The Autism Center at Ontario ARC Celebrates Autism Acceptance Month Throughout April

April is Autism Acceptance month. In celebration, The Autism Center at Ontario ARC will partner with staff, community members, and local organizations throughout the month to offer sensory-friendly events, encourage acceptance, and educate the public about autism spectrum disorder.

April 2: A Sensory-Friendly Evening at Build-A-Bear Workshop
Join the Autism Center at Ontario ARC on April 2nd for a sensory-friendly night at Build-A-Bear Workshop at Eastview Mall, 7979 Pittsford Victor Rd in Victor. Please join us during the following times: 6PM – 7PM, Ages 5-14; 7PM – 8PM, Ages 14+. Space is limited! This event is closed to the public. For price information, visit

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April 9: Sensory Supper at Smokeman BBQ
The Autism Center at Ontario ARC has teamed up with Smokeman BBQ, 520 Route 364, in Canandaigua, to offer a sensory-­friendly dining experience for families from 12PM – 4PM on April 9th. To see menu options and prices, visit

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April 12: Relaxation Night for Parents & Kids
Join the Autism Center from 7PM – 8:45PM on April 12th at Ontario ARC’s main facility, 3071 County Complex Drive in Canandaigua, for an interactive discussion led by Rochester Regional Center for Autism Spectrum Disorder (RRCASD).

The discussion will focus on ways to fully engage in your community. Speakers include Jennifer Foley, Community Consultation Program Manager and Valerie Smith, RRCASD Coordinator. Following the presentation, Jenna Hine, LMSW/RYT – 200 (Therapeutic Yoga Instructor) will share relaxation tips and techniques for the caregiver.

During the presentations, kids can enjoy a demonstration of “Feel the Beat,” led by Ashley Hanvey, Behavior Intervention Specialist, followed by a sensory-friendly movie night.

April 28: Sensory-Friendly Bowling at Roseland Bowl
From 6PM-8PM on April 28th, families can enjoy a sensory-friendly night of bowling at Canandaigua’s Roseland Bowl. Sensory-friendly accommodations include low lighting, limited overhead paging, and quiet game machines. Families can bowl for a reduced rate of $4/game.

April 30: Open Play Gym at AIMS
Adventures of Movement and Sensation, Inc. (AIMS), 6548 Anthony Drive, Suite B in Victor, will host an open play gym from 1PM-3PM on April 30th. Families are invited to play in this beautiful new facility equipped with a variety of sensory-friendly play activities and equipment including a zip line, foam pit, ball pit, mats, swings, sensory climbing wall, and more. This event is free for families. To learn more about AIMS, visit

For more information or to register for one of these events, please contact Diane Van Derwater at (585) 919-2148 or

Light It Up Blue
Beginning April 5th, be on the lookout for blue lights as Ontario ARC and local area YMCA organizations partner to Light It Up Blue for Autism Acceptance Month. For the third year in a row, Ontario ARC is proud to partner with Canandaigua Family YMCA, Clifton Springs Family YMCA, Geneva Family YMCA, and Victor YMCA to Light It Up Blue on Wednesdays in April. Information on Autism and services in Ontario County will be available at each of these sites.
Clinicians from Ontario ARC’s Autism Center will also host educational sessions at the YMCA’s throughout the month of April, sharing helpful information about autism and related disorders.
Ontario ARC staff will help spread awareness and encourage acceptance by wearing blue and dressing down on Wednesdays in April.