CDS Monarch's 5th Annual Autism Awareness Fair took place on Friday, April 25th, which coincided with National Autism Awareness Month. Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the U.S. and has no known cure. According to the latest Centers for Disease Control data, new estimates indicate that 1 in 68 children are on the autism spectrum. The Fair is held to educate the public about autism and strengthen people's understanding of the individuals in their community who are living on the autism spectrum.

The event included a variety of family-friendly activities including therapy animals, a drum circle, a bounce house, outdoor games and more. Other activities focused on art, music and sensory therapies. A silent auction held at the Fair raised funding for an addition to the playground, used by the children who attend Autism Skill Building at CDS Monarch.

Autism Skill Building (ASB), assists individuals between the ages of 6 and 16 who are diagnosed with Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder, 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.

During the week of Spring Break, the group met for an extended time period each day and focused on one particular social theme: the importance of activity. The kids discussed things that they could do during breaks from school that get them out and moving around. Activities for the week included: a day at Ellison and Penfield Parks, a swimming and pool party, bowling, and a visit to the Rochester Museum and Science Center.
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