meet, share, and learn about autism.

To learn more about the ASNC High Country Support Group, contact leader Melissa Weaver at autismwarriormom3711@gmail.com.

More on ASD:

• Autism Spectrum Disorder is a lifelong developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. A prevalence study by the CDC indicates as many as 1 in 59 8-year-old schoolchildren in North Carolina may be diagnosed with autism.

• For more than 46 years, the Autism Society of North Carolina has worked to address areas of need and expand services for the autism community in North Carolina. ASNC works to directly improve the lives of individuals affected by autism by providing advocacy, education, and services.

• For more information, call (800) 442-2762 or visit www.autismsociety-nc.org.

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