By Hannah Sykes

CLEMSON — The Autism Society of Clemson will host the second annual Puzzle Palooza from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8, in the Hendrix Student Center ballroom to raise money and awareness for autism.

Participants will form teams and work through stages of puzzle challenges to compete for prizes. Profits from the event will support nationally recognized autism research and awareness organizations, such as Autism Speaks, the Autism Society of America and the South Carolina Autism Society.

The competition is open to students, faculty, staff and the community. Teams of five can register for $5 per person or $20 per person for registration and a T-shirt. Individuals or teams with fewer than five members will be combined with other teams. A registration form is online at http://people.clemson.edu/~ascu/Events.html.

More than 60 people participated in last year’s puzzle marathon, and the Autism Society of Clemson expects that number to double at this year’s contest, according to Matthew Chung, Autism Society of Clemson president and co-founder.

“The jigsaw is autism's symbol, much like the pink ribbon is for breast cancer,” Chung said. “We hope to incorporate this idea of puzzles by holding a puzzle marathon.”

Autism is a communication disorder and includes a wide spectrum of conditions, including autism, Asperger Syndrome, Rett Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. There currently is no cure or completely effective treatment for autism.

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