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      Living with autism

      Eighteen-year-old Alex Alspach has mild autism but doesn't let it hold him back.

      "Sometimes you got to keep going; sometimes it's the best option." said Alex Alspach.

      He has trouble with social understanding and communicating. Alex says interacting with people while growing up wasn't easy.

      "I wouldn't speak to anyone at all. I wouldn't speak to my teacher, I wouldn't speak to my classmates at all," Alex said.

      His mom says it was a challenge when people didn't understand his disability.

      "In the grocery store and the noise was getting to be too much, he would start flapping his hands, rocking back and forth. It was going to be a meltdown if we didn't get out of there pretty quick. People would say he just needs a spanking. No!" said Cindy Alspach, mother.

      According to the Centers for Disease Control, one child out of every 88 births are born autistic.

      Experts say detection early on is key.

      "Where a team of experts would evaluate your child and send you through the diagnostic process. Then connect your child with the services that might help them," said Ellen Moore.

      Throughout the years, resources and support groups for the autistic have grown through programs like SAIL and Pathways. However, raising awareness is also important.

      Alex says people should treat those with autism with compassion and respect.

      "Just treat them as a person, no matter what their disability is," Alex said.

      As for Alex, he's involved in a job training program.