Autism Awareness Month is dear to me. I will be celebrating through out April with family and friends and will post special articles on the site through out the month. The importance of promoting Autism Awareness is to support families, educate the community, raise awareness and acceptance, form partnerships in the community and raise money for research.

It is so important for parents, families and the individuals themselves to know they’re not alone in their journey. As awareness grows it is with great hope that families can go about daily routines with out feeling judged.

There’s a very detailed list of support groups and resources in this article: https://theplayfulparent.org/2017/03/07/family-resource-guide-for-exceptional-children-of-all-abilities/
Here is a small highlight on a resources and April events:

Support Group Information:
http://autismsupport-somd.org/
https://www.facebook.com/AutismSupportSoMD/

During Autism Awareness Month, Autism Spectrum Support Group of SOMD is participating in and promoting several activities around Southern Maryland to bring more awareness to this community–
World Autism Awareness Day is April 2.  Autism Speaks promotes “Light It Up Blue” on that day. People around the world light up buildings with blue lights, and everyone is encouraged to wear blue in support of autism awareness.

Personalized Therapy’s 10th Annual Autism Awareness Day. April 8 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Bollywood Tap House, California www.facebook.com/events/209715149511770/.  There will be vendors, a silent auction, a dessert auction, games, crafts, bounce houses, and a food buffet for purchase. Admission is free. All funds raised go to local organizations that help people with autism, including the Autism Spectrum Support Group of Southern Maryland.
Personalized Therapy’s Rock Out for Autism. April 22 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Olde Town Pub, Leonardtown. Enjoy the music of the bands as they play a set and the great food available from the Olde Town Pub!

Special Night for a Bite. April 26, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Ruby Tuesday, California.  The Promise Resource Center is partnering with Ruby Tuesday to provide an opportunity for families of people with disabilities to enjoy a restaurant meal in an understanding, judgment-free environment (families responsible for meal costs). Ruby Tuesday offers a wide meal selection for special/limited diets and a wait staff who recognize your family’s special needs. No reservations are needed — just ask for a Special Bite table!

AUTISM SPEAK WALK
Join many at the National Mall on October 7, 2017 to advocate and take action for the diverse needs of the autism community. The event helps generate funds that fuel innovative research and make connections to critical lifelong supports and services.
CARING BUNNY
(St. Charles Town Center)
Two Special dates: March 26, 2017 & April 2, 2017
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Did you know that our local mall has partnered with Autism Speaks to host two special times that provide a more welcoming and quiet environment for children with special needs and their families! Make sure you register online March
26:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/caring-bunny-tickets-32053572097
April 2nd: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/caring-bunny-tickets-32054251128
DUCK RACE
Date: April 8, 2017
Time: 2:30 registration, 3:30 Race Begins
Location: Edward T. Hall Aquatic Center
Details: Sponsor one or more ducks for a chance to win awesome prizes! Any and all donations will be put towards helping campers with special needs attend a CCPR 2017 summer camp.
Event Type: Family Fun/Fund Raiser
Age Group: All Ages
Cost: $5 per duck
Information: 410-535-1600 ext 8204
EARLY CHILDHOOD DAY
This annual event offers kids a great start to the school year! This event usually occurs the first Saturday in August from 10AM to 1PM at the Capital Club House in Waldorf, MD. 2017 date and time to be announced.
PARENTS PLACE OF MARYLAND
Check their page for parenting workshops and events the next one on the agenda is “Special Education: What Parents Need to Know, and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions” on March 17, 2016 @ 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM.
http://www.ppmd.org/
SENSORY FRIENDLY FILMS
It’s exciting that AMC’s have partnered with Autism Society to provide sensory friendly films. It’s great that this exists because it increases public awareness of autism and advocates services in the community. The show times offer a more welcoming and subdued environment by keeping the lights on and volume at a lower level.
https://www.amctheatres.com/programs/sensory-friendly-films
Spring Schedule:
* March-11, 2017 -Rock Dog
* March 14, 2017  – Kong Skull Island
* March 25, 2017  – Disney’s Beauty and The Beast
* March 28, 2017 – Power Rangers
* April 8, 2017 – Dream Works: Boss Baby
* April 11, 2017- Gifted
* April 22, 2017- Smurfs The Lost Village
* April 25, 2017- The Fate of The Furious
* May 9, 2017- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
* May 13, 2017- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

SPRING FLING BARSTOW ACRES CHILDREN’S CENTER
Date: 4/22/2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: Barstow Acres Children’s Center
Details: Fun filled activities for the entire family, including grilled hamburgers and hotdog lunch specials for donations of $3. Come out and get information on the various groups and activities hosted by Barstow Acres.
Event Type: Open House
Age Group: All Ages
Cost: FREE
Information: 410-414-9901
CHILDREN’S THEATER OF ANNAPOLIS
Performance of James and the Giant Peach- Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. Sensory-Friendly Performance & American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation
Children’s Theater of Annapolis offers sensory-friendly performances for all three of their main stage productions each season. These performances are designed to create a performing arts experience that is welcoming to families with children who are autistic or have other sensory sensitivities. Accommodations for these performances include
– Lower sound level, especially for startling or loud sounds
– Lights remain on at a low level in the theater during the performance
– A reduction of strobe lighting or lighting focused on the audience
– Patrons are free to talk and move about during the performance
For more information click on the link below to visit our Accessibility webpage or call 410-757-2281.
Maryland Discovery Days At Port Discovery Children’s Museum
Tuesday, May 9 – Friday, May 12, 9:30 AM – 5PM
Admission is free with museum entry, which is $14.95 for individuals two and up. Members and children younger than two are admitted for free. Groups of 15 or more who book ahead are eligible for Port Discovery’s group rate. Contact Kristie Gulick at 410-864-2664 for group pricing.
Every year, Port Discovery sets aside days for children with special needs and their caretakers as part of the museum’s dedication to inclusive learning. The Museum staff lowers volume, sound effects, and lights, so that children with physical and cognitive abilities can truly enjoy the museum experience. Activities are designed for children with special needs, but all children are encouraged to join this fun-filled week. Children with IEP’s are welcome at this week’s events. Visit PortDiscovery.orgfor more information about Maryland Discovery Days.  Find out more about each day’s activities:
Portability Autism Day
Tuesday, May 9, 9:30 AM – 5PM
Kickoff Discovery Days with Portability Autism Day, designed for children with Autism and their peers. Enjoy a can’t-miss puppetry performance from the Kindersinger, get up close and personal with wildlife at the Wildlife Adventures Petting Zoo, become a scientist during the interactive Eric Energy show, and much more!
Discovery Day
Wednesday, May 10, 9:30 AM– 5PM
Get ready to sing, dance, and move on day two of Maryland Discovery Days! Join programs designed for children with special needs, Pre-K to 2nd grade. Learn about different sound techniques at the interactive Percussion Garden, meet wildlife at the Wildlife Adventures Petting Zoo, and watch a lively performance from the Kindersinger!
Discovery Day
Thursday, May 11, 9:30AM – 5PM
Join Port Discovery for an exciting day of interactive activities designed for special needs children, 3rd grade and above. Don’t miss a live performance from the one and only Kindersinger, our lively interactive Jingle Jangle Music Time, or our award-winning literacy program, Mother Goose on the Loose.

Be a part of the Arts Day
Friday, May 12, 9:30 AM– 5PM
Celebrate the last day of Discovery week with Be a Part of the Arts Day, featuring an inclusive fun-filled schedule for children of all abilities! Listen to Mr. Norman fill the halls with classic music, enjoy Face Painting by Landre SFX, learn sign language with Shakey K, and more art activities the whole family will love!

Also check out Path Finders of Maryland they have an excellent calendar and resource page: http://www.pathfindersforautism.org/calendar