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      Autism Awareness: New Dream Center In The Works

      Diana Rivera is the founder and president of ARC of South Texas, which is now changing names to A.R.T.S of Texas which stands for Autism, Resources, Training and Support.

      "We have an architect that has designed the building and now we have to work on the legislators to find grants and funding. It can be done because it's been done in other places."

      Diana is the mother of a 41 year old who has autism.

      "My son can't speak conversationally, but look at his paintings."

      Her entire home is adorned by Anthony Rivera's paintings. Mom says they discovered his talent when he was 35, and he hasn't stopped creating art since.

      "He has blossomed more in the last 6 years than the past 25. He's more talkative, more social and that's what we want to do with the organization."

      A.R.T.S of Texas will provide children and adults with autism a place to express themselves constructively whether it be through painting, playing a musical instrument, singing or dancing.

      Diana says she's seen what it's done for her son and wants to bring joy to others like him.

      "To improve their quality of life. We know most of our kids are not going to be doctors or lawyers, but they have value and we want to give them that."

      In 1971, Anthony was 1 in 10,000 children diagnosed with autism.

      Today, studies show 1 in 50 children are autistic.

      "We want to raise awareness, but I've been aware of it for 41 years. What I want more than that is acceptance. They are here, we have one in 50 children being born with autism, they are going to grow up to be adults with autism that are going to need somewhere to go."