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APRIL 2024 NEWSLETTER

Celebrate Differences for Autism Acceptance Month!

Autism Acceptance Month!

It’s here! April is Autism Acceptance Month, and this year we’re counting on all Autism Society supporters to do three things: Make Your Voice Heard, Spread the Word, and Show Your Support!  

 

This Autism Acceptance Month, celebrate with us and put acceptance into action.

 

When we #CelebrateDifferences, we embrace the diversity of needs, abilities, and experiences in the Autism community through acceptance. Together, we can improve opportunities in inclusive education, employment, and health equity for individuals with Autism, no matter where they are in life’s journey. And we can’t do it without you! 

 

With your support, the Autism Society of Baltimore-Chesapeake can continue to empower everyone in the Autism community to live fully with the connections to resources, information, support, and services that meet their needs. 

 

Help the Autism Society of Baltimore-Chesapeake #CelebrateDifferences through acceptance!

DONATE TODAY!

Baltimore Police Department and Autism Society Baltimore-Chesapeake Share Communication Facilitator Partnership

First Responder's Communication Facilitator Training
Communication Board in English

Baltimore, Md. (Feb. 1, 2024) – The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) and the Autism Society Baltimore-Chesapeake announce the development of the First Responder’s Communication Facilitator.


The BPD will be the first law enforcement agency in Maryland to provide this user-friendly communication booklet to its officers. The Department will initially distribute 2,000 copies.


The handout is designed to facilitate communications between BPD officers and non-speaking members of the community, including those on the autism spectrum. Without a means for clear communication, these individuals could be at high risk for negative interactions with law

enforcement.


The organizations worked together to provide officers with a tangible, useful, functional tool to have on hand when responding to calls for service... read more in the full press release here: Press Release


View the training video here!


All of this great work is made possible through our donors and members... please consider making a donation above so we can make an even greater impact!

ASBC's Business Repository and Financial

Support Fund

Are you a Baltimore City resident who is interested in or have received services and would like to be considered for a scholarship up to $500 in reimbursement? Please use the following link to submit your information: Apply for funding now!


The ASBC is here for you!

Become an ASBC Member for $15 a Year!

Become a ASBC Member

Missing something? Have you seen events hosted by us but have not been able to register? Become a member with an annual family membership of $15 and enjoy the benefits of...


Family membership includes:

  • Access to member-only social events
  • Up to $100 per family per year to attend Autism related workshops and conferences provided by the Charles J. Fowler, Jr. Memorial Fund
  • Access to ASBC grants and funding opportunities (for families living in Baltimore City and County)

Your membership helps the Autism Society of Baltimore Chesapeake:

  • Connect people to valuable information and resources through our phone line, website, calendar and info@baltimoreautismsociety.org email
  • Provide monthly groups like our virtual discussion groups for adults with Autism, and parents/caregivers
  • Provide monthly socials for those in the Autism community


Not a member yet? Don't miss out - become a member TODAY, sign up here: ASBC's Membership Page

ASBC Events & Programs

2nd Annual "Making Autism Work in the Community" on April 28th at Coppin State!

For a second year during Autism Acceptance Month, we are inviting adult individuals with Autism, parents, caretakers, and community members to Coppin State to a free event to enjoy a day of education and enrichment on campus. We will have resume building, mock interviews, local resources for adults, employers seeking neurodiverse employees, a forum dedicated to Autistic Coppin State students where they will talk about self determination, ask a first responder forum, and much more! Hope to see you there!


Event goals:


1. To create a space for connections and information sharing to facilitate neurodiversity acceptance and inclusion.


2. Provide community resources (i.e., resume building, job opportunities, interactions with first responders) to autistic individuals and family members.


3. To display artwork by neurodiverse artist.


There will also be neurodiverse presenters and a neurodiverse marketplace.

Click Here to Register!

Submit Your Proposal for "Making Autism Work in the Community!" Deadline is April 10th!

CALL FOR PRESENTERS: The Autism Society of Baltimore-Chesapeake invites you to submit a 20-minute workshop proposal to present at the “Making Autism Work in the Community Day” event that will be held on April 28 at Coppin State University, Baltimore. 

We encourage proposals that are aligned with the following areas, including but not limited to: 

  • Neurodiverse Employment
  • Independent living
  • Inclusion
  • Self Advocacy
  • Navigating the workspace


SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

  • Title of presentation
  • Names and agency/organization of the presenter/s
  • Abstract: Up to 200 words explaining the purpose, brief content, and the activities the participants will engage in. 
  • Special requirements for the presentation (e.g., projector, screen, etc.) 
  • Preference given to neurodiverse presenters, 4 presenters will be selected
  • Submission deadline: April 10, 2024


Please submit your abstract here: https://tinyurl.com/MakingAutismWorkPresentation


Email any inquiries to info@baltimoreautismsociety.org 

This Saturday: ASBC at Wildly Inclusive Autism Acceptance Day at the Maryland Zoo on April 6th!

ASBC will be celebrating Autism Acceptance Month with the Maryland Zoo on Saturday, April 6th from 10am to 4pm. Featuring fun activities, resources, and Zoo animals, join the Zoo in supporting, including, and accepting people with autism. April 6th will also be the debut of “Zoo ABC (Animal Are Neurodiverse, Too!)” children’s book authored and illustrated by MADE by Itineris Creative Arts Program artists. Offering a unique perspective based on observations of Zoo animals and the natural world. Available for sale at the Wild Things gift shop.


Check out more about the event here: https://www.marylandzoo.org/event_series/wildly-inclusive/autism-acceptance-day/


NOTE: ASBC member tickets are no longer available, but you can still attend with Zoo admission!

Wildly Inclusive Day at the Zoo!

March In Review: A Fun Evening for Members at We Rock the Spectrum Kid's Gym!

Last month's member social on March 28th at We Rock the Spectrum Kid's Gym was a huge hit with our family members! Families enjoyed open play in the space, which included swings, jungle gyms, slides, trampoline, and even a zip line! Don't want to miss out on the next membership exclusive event? Become a member today!

March Member Social at We Rock the Spectrum!

Virtual Groups, Meetings, Workshops

& Other Resources

Upcoming ASBC Virtual Groups

Click the group name to register and receive the email reminders and login information.

General Session

An inclusive space for all adults to learn and grow in their understanding

Tuesday, April 30th, 2024, at 7:00pm

With Guest Speaker TBA!

Parent / Caregiver Discussion Group

A supportive environment to meet other parents and share

Tuesday, April 16th, at 7:00 pm

Autistic Adult Discussion Group

Every Thursday @ 9:00pm

(3rd Thursdays of every even month will be in-person starting at 7pm!)

For Autistic Adults (18+) Only

A casual, neurodiverse space to connect and share


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The Autistic Adult group will be holding an in-person meetup on April 18th at 7pm. Make sure to register to get additional information on this event straight to your inbox! https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/fgKjaH0/AutisticAdultGroup


NEW! ASBC is now on Meetup!


The ASBC is now on Meetup! Check us out to get up to date info on our events and connect with other members:

https://www.meetup.com/autism-society-baltimore-chesapeake/

We Rock The Spectrum Summer Camp Registration is NOW OPEN!



☀️Join We Rock The Spectrum Kid's Gym for an unforgettable summer adventure 🏕️


Get ready for an exciting summer camp experience filled with fun activities, open play and lifelong memories! WRTS camp offers a unique blend of learning and recreation, perfect for campers of all abilities. 


Dates: June 17- Aug 16

Location: We Rock Baltimore , 9770 Groffs Mill Dr, Owings Mills, MD 21117


Registration is now open, with a $50 non-refundable registration fee to secure your spot. Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to make new friends, learn, play and create lasting memories. Reserve your place today! 


Spaces are limited, so act fast to secure your spot. Call 410-497-6250 now to register, book on our app or scan QR code below.🌳🔥🎉

We Rock the Spectrum Summer Camp

“Work of Art” - Free & Inclusive Mixed Media Workshops for Youth (14+) in May



Registration for youth workshops at Make Studio is open! They are pleased to present their series of free art workshops, "Work of Art," again this year and hope students and participants in your networks will attend.


Join us for up to six 2-hour workshops in May. Each workshop is a hands-on opportunity to build skills and meet other young artists at our studio-gallery in Baltimore. Workshops will be held on Thursdays, 3:30-5:30PM and Saturdays, 11:30AM-1:30PM. All materials will be provided. Register online at this link

Make Studio's Work of Art

Webinar: Fostering Meaningful Inclusion and Belonging at Work and in Life Spaces: Why it Matters and How to Prioritize it on April 4th


Kennedy Krieger Institute, Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities is hosting an interactive course to address the inequalities faced by people with disabilities and their families, the concept of social inclusion must go beyond narrow understandings and promotion of increased presence of marginalized groups but rather on the need for them to occupy and play valued social roles within society and community life. This session will provide opportunity for participants to learn what meaningful inclusion and belonging means, why it matters, factors that hinder or facilitate it, and effective strategies for fostering meaningful inclusion at individual community and organizational levels. Participants will have the opportunity to work in small groups to apply the strategies and develop their own action plan for increasing meaningful inclusion and belonging in various spaces. Instructional Level: Intermediate


Date and Time:

Thursday, April 4, 2024 9am to 12:15pm


Learning Objectives:

Participants will be able to:

  • Describe ways to prioritize the cultivation of meaningful inclusion and belonging for people with disabilities and others.
  • List 2-4 examples of ways to address barriers and factors that hinder meaningful inclusion.
  • Discuss strategies for effective implementation of meaningful inclusion at individual, community, and organizational levels

 

Target Populations:

  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Counselors
  • Educators
  • Parents and caregivers
  • Nurses
  • Clinical and medical staff
  • Direct support professionals
  • Other community service providers
  • Physical and occupational therapists
  • Speech-language pathologists
  • Students/trainees


Learn more about the presenters and register here (tickets range $15-60): https://eventscalendar.kennedykrieger.org/event/_fostering_meaningful_inclusion_and_belonging#


Webinar Graphic

Baltimore County Public Schools' Special Education Resource Fair


Thursday, April 11th, 2024 

6:00-8:00pm 

Riverview Elementary School – 3298 Kessler Road, Baltimore, MD 21227


Parents and caregivers of children receiving special education services from Baltimore County Public Schools are invited to participate in the BCPS Special Education Resource Fair. The free event, hosted by the BCPS Department of Special Education, will connect families to each other and to additional information about services and resources offered by the school system and by community agencies and organizations.  

BCPS Secondary Transition Parent Trainings & April Events


For our BCPS families: Baltimore County Public Schools' Department of Special Education has been providing helpful and informative virtual trainings for parents about secondary transition. See the calendar of remaining presentations and their meeting links to attend here: Secondary Transition Parent Trainings 2023 - 2024


Missed a past presentation? Recorded parent presentations can be found at: Transition Page- Baltimore County Public Schools (bcps.org).

BCPS Department of Special Education

B&O's Sensory Inclusive Summer Camp is BACK!

From STEM workshops to relaxed tours, art projects, behind-the-scenes explorations,

and gentle train rides, the week is filled with activities that adapt to every child’s unique

learning style and sensory needs!


At the heart of our Summer Camp at the B&O is a commitment to inclusivity, support,

and safety. Designed specifically for children with developmental disabilities, sensory

processing disorders, and related challenges, B&O's camp is run by a caring team of

experienced counselors and 1:1 aides.


2024 Dates:

Week 1: June 24-28 (Ages 7-10, waitlist only)

Week 2: July 8-12 (Ages 11-14)

Week 3: July 22-26 (Ages 6-7)

Week 4: August 5-9 (Ages 11-14)


Register here: https://www.borail.org/events/sensory-inclusive-summer-camp/

Save the Date: B&O Railroad Museum's Next Sensory Sunday on April 7th!

To support their neurodivergent visitors, the B&O Railroad Museum is dedicating first Sundays in select months to Sensory Awareness. These day will include environmental accommodations (no music, low lighting, quiet areas, increased signage for areas with sound effects), as well as sensory-friendly events (kids craft, train ride, and tour) and resources (sensory kits, social stories, and community table).


April 7 – Spring Blooms 

Sensory Activity: Rainbow Windsocks, Spring Themed Sensory Table 

Sensory-Friendly Tour: Technology Changes


June 2 – Splash into Summer 

Sensory Activity: Rain Stick Instruments, Water Play 

Sensory-Friendly Tour: Fueling America’s Railroads


August 4 – Popsicle Party 

Sensory Activity: Melting Tissue Paper Popsicles, Water Play 

Sensory-Friendly Tour: Maryland History


October 6 – Fall Fest 

Sensory Activity: Paint a Pumpkin, Fall Themed Sensory Table 

Sensory-Friendly Tour: Museum Highlights


Pre-registration suggested, walk-ins welcome. Register here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sensory-sundays-at-the-bo-railroad-museum-tickets-782137001827?aff=oddtdtcreator

Virtual Book Display: Autism Acceptance Month at Baltimore County Public Library

Ellen Outside the Lines Book Cover

Baltimore County Public Library's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council is proud to share this virtual book display in celebration of Autism Acceptance Month. Inspired by the Autism Society of America's annual #CelebrateDifferences campaign, this display embraces a theme of celebrating differences and uplifting voices from within the autism community. From heartfelt memoirs to insightful fiction, explore a curated selection of books that highlight the diversity of perspectives and experiences within the autism community. Join us in appreciating difference, embracing acceptance and increasing understanding this Autism Acceptance Month.


Check out the display here: https://www.bcpl.info/blog/2024/virtual-book-display-autism-acceptance-month

Sensory-Friendly Vaccine Bags Available!

FREE Sensory-friendly Vaccine Bags are available through our friends at the Autism Society of MD (Howard, Montgomery, and Anne Arundel)! Please contact them at 410-290-3466 or email info@autismsocietymd.org to reserve yours!


Kits contain noise-canceling headphones, fidgets/spinners, squeezy ball, shot blocker, sunglasses, and stickers to make your/your child’s vaccine experience easier!


The Vaccine Bags are part of the Vaccine Education Initiative, a partnership of the Autism Society of America (ASA) and the Howard County Health Department. The Autism Society believes that improving the vaccination experience is a critical step towards achieving more equitable healthcare for people with Autism and all neurodiverse individuals. The Vaccine Education Initiative (VEI) addresses systemic barriers, while promoting vaccine education, confidence, and access. Funding has been provided through a mission-critical grant from the Aging and Disability Vaccination Collaborative (ADVC). 


CLICK HERE to access a variety of information and resources in English and Spanish including flyers, communication boards, social stories.

Thank You To Our Donors!

ASBC Donors

January 1 – March 31, 2024


Joyce Daniels

Eric Donovan

Father Burggraff, Council of the Knights of Columbus

Charisse Fletcher

Eliot Glaser

Natalie Grady

Deirdre Hammaker

Seleta Harvey

Miriam King

Bianca O’Neal

Ali and James Orman


Avery Berman Scholarship Fund

Michelle Trice

DONATE HERE!
LEARN MORE ON OUR WEBSITE!