Memory of local child honored at World Autism Awareness Day

NHS Hu­man Ser­vices last week cel­eb­rated World Aut­ism Aware­ness Day by hon­or­ing the memory of a former stu­dent who at­ten­ded the agency’s school at 2900 Southamp­ton Road.

The April 2 aut­ism walk me­mori­al­ized Jake Har­kins, a 9-year-old Ju­ni­ata boy who was shot to death by his fath­er in a murder-sui­cide last Septem­ber.

Jes­sica Har­kins, Jake’s mom, at­ten­ded the walk. She was shot by her hus­band, but sur­vived.

NHS ded­ic­ated a bench, loc­ated near the school’s play­ground, in Jake’s memory.

The non­profit NHS serves in­di­vidu­als age 5 to 21 who have aut­ism spec­trum dis­orders and emo­tion­al sup­port needs. ••

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