Holding Hands for Autism at South Jersey school

ATCO, N.J. (WPVI) -- The need for autism awareness could be most prevalent in New Jersey. It has the highest rate of children with autism in the United States. 1 in 34 children are diagnosed in New Jersey compared to 1 in 59 nationally, according to Autism New Jersey.

That's why Archway Programs gathered its students to hold hands around the lake for the 10th time.

The benefit raises money for Archway to accommodate its special needs population. With over 200 enrolled, one-third are on the spectrum.

It also helps build awareness within the community. Representatives came from the police, fire, and legislative bureaus to support the cause.

Waterford Township Police are raising awareness by sporting blue badges and wristbands adorned with puzzle pieces for autism. They are also training their force to properly approach those with autism.

They encouraged all to be aware that those with autism may look typical, but may not act typically. A person's diagnosis may not be immediately noticeable at face value.

That's why they distributed stickers to recognize houses where people with autism live.

To learn more, visit their site.
Copyright © 2019 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.