PML Autism Guide

Autism Resources

Libraries and Autism - We’re Connected
Source: http://www.thejointlibrary.org/autism/resources.htm

 

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 - 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.

News

Information sent from the Autism Support Center of the Northeast Arc:

MESSAGE TO FAMILIES OF YOUNG CHILDREN WITH AUTISM FROM DDS
 
Open Enrollment for the Autism Waiver Program Coming Soon
November 7, 2014 - November 21, 2014
 
The Autism Division of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) runs a Autism Waiver Program that provides one-to-one interventions to help children with autism who exhibit severe behavior, social and communication problems through a service called Expanded Habilitation, Education (intensive in-home services and supports, such as Applied Behavioral Analysis, Floor Time and Communication models).This service occurs in the child's home or other natural settings under the supervision of trained clinical staff and is available for a total of three years. The waiver also provides related support services such as community integration activities and respite. At the conclusion of the three years of the intensive in-home services, a child may access ongoing supplemental services (respite and goods and services, etc.) that meet the child's needs and help with the transition out of the intensive Autism Waiver Program-until the child's 9th birthday.
 
At this time the program serves approximately 300 children a year. While the program is near capacity, there is a high rate of turnover in the program every year; therefore, we run a waiting list of applicants to fill any open slots.
The Autism Program also maintains reserved capacity for children who are age 3 and transitioning out of Early Intervention. This means that the Autism Division reserves 20 statewide slots for children who are age 3. These children will still need to meet all relevant financial and clinical eligibility standards required for entry into the Program.
 
The Autism Waiver serves children up until their 9th birthday, with an autism spectrum disorder who meet the eligibility criteria for the Waiver Program. All waiver services require that the child continues to meet the financial and clinical eligibility requirements for the Waiver Program.
 
Eligibility: the following requirements are necessary for participation in this program:
1.     The child must have a confirmed diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder, subject to verification by the Department of Developmental Services.
2.     The child has not yet reached his/her 9th birthday. Children birth through age 8 may participate.
3.     The child is a resident of Massachusetts.
4.     The child meets the level of care required for services in an Intermediate Care Facility for persons with an Intellectual Disability (ICF/ID) as assessed by DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES.
5.      The family chooses to have the child receive services in the home and community.
6.     The child must be able to be safely served in the community.
7.      The child must have a legally responsible representative able to direct the services and supports of the Waiver.
8.     The child must be found by the MassHealth agency to be eligible for MassHealth Standard coverage, based on family income. For families who have not yet applied for MassHealth, this must be done at the time of the filing of the Waiver Program Eligibility Request Form.
9.     Below is the maximum Income Guidelines for MassHealth Standard at 150% of Federal Poverty Level. In order to participate in the Autism Program, your family income must fall below the levels on the list*:
 
Family Size    Monthly    Yearly
2    $1,976    $23,604
3    $2,474    $29,688
4    $2,982    $35,784
5    $3,489    $41,868
6    $3,997    $47,964
*If your child is under age one or has a specialized medical condition such as blindness, deafness or a debilitating chronic medical illness the standards are different from those listed above; please contact the Autism Division for clarification in these cases.
 
Additional Information:
The Autism Division of DDS has the family related Waiver Program Application Forms available in multiple languages. Please go to the DDS website or call one of the seven DDS funded Autism Support Centers for a copy in Arabic, French, Haitian-Creole, Khmer, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Somali, Thai and Vietnamese. This notice and other waiver information is available on the DDS web-site at www.mass.gov/DDS under 'Autism Spectrum Services' and at the DDS funded Autism Support Centers. For additional information about the Autism Waiver Program or if you have questions, please call 888-367-4435 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
How to Participate in the Eligibility Process:
ONLY ONE APPLICATION PER CHILD-Multiple Forms Will Be Discarded
 
Submit the Application Form: By Mail
•    All Applications must have a Postmark/Date Stamp between November 7, 2014- November 21, 2014
•    Please complete the form in Pen and Print Clearly
•    Please Mail Form To: (The Autism Division is not able to accept hand delivered forms)
 AUTISM DIVISION of DDS
Att. Autism Waiver Program Open Enrollment
500 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118

The Arc also has the applications available online.  Click here to see.

Upcoming Events at the Library

An Activity for Special Needs Children: Lego Time
Saturdays at 10 AM - Sept. 13, Oct., 4, Nov. 8, Dec. 6
Is your child on the Autism Spectrum or have another special needs challenge?  This  activity is especially for them.  Join us for a morning of  building and making new friends.
For special needs children age 4 years and older
Sign up required.  Contact Molly Hancock, Coordinator of Youth Services to sign up and with any questions.  Call 978-674-1527 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Upcoming Events in the Community


Lowell Special Education Parent Advisory Council (Lowell Sped PAC)

Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month from October to June at the Butler School.The school is located at 1140 Gorham St. between Rosenblooms and the Shaughnessy School. There is plenty of parking near the door. Meetings begin at 7:00 P.M. If door is locked, ring yellow buzzer. Visitors are always welcome.

~ All Meetings are on Thursdays ~

Sept. 18, 2014 - (3rd Thurs. due to start of school)
October 2, 2014 - Newcomers Night
November 6, 2014 *
December 4, 2014
January 8, 2015 -(2nd Thurs. due to holiday)*
February 5, 2015
March 5, 2015 *
April 2, 2015
May 7, 2015 *                            *Denotes a Speaker              
June 4, 2015                        

There will be a variety of speakers in the coming year.  Many of them play a key role in the education of your child. For specific speaker info, please contact the Sped PAC.

In the event of poor weather or other emergency, meeting cancellations will be announced through email and phone notification. If there is no school in  the Lowell Schools, there is no meeting.


Lowell Special Education
Parent Advisory Council
(Lowell Sped PAC)
Attn: Sped PAC
43 Highland Street
Lowell, MA  
(978) 454-1967  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Food and Eating Study: The E.K. Shriver Center at UMass Medical Center is currently working on a special study.  The Children’s Mealtime Study is an observational study of children 3-8 years old focusing on children’s eating patterns, mealtime behaviors, and parents’ feeding practices. Parents and children are seen for one study visit and complete interviews, questionnaires, and dietary assessment surveys. Parents also record their child’s eating for three days. They are looking for study participants.  For more information about this study click here.

Wenham Museum Autism Spectrum Express: The first Sunday of each month November 3, December 1. General admission applies. For families with members on the autism spectrum to enjoy the model trains and museum galleries at a special time. Take a break, have gluten/dairy free snack and have a look at special model train artifacts in Burnham Hall. For more information contact 978-468-2377 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the Wenham Musuem events page.

Sensory Friendly Films: November 15, 2014 - "Big Hero 6", December 5, 2014 - "Penguins Of Madagascar," 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.

"Morningstar Access" Boston Children's Museum:  November 23, 2014, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. 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.  Fees Apply.

Caring Santas in MA, CT and NH -  December 7, 2014.
This is a private, RSVP'd event for special-needs kids and their families.
• Massachusetts: Auburn Mall, Burlington, Cape Cod, Chestnut Hill, Marlborough, North Attleborough
• Maine: Bangor, Nashua, Newington
• New Hampshire, Manchester, Newington, Salem
• Connecticut: Waterford
To RSVP or for more information visit the Simon Malls Caring Santa page.

Adapted Zumba through Billerica Recreation
Zumba is a fun movement program with a Latin beat! This class is designed and modified especially for teens and young adults with special needs ages 15 and older. The classes are 45 minutes of fun fitness with dance routines to upbeat music.  Check out page 6 of the Recreation Guide  for more information.
DATES: Tuesdays, November 4-December 9
TIME: 5:30 – 6:15pm
COST: $25
LOCATION: Lewis Building, 248 Boston Road, Billerica
CONTACT: Register online by creating an account. Contact Billerica’s Recreation Department by visiting their website or calling 978-671-0921.

Making Things Possible: Building Blocks for Transitions Conference
Join the Cotting School, families, and professionals for the second annual ‘Making Things Possible” conference at the Cotting School on Saturday, November 15. This year, the conference will be focusing on the various stages of transition for students with special needs. The workshops cover a range of transition topics for various ages, not just for students ages 17-22.

There will also be several local agencies exhibiting for the Community Resources Expo. To see the full list of workshops and vendors, visit the conference website.

This amazing conference is FREE and lunch is included! Registration required.

DATE: Saturday, November 15
TIME:  8:00am-4:00pm
COST: FREE! Lunch included!
LOCATION: Cotting School, 453 Concord Avenue, Lexington, MA
REGISTER: Register online. Registration is required!

Autism Insurance Resource Center Webinar

Join the Autism Insurance Resource Center on Wednesday, November 19 for a free webinar about ARICA, the autism insurance legislation in Massachusetts.

This free webinar requires registration.

DATE: Wednesday, November 19
TIME: 12:00 – 1:30pm
COST: Free!
CONTACT: Space is limited. To reserve your space, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (if you require accommodations, please let us know at least 1 week prior to the date the webinar is scheduled). After sending in your email to register, you will receive a confirmation email by Tuesday, November 18 containing information about how to join the webinar.
 

Home - Sensory Friendly Films: November 29 at 10 a.m., 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.  For more information click here.

Paddington - Sensory Friendly Films: December 13 at 10 a.m., 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.  For more information click here.

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.

Blogs

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: http://spclneedsparents.meetup.com/cities/us/ma/chelmsford.
 

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