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Hundreds fill Autism Conference

SOUTH PORTLAND (WGME)-- A new report by the CDC shows a spike in children diagnosed with autism. The report says 1 in 68 kids lands somewhere on the autism spectrum..

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To help families and educators learn more about the disorder a conference was held Saturday in South Portland.

Over 500 people from across the state attended lectures and joined in on discussion groups held at the Double Tree Hotel in South Portland.

"It's really a chance to come together learn about eachother's successes challenges," said Noel Sullivan, President and CEO of Pine Tree Society. "I was talking to someone earlier today how therapeutic it is to come together with like experienced people."

"It's really great as a parent to be in a place where everyone gets it," said Heidi Bowden, whose daughter has autism. "I'm not being judged, my child isn't being judged, everyone gets it."  

The conference is offered at no cost to attendees. This year they filled up, they even had a waiting list.