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Philadelphia School District Holds 4th Annual Autism Expo For Parents

(Dionne Jones, education specialist, and Daniel Thrash, behavioral manager, at the KenCrest Services table of the school district's Autism Expo on Friday.  Photo by Michelle Durham)

(Dionne Jones, education specialist, and Daniel Thrash, behavioral manager, at the KenCrest Services table of the school district’s Autism Expo on Friday. Photo by Michelle Durham)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The School District of Philadelphia held its fourth annual Autism Expo today at its North Broad Street headquarters.

It was well attended by parents of autistic children seeking to find out what services are available for their children.

Parents of a child with autism often feel overwhelmed and alone and welcome the opportunity to attend functions such as the expo.

“Not knowing what to do and how to go about it, so that’s why I came here to find out if there is information to learn how to help my son,” said Jennifer (no last name given), whose five-year-old son has been diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

There were dozens of tables staffed with area providers like Daniel Thrash (at right in photo), a behavioral manager at KenCrest Services, who explained how that organization helps.

“Early intervention programs — we have school age programs as well as transition programs as well as employment programs,” he said.

The Autism Expo was created by Howe Elementary School special education teacher Mona Cohen, and it became so popular over the years that the school district wanted to expand its offerings to all parents.

The school district says those unable to attend today’s expo will find information on the school district’s web site, philasd.org, next week.

Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio 1060