Join us to #CelebrateDifferences!

On April 2nd and throughout the month of April, people around the world come together to #CelebrateDifferences during Autism Acceptance Month.

This year we acknowledge a shift from Awareness to Acceptance as we work in partnership with the Autism Society of America and others to advocate for lawmakers to federally designate April as Autism Acceptance Month.  While we will always work to spread awareness, words matter — the need for acceptance is greater than ever, as we strive for autistic individuals to live fully in all areas of life.

As many individuals and families affected by autism know, acceptance is often one of the biggest barriers to finding and developing a strong support system throughout the lifespan.

The Autism Society understands the importance of fostering acceptance to ignite change through improved support and opportunities in inclusive education, competitive employment, accessible housing, affordable health care and comprehensive long-term services and supports.

Additional resources from the Autism Society of America can be found HERE.

Below is a schedule of our planned events, activities and fundraisers for April 2021 in celebration of Autism Acceptance Month! 
Check back frequently for additional updates.



Send us your photos and video!  How will you celebrate Autism Acceptance Month?!

Friends, family and community members, take a photo with our #CelebrateDifferences sign HERE post and tag us or email to

Self-Advocates, take a photo with our #IAmMe sign HERE post and tag us or email to


April 8, 15, 22 & 20  (3:30-4:30pm) –  Virtual Trivia!  Test your trivia knowledge on pop culture topics/themes in a Jeopardy-like game. Socialize with your HCAS friends and the Howard County Rec & Parks Therapeutic Recreation staff. Join us for fun and games and maybe learn something new too! For individuals age 16+ with disabilities. FREE but registration is required to receive the Zoom login. Space is Limited! CLICK TO REGISTER



April 10th (2pm) – OUTDOOR EXTRAVAGANZA Robinson Nature Center for Autism Acceptance Month!

Celebrate Autism Acceptance month outdoors with Howard County Recreation & Parks.  They invite families with members on the autism spectrum to:
-Enjoy outdoor puppet shows with Robinson Nature Center staff
-Navigate sensory pathways around the property
-Participate in Nature BINGO with Therapeutic Rec. Staff
-Solve a mystery in the woods created by Howard County Park Rangers
-Learn about stone tool-making with Living History and Heritage Program staff.
Register by 4/3 and receive a take-home activity bag. REGISTER by scanning the QR code on the flyer below or call 410-313-0400.
*Event takes place entirely outdoors and will follow Covid-19 safety guidelines.  See details on facial mask use at the event by scanning the QR code on the flyer.

CLICK for the flyer


April 15 @ Noon via Zoom: Professionals Rocking the Spectrum: Neurodiversity Panel Discussion  Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab Join us for an enlightening discussion with career professionals sharing their experiences from diagnosis to their unique perspectives and contributions in their fields over the course of their careers. Held in partnership with HCAS and APL’s All About Autism Club.  Panelists will include:

    • Charles (Chuck) Cooperman – APL, Electrical Engineer, Boasts a thriving career with US government including multiple patents
    • Lars Perner, PhD., USC Marshall, Asst. Professor of Clinical Marketing – Established authority on consumer behavior
    • Shawn Riley, DarkLight, Cyber Security Senior Advisor – Industry Leader and cyber security visionary
    • Zosia Zaks, Towson Univ. / Hussman Center – Manager of Programs & Education and Author


Passcode: 156891


April 16 @ 7pm – Music BINGO! Join your HCAS friends and the HCRP Therapeutic Recreation staff for a round of Music Bingo in honor of Autism Acceptance Month. With chances to win Amazon gift cards! All ages welcome! FREE but registration is required by Wednesday, April 14 at NOON to receive the Zoom login and Bingo cards at 



17 de abril a las 9 am – mediodía– Grupo de apoyo para padres latinos3K Walk en Centennial Park en Ellicott City para celebrar su segundo aniversario. Correo electrónico de  April 17th @ 9am – Noon – Latino Parent Support Group 3K Walk at Centennial Park in Ellicott City to celebrate their 2nd year anniversary.  For information,


April 19th @ 7pm – Parent-Led Panel:  Your Child’s Just Been Diagnosed with Autism.  Now What?

This webinar is a Parent-Led Panel Discussion for families with young children with autism or with children who have been recently diagnosed.

Learn from other parents who are at various stages of the autism journey, with children ages elementary school through adults in their 30’s.

* What they wish they knew at the time of diagnosis
* What helped them get through the challenging early days
* Their message of hope and understanding for you

FREE to attend but REGISTRATION is REQUIRED to receive the Webex login by email.CLICK to Register  Questions? 410-290-3466 or


April 27th @ 7pm Adult Sibling GroupNEW! HCAS is forming a new group for adults with a sister or brother with any disability, not just autism.  If you are interested, please email Free to attend but a one-time registration is required.  CLICK to register.





April 28th @ 1pm: Fostering Inclusive Workplaces: A Panel Discussion  Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory

A panel discussion with staff from The Arc of Howard County and The Howard County Autism Society. Natalie Dohner, Cindy Parr, and Melissa Rosenberg will share their experiences of working with young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who are transitioning from high school to career. They will discuss ways in which APL staff can better support neurodiverse staff members, and describe the steps APL needs to take to become an inclusive workplace.  Free.

Zoom Link:

Passcode: 582948




April 1-30:Prino’s Mediterranean Grill  –  Throughout the month of April, Prino’s Mediterranean Grill  in Hanover, MD is offering a special fixed price menu to benefit the Howard County Autism Society. They are offering a discount of 10% off your order of $30 or more and 10% of your purchase will go to HCAS! Prino’s is located at 7690 Dorchester Blvd, Suite #204, Hanover, MD 21076.




April 1-30:Maplelawn Wine & Spirits – Sagamore Rye Whiskey Fundraiser – Throughout the month of April, Maplelawn Wine & Spirits in Fulton, MD will donate $5 to the Howard County Autism Society for every bottle of Sagamore Rye Whiskey it sells!



April 1 – 30:  Craftymaginations – In honor of Autism Acceptance Month, Giselle has created a beautiful collection to represent the Autism Spectrum Disorder (limited quantities available). 100% of the proceeds from this collection, as well as 40% of the proceeds from everything else in her shop will benefit the Howard County Autism Society!


April 1 – 30:  Pepsico Beverages North America – Fundraiser to support Howard County Autism Society in their Mid-Atlantic Region! Employees can purchase a special Autism long-sleeve moisture wicking shirt and all proceeds from sales will be matched by the PepsiCo Foundation!  Thank you, PepsiCo!



March 15-April 30: Cookies for a Cause Fundraiser

Jazd Up Treats offers this delicious fundraiser to benefit HCAS!  Order your paintable “Doodle” cookies and $1 from every cookie sold will go to HCAS!  What’s a Doodle Cookie?  It’s a paintable sugar cookie coated with royal icing and a stenciled design.  Comes with brush and edible paint.  $60 per dozen.  Order at or 443-414-2349.


March 21st (1-4pm) – Message in a (Sensory!) Bottle

Members of Girl Scout Troop 744, 5th graders from Elkridge, have chosen to learn about the autism community as they work toward their Bronze Award, the highest award for Jr. Girl Scouts. Many of the girls know someone with autism including one member’s siblings. As part of their work on the award, the girls created and distributed FREE SENSORY BOTTLES in the HCAS Parking Lot on Sunday, March 21st f   The girls have spent the last few months learning about autism through research and special guests like ABA therapists, parents with children on the spectrum, and an adult living with autism. The troop will be inviting other Girl Scouts in their Service Unit to Zoom sessions, where they will teach others about autism and how to make sensory bottles. They hope to have over 100 girls attend the event.  Members of Troop #744 have been together since they were Daisies and were recently recognized at the White House for their efforts to support health care workers during the pandemic. The requirements for the Bronze Award they are pursuing are to explore their community and to choose a project that will allow them to educate other girl scouts and to leave a lasting impact.  HCAS is very proud to be supporting this project and the good works of these young women!


LIVE interview with Marianela Estrada, HCAS Parent & Founder of the HCAS Latino Parent Group and HCAS Executive Director Melissa Rosenberg


March 30th @ 5pmShe Leads Facebook LIVE interview with HCAS Executive Director Melissa Rosenberg
SLAE -SheLeadsAndEmpowers  – CLICK for LINK to recording