In celebration of Autism Awareness month, the Michigan City Human Rights Commission (MCHRC) is proud to present the Autism Forum on Thursday, April 18 at 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. where a variety of autism experts will reveal the perplexities of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The Autism Society of Indiana will explain what autism is and resources available in the state of Indiana. Kristen Robson, Director of The Autism Program at Ancilla College (APAC) will give an overview of the APAC program, while Michigan City Area Schools staff will introduce the mission of a newly-formed Autism Team. Dr. Bridget Harrison, Founder of Innovations in Learning and Jessica Cleary, Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Michigan City Clinic Supervisor will talk about Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy and how it impacts the autism population. And, Laura Swanson of IN*SOURCE will talk about the advocacy support available to families in the community. The Autism Forum will be held at Living Way Church located at 2410 Duneland Drive (Hwy 12 & Duneland Drive). The event is FREE and open to the public. Refreshments will be served, parking is available, and childcare offered. In addition to the experts, the Autism Forum will offer the community an opportunity to learn more about what the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services (BDDS) and Social Security Insurance (SSI)/Social Security Insurance Disability (SSDI) offices have to offer the disability community. BDDS staff will assist parents with signing up for Medicaid Waiver services, which includes an array of services (occupational, speech, physical, music therapies, respite) for individuals with disabilities. An SSI/SSDI staff member will also be available to families with questions. Another resource to the community is Parents Like Us (LaPorte), a support group that focuses on pertinent special needs topics and hosts informative special events. Paladin, a local vocational rehabilitation center, will be on-hand to showcase services offered locally to the disability community. A wellness company and CBD oil consultant will be on-sight to discuss the benefits their products are having on the autism and disability population. Cleaning products without toxins and chemicals are not only amazing from a cleaning standpoint but if ingested by a child with a disability, it won’t pose any health risks.