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CSAAC's Mission:

"To enable individuals with autism to achieve their highest potential and
contribute as confident members of their community"


What's Happening Around CSAAC


CSAAC’s media blitz continues….   

  • Our last story of a whirlwind week (from WJLA). Please click here and watch

  • The Washington Post story on the In-Focus Project is expected to reach a national audience and is being explored by additional media outlets.

  • WJLA will provide coverage of the In-Focus Project this evening as part of their 5PM newscast.

  • For families who live in Montgomery County, Ian Paregol offered some insight into CSAAC for the local community and served as member of the Montgomery Week in Review panel.  The program will be aired via Montgomery Channel 21 tonight (4/10/14) at 8PM.

  • Voice of America is returning to CSAAC on 4/16 to add to its content from the Cherry Blossom shoot for a feature that will air later this month.



CSAAC "In-Focus" Photographers Celebrate and Capture the National Cherry Blossoms Festival 

On April 9, 2014, the CSAAC "In-Focus" Photographers: Brian, James, Matt, Jimmie and Joe, along with their support staff: Agyemang Nkrumah, Alexander Boateng, Rene Gonzales and Samuel Akoi visited the Tidal Basin, home of the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC to capture the beauty of the cherry blossoms through the lens of autism.  This photo shoot was lead by the In-Focus instructor and co-founder, Craig Pardini and Executive Director, Ian Paregol.  This is the fourth year that the class participated in this activity designed to strengthen the photographers entrepreneurial and photographic skills while developing community connections and heightening awareness. 

Sometimes individuals with autism are better able to express themselves in photographs than in words.  The In-Focus Project was developed so that individuals with autism with an interest in the arts could take photographs throughout the community and provide neurotypical viewers with a small window of what they see as important in their world.   This program gives the participants the resources and supports that they need to become competent visual artists.   The In-Focus Project photographers have a voice through these photos, and thereby, whether verbal and non-verbal, they each gain a chance to tell their stories in photographs.  The members of the In-Focus Project were interviewed by WNEW, WTOP, WJLA, the Voice of America and they will be featured in the Washington Post on April 10th.  Presently, some of their work is on display at the Universities of Shady Grove in conjunction with Madison House Autism Foundation in an exhibit called,  "Through Our Eyes.”  Photos can be purchased at

Please enjoy a few slides from today’s photo shoot by clicking here.  (We don’t know who had more fun, the individuals, the staff or the media who covered this event.) 

To read some of the media coverage of the In-Focus Project Cherry Blossom photo shoot, see the following links.  Click here to view the 'Through their eyes' article that appeared on the front page of the Metro section in the Washington Post featuring the In-Focus Photographers.   Click here to view the In-Focus story on WTOP.  Click here to view the In-Focus story on WNEW.  Click here to see in the news.  Our last story of a whirlwind week (from WJLA).  Please click here and watch



CSAAC celebrated Chinese Lunar New Year’s

On Friday February 28, 2014, CSAAC celebrated Chinese Lunar New Year’s with a delightful dinner dance.  CSAAC’s new Recreation Coordinator, Diane Albert, did a great job organizing this event. The party was attended by more than 200 people including individuals, staff, and family members. Party-goers enjoyed a delicious Chinese dinner, music and dancing by DJ John Dayton in a room with lovely decorations. Mary S. and Frank M. seemed to dance the night away once again. Much thanks to the many volunteers that helped make this event a success. It was a fun-filled evening for all.  Click here to view the slideshow




Holiday Celebration

On Friday, December 20th, children and adults supported in the CSAAC Residential Program enjoyed a wonderful holiday celebration in CSAAC’s Community School of Maryland’s gymnasium, with food, music, dancing and a visit from Santa Claus.  Every resident received a holiday gift from St. Nick.  CSAAC would like to thank all the staff and volunteers who made this happen, particularly Sirin Yilmaz, Educational Director, volunteers Hyun Martin of Be You Spa and her family, and CSAAC parents Julio and Mary Marius, Carl Rose, Nilda Colgrove, Mike Gugerty, Sam and Harley Lattner, Jane Salzano, Cheryl Disson, Beth Eisman and Ann Gibbons.  We would also like to thank the following board members for contributing towards holiday gifts for the 140 children and adults supported in CSAAC’s residential programs:  President Scott Johnston, Treasuer Julio Marius, Jane Salzano, Eric Salzano, Nilda Colgrove, and Senator Karen Montgomery.  Additional thanks also goes to Karen and Peter Beveridge for contributing towards the holiday gifts. Click here to view the slide show.




8th Annual CSAAC Honors Gala Raises Over $165,000

On Friday, November 8, the CSAAC Annual Honors Gala was held at the Bethesda Marriott in Bethesda, Maryland.  The sold-out event included mock table gaming, a silent auction, and a live auction. Television personality and journalist Mark McEwen welcomed the 350+ guests and talked about why CSAAC is so important in his life.  Local officials attending included Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, Maryland State Senator Karen Montgomery, Senator Brian Feldman, Delegate Craig Zucker, Delegate Susan Lee and Councilmember Phil Andrews.  Job Coach Pegecar Jingco received the 2013 Hilda Langley Award for Service.  The highlight of the evening was CSAAC resident Gary Rock’s live rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” which brought the house down.  CSAAC enjoyed its most successful gala ever where we celebrated the accomplishments of the children and adults supported at CSAAC and recognized the efforts of Thorkil Sonne, founder of Specialisterne of Denmark, and worldwide technology leader SAP as recipients of CSAAC’s first-ever “Global Innovation in Employment of Adults with Autism” award.  Click here to view the full event slide show.




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© CSAAC 2014









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