PML Autism Guide
Libraries and Autism - We’re Connected
1 in 88: Autism Spectrum Resources for Families
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 88 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.
Hi, Everyone: While surfing the Internet to see what was new in the area of Special Needs support I came across this link - http://spclneedsparents.meetup.com/cities/us/ma/chelmsford. 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.
Parent Recommendation: A parent recommended some articles and web sites about autism and music therapy. I have added this information to the web page. Click here to see it.
Upcoming Events at the Library
Super Special Kids: A Storytime for Special Needs Kids and Their Families
Saturdays at 10 AM - January 18, February 1, March 15, 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.
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 www.mfofc.org website
You can download and print the FLS application packet from www.mfofc.org
IEP Basic-Rights Parent Forum - Boston Children’s Hospital: March 5th, 2014.
Children's Autism Spectrum Center family workshop will cover rights and responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Massachusetts Special Education Law and No Child Left Behind. Learn about:
• Obtaining proper supports
• Monitoring progress
• Planning for transitions
Speakers will be from the Division of Developmental Medicine Learning Disabilities Program, and Pediatrics Department of Neurology Harvard Medical School.
The Federation for Children with Special Needs Conference
The Federation is pleased to announce its annual statewide conference “Visions of Community, a Conference for Parents of Children with Special Needs and the Professionals Who Serve Them” will be held on Saturday, March 8 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.
Breakout workshops at Visions of Community will include topics on special education advocacy, managing challenging behaviors, transition to adulthood for students with disabilities, inclusion, policy initiatives, assistive technology, healthcare, bullying, parent leadership opportunities, early childhood, autism and more. In addition to approximately 30 sessions in English, a full conference strand of many of these topics will be offered in Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Somali, and Vietnamese.
The conference Exhibit Hall typically features over 75 vendors and resources for families. The conference is a wonderful opportunity for families and professionals to network and learn about important resources.
For more information or to register click here.
Transition Boot Camp
Transition Planning with Your IEP: March 25th, 2014, 7 p.m., Haverhill.
2nd Annual Merrimack Valley Special Needs Resource Fair at Merrimack College
Sunday, March 30, 2014
10 AM - 2 PM
Sakowich Center, 315 Turnpike St., North Andover, MA
This event is free for attendees. Learn about the incredible people and resources serving families with special needs in the Merrimack Valley area and beyond. For more details see www.facebook.com/MVSNRF.
This event is sponsored by Merrimack College.
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 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
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.
Especially for Me! Free Evening for Families with Children on the Autism Spectrum
March 8th, 2014, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Explore both museums during this special free evening for families with children on the autism spectrum. Visitors may also drop-in for a workshop with Romy Wilhelm, a practicing music therapist from Indian Hill Music. Pre-registration required. Visit the Acton Discovery Museums Especially For Me Registration Page or contact
or call 978-264-4200.
"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.
Chunky's - Sensory Friendly Movie: Mr. Peabody & Sherman
March 12th, 2014, 4 p.m.
For children with autism or other special needs, lights are up, the sound is down, no 3D is shown, and audience may walk around, dance, shout or sing.
** Locations: Haverhill, MA, and Nashua & Pelham, NH.
** Chunky's - Little Lunch Date
Charlotte's Web, March 12, 2014, 11:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 12:30 p.m. For preschool children and their caregivers. Lights slightly dimmed and admission is free. This is a worry-free lunch without the fear of disturbing others. Please confirm times with the theaters.
** 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 www.chunkys.com/special-events
Sensory Friendly Films
March 29th, 2014, Muppets Most Wanted.
AMC Theater Sensory Friendly films provides a family friendly, accepting and to special kids. The auditoriums have their lights up, the sound turned down and audience members may dance, walk, shout or sing! Local Massachusetts theaters include: Braintree, Burlington, Framingham, Methuen, Tyngsboro
Or for more information visit www.amctheatres.com
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.
Autism in the News
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 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
(Updated August 2012)
Parents of Special Needs Kids Meet Ups: This is an online resource of groups and meetings in the Boston area. Link: http://spclneedsparents.meetup.com/cities/us/ma/chelmsford.