April is Autism Awareness Month. To commerorate the month, and celebrate kids with autism spectrum disorders, there are all kinds of arts and cultural events going on around the country. Here are a few you might want to check out:

Through Our Eyes: A Celebration of Young Artists (Santa Monica, Calif.): The exhibit will run from March 23-27 at the James Gray Gallery. This free show will feature a wonderful collection of artwork created by students of The Help Group’s Village Glen and Bridgeport schools.

Autism Society Art Exhibit: The Autism Society's Art Exhibit online slideshow features the artwork of individuals of all ages who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. It is free and available online anytime — just click the link!

"Artism, The Art of Autism": This stunning book is a compilation of contributions from people with autism from all over the U.S., Canada and other countries. It offers an incredible glimpse into the imaginative worlds of people with autism and their creative works. The book contains 218 full-color illustrations featuring 54 artists of all ages and from all parts of the world.

Autism Film Festival (Alameda, Calif.): Two films will be screened: "The Horse Boy" (2009) at 12:30 p.m. and "Temple Grandin" (2010) at 2:30 p.m. There will be time for discussion and information-exchange following each film.

"Love Me For Who I Am": This new CD honors the thoughts and feelings of kids of all abilities —particularly those on the autism spectrum. The 10 original songs on "Love Me for Who I Am" are written from the child’s perspective and offer a bright, positive and highly musical way of celebrating life amid challenges. The CD, which features guest vocals by "Nick, Jr." TV star Laurie Berkner and a groovy keyboard performance by Bernie Worrell (Parliament, Funkadelic, Talking Heads) will be available on April 12. Five percent of proceeds from CD sales will benefit Autism Speaks, a nonprofit research and advocacy group.

Support Autism Awareness - One Download at a Time. Goody Heart Productions will hold a song-download fundraising campaign of "You Inspire My Whole World," a song dedicated to children with special needs. From March 2 to May 2, Goody Heart will donate 100 percent of the net proceeds from downloads of "You Inspire My Whole World," to Autism Speaks.

This is just a sample of the hundreds of events that are going on across the U.S. to celebrate Autism Awareness Month. Know of an event occurring in your area? Feel free to post it in the comments section below, and check out the World Autism Awareness Day site to see a list of events occurring all around the world.  

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