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Autism Friendly Activities

April is National Autism Awareness Month. Whether you have a family member, friend or a neighbor with autism, April is the time to take a moment to learn and understand more about those living with autism.

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According to the Autism Society, “National Autism Awareness Month represents an excellent opportunity to promote autism awareness, autism acceptance and to draw attention to the tens of thousands facing an autism diagnosis each year.” To enhance our readers’ awareness of autism, we’ve highlighted a few places in the area that are enhancing the lives of those living on the spectrum.

We Rock the Spectrum

This gym facility uses a mix of classes and open gym time to ensure kids on the spectrum have a safe space to play and learn. According to its website, it’s a place that “provides children with a fun and motivational environment to help them in the areas of strength, movement, sensory processing, communication, positive behavior modification, social interactions, and self-care skills.”

AMC Movie Theaters

AMC Theaters offers a Sensory Friendly Films program on the second and fourth Saturday of each month. AMC Columbia, AMC Owings Mills and AMC White Marsh participate in the program. For sensory friendly films, the lights are turned slightly up and the sound is turned slightly down. Audience members are also welcome to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing.

Maryland Theraputic Riding

According to Maryland Theraputic Riding’s website, the organization “uses the healing and therapeutic power of horses to improve the balance, strength, muscle tone, self-image, self-confidence, and quality of life for individuals with special needs.” 

Annapolis Music Therapy

Annapolis Music Therapy provides in-home and on-site music therapy services to “foster a theraputic environment that is welcoming, familiar, and comforting
for each client we serve.” The group provides individual and group therapy sessions, plus Sensory Friendly Concerts, adapted music lessons for special needs students and more.

Musical Autist Troupe

Founder and music therapist CJ Shiloh says of this music program, “you don’t have to have musical talent to participate, only a love for music and a desire to listen and share in it with others.” The group meets at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts on Wednesdays over six-week periods. Each session ends with a song that the group will perform together in a spring event.

Chuck E. Cheese

The long-time kids chain has introduced Sensory Sensitive Sundays to some of its locations. It’s promising less crowding and noise, dimmed lighting, shows and music turned off or down, and limited appearances by Chuck E. Participating locations will open two hours on the first Sunday of every month for the event. Click here for participating locations, which includes the Annapolis location!chuckecheese.com

Sesame Place




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