Autism expo a success

Creative space: Jake Tonkin tries his hand at painting.
Creative space: Jake Tonkin tries his hand at painting.
Leading the way: Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams, Hastings Autism president Karen Huf, mayor Peter Besseling and Leah Pearse support the autism expo.

Leading the way: Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams, Hastings Autism president Karen Huf, mayor Peter Besseling and Leah Pearse support the autism expo.

In the crowd: Haley Addison and Janice Palmer at the expo.

In the crowd: Haley Addison and Janice Palmer at the expo.

Raising awareness: Troy Hardie, Joanne Redfern, Hunter Hardie and Louise Peklar were among the crowd attracted to the awareness raising event.

Raising awareness: Troy Hardie, Joanne Redfern, Hunter Hardie and Louise Peklar were among the crowd attracted to the awareness raising event.

Smiling faces: Lauren Packer, Benji and Tahlia Clarke have fun at the expo.

Smiling faces: Lauren Packer, Benji and Tahlia Clarke have fun at the expo.

THE overwhelming response at an autism expo reflected the needs in the area, organisers say.

The free expo and seminar at Port Macquarie Panthers on Saturday brought together support and service providers, and also featured seminars and a children's area for youngsters with autism and their siblings.

Non-profit group Hastings Autism staged the expo to boost awareness, highlight the needs of families affected by autism and to provide families facing autism with additional support and exposure to services.

Hastings Autism president Karen Huf said they were overwhelmed with the response to the point where her only regret was not being able to accommodate more families.

"It got to the point in the kids area where we