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CHESAPEAKE - Jackson Jenkins is like most three year olds - he loves to run and hug and laugh out loud. He's a wiz on the iPad, too.

You might not know he has autism and he's getting help at Mea Lofa in Chesapeake, which is dedicated to helping teach these special youngsters.

His mother, Jennifer Jenkins, remembers when her pediatrician told her his suspicion.

'You have these dreams for your boy. He's our only boy. And then you can't dream those ideas for him anymore. It hurts,' she says through her tears.

Jennifer says Jackon's therapist, Ashley, is like his second mom.

Mea Lofa officials say the public school system's special-education curriculum is too general and can't always ensure children with autism reach their fullest potential. The center takes aone-on-one approach, giving each child a plan to meet his or her needs.

To raise money and awareness since April is Autism Awareness Month, there will be a wine tasting on Saturday, August 27, at Manhattan Deli in Newport News.

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