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COLUMBIA – Kids on the autism spectrum and their parents made crafts at the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders on Saturday.

“We really just wanted to give the opportunity to our patients and their families to express themselves through art and connect with the community in some way.” 

Nathan Hurst, strategic communications consultant for the Thompson Center, said the event is a fun way for people to celebrate their creative side.

The kids and their families were able to take part in an afternoon of art, music and crafts for free.

The kids made shirts, puzzle pieces and water bottle light bulbs, a craft with Christmas lights inside of water bottles that are strung together.

Some of the crafts made Saturday will be used at Light It Up Blue, which is an event to raise awareness about autism.

“I think there’s a lot of misconceptions about what autism is and how it affects not only people who have autism in their family, but really how if affects the whole community," he said.

Light It Up Blue will be held April 2 at the Boone County Courthouse form 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.