CDS held its 2nd Annual Autism Awareness Fair on Friday, April 29th at the Wolf Life Transitions Center in Webster. The Fair was held to recognize April being Autism Awareness month, and to educate the public about autism and the services that are available in our community.

The Fair offered a variety of family activities including: open swim, a bounce house, iPad and Nook demonstrations, sensory activities, arts and crafts, a clown, therapy animals, and face painting. Lori's Natural Foods provided gluten-free snacks, and other refreshments were sold and the money raised benefited the CDS Families in Need program. Information about autism and autism services was available from Autism Speaks, as well as CDS.

"Artistic", a community event to celebrate the abilities of children with autism, handed out art canvas' to kids with autism. The kids will use the canvas to create their own works of art. The artwork will be donated by the families for exhibition at local galleries, to raise awareness about Autism. A silent auction of all exhibited works will be held at CDS on August 12-13th, 2011. All proceeds will be donated to the Rochester "Walk Now for Autism Speaks".

The Autism Skill Building Program at CDS prides itself in helping children 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 more information, please contact Sarah Eksten, Autism Skill Building Coordinator, at seksten@cdsunistel.org or call (585) 347-1075.

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