PML Autism Guide

Autism Resources

Libraries and Autism - We’re Connected


1 in 68: Autism Spectrum Resources for Families

NEWS!  The U.S. Center for Disease Control has released its most recent statistics for autism rates.  The new statistics show 1 in 68 children in the United States is on the autism spectrum.  One out of 42 boys is affected by autism. (March 2014)

Libraries and AutismAccording to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 68 children in the United States is on the autism spectrum. Youth Services Staff has compiled a list of autism spectrum resources for families. The best place to start, if you suspect your child might be on the spectrum, is to have your child screened. The earlier your child starts therapies, the better. If your child is under age three there are two local agencies, South Bay Early Intervention and Thom Anne Sullivan Center, that provide screening services. If your child is age three or older, contact the Lowell Public Schools for assistance.

Information contained on this web page does not constitute library endorsement of a treatment, agency or advocacy group. The library maintains that it is up to the parent/legal guardian to determine proper treatment for his/her child. This web page is solely a place of information for the huge array of materials related to Autism Spectrum Disorders.

If your family uses a service or has a favorite autism spectrum web site that is not listed, please let us know so we can share with others in the community. Contact Molly Hancock, Coordinator of Youth Services at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Hi, Everyone: While surfing the Internet to see what was new in the area of Special Needs support I came across this link -  It is a list of support groups and meetings for special needs families.  I don't know how current the information is but thought many people would find the information helpful.

Upcoming Events at the Library

Autism Awareness Scavenger Hunt

 Thursday, April 24, 2014

To commemorate Autism Awareness Month we're holding a special scavenger hunt. Stop by the Children's Department anytime between 1 PM and 3 PM to do some super sleuthing.  Are you a clever detective?  Find all the Autism Awareness ribbons that we've hidden around the Children's Department and win a small prize.  This activity is open to all children age 15 and younger.  We look forward to seeing your superb skills of observation in action!

Super Special Kids: A Storytime for Special Needs Kids and Their Families

Saturday at 10 AM - April 26, 2014

Come join us for a super Saturday morning.  We'll share stories, sing songs, move and groove, and do other fun things.  Siblings are always welcome.  At the end of the session there will be time for families to visit and a snack will be provided.  If you child had food allergies or food sensitivities we encourage you to bring his/her own snack.

If you have questions contact Molly Hancock, Coordinator of Youth Services at 978-674-1527 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Note from Molly: In addition to being the Coordinator of Youth Services, I am also the mother of a special needs child so I understand the blessings and challenges of being a special needs family.  At our storytime it's okay for kids to move or make noise.  I don't expect everyone to sit quietly. For some of our friends that is near impossible.  I know it is for my own son!  One of our main goals for storytime is for families (everyone in the family - grownups too!) to feel comfortable and have fun.  So please join us!  We look forward to seeing you and your family at storytime.

Upcoming Events in the Community

Family Leadership Series: Through April, 2014, Woburn, MA.

Massachusetts Families Organizing For Change

A statewide, grassroots coalition dedicated to individual and family support, The Northeast Region in conjunction with the Metro Boston Region 2014 Family Leadership Series: This series focuses on supporting families and individuals to live in their communities as naturally and typically as desired. Applications from families with children or adult family members of any age with any disability who are Department of Developmental Services eligible are encouraged. Dates of series:  

•  February 28 & March 1, 2014

•  April 11 & 12, 2014

•  April 26, 2014 (One day only)

Download and print an application from the website  

You can download and print the FLS application packet from

This information was forwarded to me from the Lowell Sped PAC:

Lowell Special Education Parent Advisory Council 2013-2014 Meeting Schedule

Sept. 19, 2013

October 3, 2013 (Newcomers Night)

November 7, 2013

December 5, 2013

January 9, 2014

February 6, 2014

March 6, 2014

April 3, 2014

May 1, 2014

June 5, 2014

Meetings begin at 7 PM and are held at the Butler School, 1140 Gorham St.  Visitors are always welcome.

Lowell Sped PAC Contact Information: 978-454-1967 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lowell Public Schools and the Special Education Dept. are pleased to announce Parent Informational Training Series 

Parent Education Program Trainings are FREE to all parents and caregivers.

December 5, 2013 - The Language of Education: “What Do All of Those Letters
Really Mean?”
January 9, 2014 - Autism Diagnosis: Challenges and Questions
February 6, 2014 -  All about Play: Using Play to Support Your Young Child’s Early
Language Development and Social Communication throughout the Elementary Years
March 6, 2014 -  Mindfulness: Guided Meditation for Children of All Ages
April 3, 2014 -  ADHD: What’s the Difference between ADHD and other
May 1, 2014 -  Surviving Summer Vacations: Resources for You and Your Child
June 5, 2014 -  Managing Conflict with Your Tween/Teen: Techniques for You
and Your Child
ALL trainings are being held at the Butler Middle School
1140 Gorham Street, Lowell from 6-7:00 PM
Limited childcare is available. Please call 978-674-2096 to reserve your child’s spot.
Don’t forget to bring a friend!

Upcoming Programs at LifeLinks:

Did you know that LifeLinks Family Support Center offers music therapy, art expression, and social skills classes weekly? All classes are held at LifeLinks at 285 Mill Road in Chelmsford.
MUSIC: A Board Certified Music Therapist from Roman Music Therapy Services, LLC is conducting music therapy groups on Mondays at 3:45pm for kids ages 3-7 and at 4:45pm for kids ages 8 and older. The cost is only $25 a month and siblings are welcome (for free)!
ART: Tiffany Nardini teaches art expression classes on Thursdays from 4:30-5:30pm. The art classes are open to all ages and cost only $25 a month per person.
To register for art and/or music classes, please contact Rachel. Registration is required prior to attendance.
SOCIAL SKILLS: Ashley Coates from Simply Social Kids is teaching social skills to children ages 8-11 on Wednesdays at 4:15pm and 5:30pm.
YOUNG ADULT SOCIAL SKILLS: Ashley Coates from Simply Social Kids runs this group for young adults 18 years and older to learn and practice social strategies. Classes will run on Wednesdays at 6:45pm.
Classes are $130 for a four week month (funding may be available for DDS eligible participants). Get more details and the registration packet here. Registration is required and is completed with Simply Social Kids.

Boston Museum of Science Disability Prototype Testers: The Boston Museum of Science is seeking visitors with all disabilities to test new exhibit prototypes and explore the museum.

Participants will interact with exhibit prototypes or explore other existing museum experiences. Testing will always include free admission to the Museum of Science exhibit halls for the day and free parking in the Museum's garage. To participate and give the Museum feedback during an upcoming testing session, fill out their Online Form or complete the application over the phone by contacting 617-589-4438 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Summer Camp Information

Camp Apex-Marcus Lewis Day Camp: Westford, MA.

Typical camp that accepts a limited amount of High-functioning children with Autism and Aspergers. Improve their social skills, learn to make eye contact and engage in conversation. Campers must be approved prior to registering. Fees apply.  Click here for more information.

Camp Goodtime in Stoneham, MA

781-895-3200, ext 24. For children 3-22 with Asperger's, PDD, Anxiety Disorders, and Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities. Focus is on language and social skills through structured fun activities.

Camp Triumph

Bedford, Danvers and North Reading, MA. For children with ADHD, Executive Functioning Disorder, Aspergers, Non-Verbal Learning Disability, Pragmatic Language Deficit, and Anxiety Disorder. Visit the Triumph Center or call 781-942-9277.

Chit-Chat Summer Camp

Franciscan Hospital, Boston. Helps children who use augmentative-alternative communication (AAC) devices with communicative competence through intensive group services while participating in favorite camp activities. Visit their webpage or contact the Clinic Coordinator 617-245-3800 ext. 5643 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Horse Barn Summer Camp for Teens with Autism & Other Developmental Delays

West Newbury, MA. July 29th - Aug 2nd and Aug 19th - Aug 23rd, 2013. Integrated camp for teens ages 14 - 22 with autism and other developmental delays that want to care for and learn about horses and handling techniques. Must be able to fulfill program requirements to participate. For more information contact visit The Holland Project or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 978-764-8611.

The Paul Center Extended Year Summer Program 

Chelmsford, MA.  For students ages 4-21 with moderate to severe range of disabilities. or 978-256-4396.

Autism-Spectrum-Disorder-Friendly Afternoon

April 1st,  2014, The Discovery Museums, Acton, 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.  Special sensory based activities open to everyone. A room will be available to welcome families with a child with an ASD to orient them to the campus and programs, and provide a quiet space for children needing a break. Groups not allowed during this time include schools or birthday parties, to avoid overcrowding and supporting accessibility of exhibits. Pre-registration required to or visit The Acton Discovery Museums or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 978-264-4200.

Wings for Autism

April 5th, 2014, Logan Airport, Boston. For families who have children with an autism spectrum disorder to practice a trip to the airport. Families are issued a boarding passes, practice going through a fully staffed security checkpoint, waiting in the terminal, boarding a plane and sit down for a snack. To register contact 508-651-5914 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the Charles River Center.

Museum of Fine Arts Program for Children Aged 8 - 12 on the Autism Spectrum

April 5th, 2014, Museum of Fine Arts, 10:30 - 12 noon, Boston. Includes Asperger’s. April 5 Theme: Geometry of Art. Geometry is not only for math - appreciate the precision that goes into some artist’s work. Make your own geometric painting using precise lines and shapes and a little help from some special tools. Book your ticket online before Tuesday April 1st, 1 p.m. Go to the Beyond the Spectrum Page.
Fee of $9.50 per child includes materials, museum admission, one chaperone or adult and a discount on parking. Fees for additional adults.  For more information visit the MFA's Beyond the Spectrum page, or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 617-369-4027.

Adult Services Fair
If you have a child between the ages of 14-25, don't miss this free resource fair!

LifeLinks Family Support Center is hosting, in conjunction with the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), an Adult Services Fair from 4:00-5:45pm on Wednesday, April 9 at LifeLinks.

The Adult Services Fair will be followed by a benefits workshop from 6:00-8:00PM where Brian Forsythe, Community Work Incentives Coordinator at BenePLAN, will discuss Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), as well as how working affects these and other public benefits.

The fair will host agencies that help adults with developmental disabilities ages 14-25 with various transition services. More than 20 organizations such as financial planners, living support programs, social groups, day programs, and more will be available to answer questions and provide resources.

So join us on Wednesday, April 9 from 4:00-5:45pm for the resource fair and 6:00-8:00pm for the benefits workshop. Ample parking is available and refreshments will be served.

This is a drop-in event but RSVPs are appreciated. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 978-349-3040.

DATE: Wednesday, April 9

TIME: 4:00-5:45pm; Benefits workshop 6:00-8:00pm


LOCATION: LifeLinks, 285 Mill Road, Chelmsford
CONTACT: Email Rachel or call 978-349-3040

"Morningstar Access" Boston Children's Museum

Friday April 18th, 2014 (the first day of school vacation week) from 8 am to 10 am. Program offers children with special and medical needs the opportunity to enjoy the Museum in an uncrowded environment, with few other visitors and  less concern about infections and large crowds. Pre-registration is required and is limited to 100 Guests. Fee $7.00, museum members attend free.
Preregistration is required to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 617-986-3697 or visit the Morningstar Access Page.  You will receive a confirmation email within 3 business days. There are fees for this event.

** Chunky's Sensory Friendly Breakfast! 9 a.m. Haverhill, MA, and Nashua and Pelham, NH.
TO CONFIRM TIMES and for all Chunky's Sensory Friendly information, visit

NEXT STEP: College Success & Independent Living program: May 10 2014, Boston

For students, grades 9-12, who present with a social language deficit, Aspergers Syndrome, NLF, or related learning differences, and are serious about attending college after high school.
NEXT STEP gives students a chance to hone executive functioning, problem solving, and self-advocacy skills that are necessary for living with other students on a college campus. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 617-278-4119.

Autism in the News

From LifeLinks:
Planning for Life After Special Education: Transition Services Online Manual
The Disability Law Center in Boston has revised their manual 'Planning for Life After Special Education' and it is available online for FREE. They have made several significant changes, including new information on the following topics:
-Developing appropriate transition services for students with severe developmental disabilities
-Helping your student transition successfully into the adult workforce
-Knowing the various diploma options and determining which option is best for your child
The second edition of this manual also provides revised case summaries, thirteen new informational videos in English, Spanish, and ASL, and information on how to manage public benefits.
This amazing resource is available online for free. If you have a child approaching transition age, this is a must read!

Leading the Way: Autism Friendly Youth Organizations

Autism Speaks has created a guide for community organizations to help them better serve children with autism and their families.  This information is available online.

Autism Speaks has created the online resource, Postsecondary Educational Opportunities.


Autism Blogger - Online Autism Support Group
Accepting Asperger's Syndrome - This is a crash course to accepting your Asperger's!

Autism Support Groups

Please contact the support group you are interested in to verify meeting dates and times.

Autism Spectrum Support Group: Support for parents of children of all ages
Where:    Lowell General Hospital, Hanchett Auditorium
When:    First Thursday of each month
Time:    6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Phone:    978-937-6000
(Updated August 2012)

Parents of Special Needs Kids Meet Ups: This is an online resource of groups and meetings in the Boston area. Link:

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