The Ocean County Library's Cultural Awareness in Toms River welcomes you to their Autism Resources Fair on Saturday April First, which begins National Autism Awareness Month.

Autism awareness ribbon (Wavebreakmedia Ltd, ThinkStock)

Children on the spectrum and their families along with the general public will be able to learn more about autism and have some fun.

"They'll be a performance by Mr. Scott the Music Man," said Wendi Smolowitz with the OC library Toms River Branch where the fair is being held. "We're going to have a balloon artist and arts and crafts."

The Fair will also include the library mascot Sparks, sensory story times, therapy dogs, costumed children's characters, and Star Wars characters portrayed by members of Vader's 501st Legion costume group, according to Smolowitz.

She adds," there will be over 20 autism related organizations representing a wide variety of services for all age groups."

It's an educational event which provides parents the resources they need to help their child with autism and network with other caregivers.

"It's so important for parents and caregivers of children on the spectrum to have other adults around them who can help them out," said Smolowitz.

She adds that she wanted to help other families like hers who have a son or daughter with autism be provided with all the services needed for care.

"Parents and caregivers will have the opportunity to meet with therapists, mental pediatricians, attorneys, social groups, advocates and more," said Smolowitz.

She says the fair will allow caregivers to speak with organizations who provide health care services as well to anyone diagnosed with autism.

"There will be other groups whose main purpose is to help adults on the spectrum find employment and housing," said Smolowitz.

The fair runs from 10 am until 4 pm on April 1st with free admission to the general public and no registration needed ahead of time.

The keynote speaker at the fair will be Gary Weitzen, executive director of P.O.A.C. Autism Services.

Here is the list of all the organizations who will be present at the fair:

  • 21 Plus, Inc.
  • Allaire Community Farm
  • Brain Builders
  • Caring Family Community Services
  • Children's Specialized Hospital
  • Children's Wellness & Developmental Center
  • Disability Allies
  • Easterseals New Jersey
  • Family Resource Network
  • Hinkle, Fingles, Prior & Fischer (Attorneys at Law)
  • The Milestones Center, Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics
  • Mosaic Music Therapy
  • New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
  • Ocean County Office for Individuals with Disabilities
  • Ocean County Commission on Child Safety and Awareness
  • Ocean County Sheriff's Department
  • PerformCare
  • POAC Autism Services
  • The Puzzle Place Center for Autism
  • Sensory Playground Pediatric Therapy Center
  • Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN)
  • Sunny Days Early Childhood Development Services, Inc.
  • Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler (Special Needs Law Firm)

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