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Home / Montgomery Parks recognizes Autism Acceptance Month with fun family event at Wheaton Regional Park    

Montgomery Parks recognizes Autism Acceptance Month with fun family event at Wheaton Regional Park    

Home / Montgomery Parks recognizes Autism Acceptance Month with fun family event at Wheaton Regional Park    

WHEATON, Md. – Montgomery Parks  is inviting the community to participate in a free, family-centered event that will feature hands-on, sensory-friendly activities for all. Activities include story times, face painting, arts and crafts, exercise demonstrations and more.  
What:    Shine Brighter Together: Autism Acceptance Month event 
Where:  Wheaton Regional Park, Shorefield Area  
When:    Saturday, April 6, 2024 | 11 a.m.-2 p.m.  
               Rain date: Saturday April 13, 2024 (same time) 

Shine Brighter Together  recognizes April as Autism Acceptance Month. Agencies from across the county will be on hand to provide information about autism and resources available to families.

“We are moving beyond awareness. Acceptance means creating a world where everyone can get the support they need to live happy and fulfilling lives,” said Ashlyn Thompson, Montgomery Parks inclusion and community outreach specialist. “Shine Brighter Together and Autism Acceptance Month are steps toward that goal.” 

Participants at Shine Brighter Together will also paint Buddy Benches as part of a community service project. The benches were invented to combat loneliness and isolation in schools, playgrounds, and parks. They are a way for individuals who sit on them to signal to others that they are feeling lonely and need someone to join them on the bench or invite them to play. The Buddy Benches decorated at the Shine Brighter event will be placed in select Montgomery Parks. 

“The Autism Society is thrilled to be part of such an inclusive celebration of the Autism community in Montgomery County,” said Melissa Rosenberg, executive director of the Autism Society of Maryland. “Kudos to Montgomery Parks and all of our partners for coming together to create an event that shines bright with family and sensory-friendly activities, resources, and just plain fun!” 
Other organizations partnering in Shine Brighter Together include: 
Maryland-National Capital Park Police-Montgomery County Division  
Montgomery County Police Autism/IDD Unit  
Montgomery County Public Library 
Montgomery County Recreation 
Maryland Department of Disabilities, Assistive Technology Program  
City of Gaithersburg Parks Recreation and Culture 
City of Rockville, Parks and Recreation Dept. 
The Arc Montgomery County  
Autism Society of Maryland 
Extraordinary Minds (xMinds) 
Jubilee Association of Maryland  
Maryland ABLE  
Spirit Club 
For more information about Shine Brighter Together, or to request an accommodation, contact Montgomery Parks Program Access Office. 
Email: ProgramAccess@MontgomeryParks.org 
Phone: 301-495-2581 MD Relay 7-1-1 or 800-552-7724 

About Montgomery Parks      
Montgomery Parks manages more than 37,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 419 parks. Montgomery Parks is focused on promoting physical activity, social connectivity, and environmental stewardship, especially in diverse and urbanizing areas, with an emphasis on teens, working-age adults, and seniors. Montgomery Parks is a department of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high-quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. MontgomeryParks.org   ###