April is recognized as National Autism Awareness Month. Did you know? About 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder, and it's almost 5 times more common among boys (1 in 54) than among girls (1 in 252).

Autism is a term used for a number of disabilities called Autism Spectrum Disorders -- or ASD. ASD emerges in the first three years of a child's life, and can affect the child's ability to communicate, understand language, and to develop social relationships.

CDS Monarch began offering award-winning Autism Skill Building services in 2007. Since then 94 children on the Autism Spectrum have been served in our community. The goal of the Autism Skill Building service is to increase overall social skills, teach individuals how to handle emotions, cope with stress and develop self monitoring techniques through guided play, role playing, games, field trips, and physical activities in a safe and caring environment (for children ages 6-16).

There are many ways that you can get involved with the autism community.  Here are a few suggestions:
Reach Out to a Local Organization
CDS Monarch offers a variety of Autism services for children and adults.  There are several other local organizations that offer services as well. Offer to volunteer your time, or get involved at an event.

Attend an Event
CDS Monarch hosts an annual Autism Awareness Fair every April at the Wolf Life Transitions Center with a variety of fun and educational activities for the whole family. Also, this year CDS Monarch, in partnership with Nazareth College, will be holding the first annual Voices for Autism conference. For more details or to get registered please visit our website.
Sensory Friendly Films
AMC Theatres (AMC) and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families affected by autism the opportunity to enjoy films in a safe and accepting environment with the "Sensory Friendly Films" program. In order to provide a more comfortable setting, the movie auditoriums will have their lights brought up and the sound turned down, families will be able to bring in their own gluten-free, casein-free snacks, no previews or advertisements will be shown before the movie, and AMC's "Silence is Golden®" policy will not be enforced. AMC has a theater located right here in Webster, where you can participate, or to find a theatre near you, click here.
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