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. .


Upcoming Events at the Library

An Activity for Special Needs Children: Lego Time
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.  Special Needs Children of all abilities are welcome - those that can work independently and those that need lots of hand over hand help from their grownups.  Stay the entire session or as long as your child wants. Siblings are always welcome!

Saturdays at 10 AM - September 19, October 3, November 14, December 12, 2015

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. 17, 2015 - (3rd Thurs. due to start of school)
October 1, 2015 - Newcomers Night
November 5, 2015 *
December 3, 2015
January 7, 2016
February 4, 2016
March 3, 2016 *
April 7, 2016
May 5, 2016 *                            *Denotes a Speaker              
June 2, 2016                       

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  

Especially for Me at the Discovery Museums in Acton
Autism Friendly Afternoons, 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM

October 6, November 3, December 1, 2015
During ASD Friendly Afternoons, no school groups or birthday parties will be scheduled to avoid overcrowding and support accessibility of exhibits. A dedicated room will also 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 from the stimulation of the museums.

Evenings for Families with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, 5 PM - 8:30 PM

October 17 and December 12, 2015
During our Free Evenings for Families of Children with an ASD, the Museums are closed to the public so families may explore with others with similar needs.  Food is generously provided by Not Your Average Joe’s of Acton.

For more information about these Discovery Museums events or to register, click here.

Artful Healing for Autism Spectrum
October 3, 2015
Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, August 8th, 2015. Class Description: Around the World. Art can take us to places we never dreamed of -a far off land, a mythological island, a bustling city. Explore the fictional and real life places art can transport us to in a blink of an eye.  For ages 6 – 8 and 10-12. Artful Healing and Beyond the Spectrum offer a specially designed program for Autism Spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome, accompanied by a parent or caregiver. Upon arrival children will be divided into groups by age and/or needs.
Fees Apply
For more information visit the Artful Healing page or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 617-369-4027.

Autism Friendly Performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella
Sunday, October 4, 2015
5:30 PM
Boston Opera House
The lights will be at half capacity.  Performance sounds will be lower in volume and intensity.  There will be trained volunteers on hand to provide support.  Calming areas will also be available.
To purchase ticket and for more information click here.

Morningstar Access at Boston Children’s Museum
Monday October 12th, 2015 (Columbus Day) from 8 am to 10 am
Sunday November 22nd, 2015 from 6 pm to 8 pm - Evening Edition!

Morningstar Access at Boston Children’s Museum offers children with special needs/medical needs the opportunity to visit the Museum at a time when there are only a few other visitors. At these times, we have a limit of 100 guests, and children and their families can explore the Museum with less concern about infections and large crowds.

Admission: All guests must pay admission at the Admissions Desk upon arrival.
Non-members: Half admission price ($8 per person)
Members: Free

Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Educator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sensory Friendly Films: AMC Theatres - Methuen and Tyngsboro, MA

Upcoming Screenings

Saturday, Oct 17, 2015 - PAN

Saturday, Nov 14, 2015 - THE PEANUTS MOVIE

Saturday, Dec 5, 2015 - THE GOOD DINOSAUR

All shows are at 10:00 am local time. Dates and films are subject to change.
For more information click here.

Support Groups

Parent Support Group
These free meetings are open to anyone parenting a child or adolescent with behavioral or mental health special needs.
The meetings are held in Lowell on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month from 6 PM - 7:45 PM.  Contact for location.
RSVP: Nancy Collier, Family Support Specialist, 508-688-5739 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This program is a collaboration between MSPCC, PPAL, CTI and DMH

Transition Planning Group
Meetings are held on the first and third Mondays of the month from 6 PM - 7:45 PM.
CTI Lowell
126 Phoenix Ave., 3rd Floor, Room 3
RSVP: Nancy Collier, 508-688-5739 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
In Collaboration: CTI, MSPCC & PPAL

Special Summer Camps

Thinking Ahead to Summer 2016
We've barely said goodbye to Summer 2015 but I wanted to pass on a Summer 2016 opportunity.  One of our local families recommended a special summer program for Autism Spectrum Families.  It's called "Camp Kaleidoscope."  According to their website, "Camp Kaleidoscope is a summer camp style retreat for families experiencing the autism spectrum."  Next year's camp runs June 25 - 28, 2016.  Click here for more information

Camp Starfish
According to their web page - "Our positive approach, engaging philosophy and overall experience is different. Camp Starfish provides a 1:1 staff-to-camper ratio at all times to enable success, build social skills, teach coping mechanisms, and help children who have difficulty finding success in traditional settings. We are a one-of-a-kind summer camp, year-round support and advocate for children and families."  Click here for more information.

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!


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

Pollard Memorial Library | 401 Merrimack St., Lowell, MA. 01852 | (978) 674-4120 | email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hours: Mon-Thu 9am-9pm, Fri-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun Closed  Senior Center Branch: Mon-Fri 9am-4pm

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