WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — “Paul is going to be 29 this year. He was diagnosed at two and a half,” said Julie Hipp, looking towards her adult with autism.

At first, the diagnosis was very isolating for the Wallingford family.

But then Hipp found the group that’s now ASRC – Autism Services and Resources Connecticut.

“I am grateful for where we are and couldn’t be here without ASRC and the community we’ve developed,” Hipp said, who actually founded ASRC’s Walk for Autism.

“We realized that we had something and that it was so needed in the state to connect folks to get to the next step,” she explained.

And now, 25 years later, the fundraising event remains a spring staple for the autism community.

“Families can just be themselves and don’t have to worry, they can meet other families of similar backgrounds,” Hipp said.

ASRC has been busy in recent years…growing with their clients.

“Our focus has been a lot on transition, teens and adults, employment is a big one,” Hipp said.

And this years walk features a job showcase with recruitment from area companies.

“They have a more accessible interview process, they appreciate neuroscience diversity,” she explained.

“There’s a raffle and a bubble walk and live music and food trucks,” added Paul, who works at a local golf course.

“Never missed a day, always on time,” Hipp said, explaining the dedication of this work force.

Paul also loves to play with his dog, Ted, as well as cycle, swim, and do improv.

He’s one class away from getting his bachelor’s degree in digital marketing.

“I am extraordinarily proud,” Julie said.

Strides have been made – at the walk and beyond – towards understanding, acceptance and celebration.

“It’s been a journey, definitely a lifelong journey,” Hipp said. “We’ve really tried to embrace it, take the good with the challenges and work though it.”

The walk takes place this coming Sunday, May 22nd at 9am at the North Haven Fairgrounds.

News 8’s Sarah Cody will be in attendance as emcee.

Click here for more information.