World Autism Awareness Day is on Friday, April 2, 2010 and April is Autism Awareness month. The Autism Society has been celebrating National Autism Awareness Month since the 1970s in order to highlight the growing need for concern and awareness about autism. The United States recognizes April as a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community. Check out The Autism Society’s “Seven ways you can celebrate National Autism Awareness Month” this year.
We are pleased to host the first Autism Awareness Day Family Celebration at the Dallas Museum of Art on Saturday, April 3. The Museum’s mission is to engage all audiences, and we are dedicated to being a responsible community partner. In order to fulfill this need, we are responding to the suggestions and encouragement of the family community. We hope that the Autism Awareness Day Family Celebration will bring many families with children with autism to the Museum who have never visited before.
This event is a special free Family Celebration designed just for children on the Autism Spectrum and their families. Pre-registered families can visit the Museum for free and enjoy the Museum’s Center for Creative Connections before the Museum opens to the public. We are hoping to help families who may feel overwhelmed going to museums or family events with a child with autism to feel comfortable at the Museum. Since the Museum will be open only to families who have registered for the event, we hope that families will feel at ease being surrounded by other families with children on the autism spectrum and will have the chance to get to know one another.
The Center for Creative Connections will be available for parents and children to play and enjoy art together in a fun environment. Families can participate in staff-led gallery experiences, experience storytelling, create a work of art in the Studio, and in the Tech Lab, listen to Soundscapes inspired by works of art in the collection.
Families will have the opportunity to explore the interactives in the Museum during this special private event and are also invited to stay when the Museum opens at 11:00 a.m. to enjoy additional family programming.
We have collaborated with Stacey Callaway, an Autism Program Specialist in Keller ISD to create programming for the Autism Awareness Day Family Celebration and to produce two social stories for children with autism; one of the social stories is a general one about visiting the Dallas Museum of Art, and the other one is specifically about the events that will take place on April 3.
While registration for this event filled up quickly, we have an email list and plan to send information to families about future programming for children with autism. If you are interested in being included on our list, please email your name and contact info to ablake@DallasMuseumofArt.org.