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. .

News

Upcoming Events at the Library

Because April is Autism Awareness Month...
We have a couple of things going on in April.  A puzzle piece is sometimes used as a symbol for Autism Awareness. During the month of April, stop by the Children’s Department to participate in our Autism Awareness activity.  Decorate your very own puzzle with a picture of what makes you, you. And remember different is not less than!
Everyone – kids and grownups – is welcome to make a puzzle.
While supplies last.

This month we will also be holding a raffle for an Autism Awareness gift basket.  Stop by the Children’s Desk for your raffle ticket.

Special Needs Storytime
Saturdays at 10 AM
April 28 and May 12, 2018

This storytime is for special needs children of all ages and their families.  Join us for a morning of stories, music, and movement.  Sitting still is not required!
This is a drop in program.  Siblings are always welcome!  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. .

Upcoming Events in the Community

Transitional Resources Fair
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
6 PM - 8 PM
Lowell High School Cafeteria
50 Fr. Morissette Blvd., Lowell, MA
This is an opportunity for students and their families to learn about resources available to them as they transition from high school to the adult world. The fair will include representatives from agencies and organizations that support post-secondary education, employment, independent living, leisure activities, and more.
This fair is for any students and their families currently receiving special education or other disability related services.
*Sponsored by Lowell High School

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Cartoon Emotion
Research Study

Children (aged 12-16) who have been diagnosed with ASD and are interested in cartoons are invited to share their experiences about emotions in cartoons.

Participation includes a 30-45 minute confidential interview with each participant (parents may be in the room during the duration of the interview) and can take place in Newton, Worcester, or Lowell, MA. Parents will each receive a $20 gift card to Amazon in appreciation of their family’s participation.

If interested, kindly email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
PsyD Candidate, William James College
(Posted on The Asperger/Autism Network website)

Lowell Special Education Parent Advisory Council (Lowell Sped PAC)
The Lowell Special Education Parent Advisory Council (Sped PAC) is an organization run by parents of children receiving special education services through the Lowell School Department.  It was created to share information about special education and promote understanding between parents and the school department.

2017 - 2018 Meetings
Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month from October to June at the Stocklosa School. The school is located at 560 Broadway Street. Enter the school near the visitor sign. There is plenty of parking near the door. Meetings begin at 7:00 P.M. If door is locked, ring buzzer. Visitors are always welcome.

All Meetings Are on Thursdays
Sept. 21, 2017 -   (3rd Thurs. due to start of school)
October 5, 2017  *
November 2, 2017 *
December 7, 2017
January 4, 2018 *
February 1, 2018
March 1, 2018 *
April 5, 2018
May 3, 2018 *                                          
June 7, 2018  
*Denotes a Speaker     

Lowell Special Education
Parent Advisory Council
(Lowell Sped PAC)

Lowell Public Schools
Attn: Sped PAC
155 Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA  01852

Tel: (978) 454-1967
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Like us on Facebook:
Lowellspedpac

Autism Support Group
NFI Family Resource Center
27 Prescott St., Lowell, MA
The first and third Wednesday of every month, September - May
4 - 5:30 PM
Run by UMass Lowell faculty and students
There are two parts to our group:
1) a socialization group for children with autism up to 6 years of age, and their typically developing siblings.
2) a support group for caregivers that provides an opportunity for parents and other family members to connect with others facing a similar experience.

The FRC serves parents and children from diverse cultural, linguistic and socio-economic backgrounds.
This is a FREE service!

For additional information please contact:
NFI in Lowell at 978-455-0701 or via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
Rocío Rosales: 978-934-4305 or via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Tyngsborough Special Education Parent Advisory Council
Tyngsborough High School Library
36 Norris Rd.
Tygsborough, MA  01879

Upcoming Workshops

MCAS: Access and Achievements for Students with Disabilities
Thursday, May 17, 2018
7 PM
Staff from the Federation for Children with Special Needs will examine how children with special needs can meaningfully participate in MCAS testing.

*All workshops are open to the public.

Tyngsborough SEPAC Contact Information - E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For more information about these workshops or the Tyngsborough SEPAC, click here.

UMASS Lowell Center for Autism Research and Education (CARE)
The University of Massachusetts Lowell has a Center for Autism Research and Education (CARE) which focuses on research and education to improve the lives of those with ASD and their families. They conduct research studies related to ASD and provide some services such as an Autism Support Group for parents of young children (up to age 6) on the Autism Spectrum and a monthly social networking program called "The Network" for young people ages 16 - 30 years on the high end of the autism spectrum.  For more information click here.

Autism Playgroup and Parent Support Group
NFI Family Resource Center of Lowell
27 Prescott St.
Lowell, MA  01852
4 PM - 5:30 PM
March 7
March 21
April 4
April 18
May 2
May 16
This service has two components:
1. a UMass Lowell run socialization group for children up to age 6 that encourages social skills and play.
2. A support group for caregivers, where parents can connect
with others who are facing a similar experience.
To RSVP or for more information click here.

“Especially for Me” Free Evenings and Afternoons for Families with Children on the Autism Spectrum
The Discovery Museums
177 Main Street (Route 27)
Acton, Massachusetts 01720
Phone: 978.264.4200
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Especially for Me program offers dedicated hours and free admission for families with children with developmental challenges.

Upcoming Sensory Friendly Afternoons
1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
May 1
June 5
Click here to register or for more information.

Autism Friendly Evenings

Click here to register or for more information.

This program is free but pre-registration is required.  Click here for more information.

Especially for Me: Sensory-Friendly Afternoons
Come explore the Museums’ campus at your own pace. During these events the Museums are open to the general public, but group visits and birthday parties are not scheduled in order to avoid crowding and to support exhibit accessibility. Quiet spaces are available during this time as well.
This program is free but pre-registration is required.  For more information call 978-264-4200 or click here.

Morningstar Access at Boston Children's Museum
Special Needs children and their families can visit the museum during a time when there are only a few other visitors.  The number of guests is limited to 100.

For more information or to register click here.

Fee: Members - Free, Non-members - 8.50 per person
Contact: Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Educator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
617-986-3697
Click here for registration information.

AMC Sensory Friendly Films
Tyngsboro 978-649-4158
Methuen    978-738-8942
Check with the specific theater for showtimes.  Dates and times may be subject to change.  Click here for more information about this program.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Beyond the Spectrum: ASD Art Class
Beyond the Spectrum

Tickets are required.  For more information click here, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 617-369-4027.

Autism Eats at Maggiano's
Thursday, April 26, 2018
6 PM - 8 PM
Maggiano's
4 Columbus Ave.
Boston, MA  02116
Celebrate Autism Awareness Month with an Autism Family Friendly Dinner! Come meet special guest, Wally, the Green Monster.
Reservations are required. (Last year's event sold out!)  Click here for more information.

Autism Speaks Day at Fenway Park
Saturday, April 28, 2018
4:05 PM
Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Click here to purchase tickets or call 617-226-6790.

3rd Annual Autism Awareness Weekend
April 28 and April 29, 2018
10 AM - 5 PM
Edaville Family Theme Park
Carver, MA
Contact Edaville Family Theme Park for ticket prices and information.

Altitude Trampoline Park: Sensory Friendly Saturdays

Every Saturday morning from 9 AM - 10 AM
Individuals and groups are welcome. If bringing a group, call ahead - 978-663-5867.
Reduced price of $12 per person
Re-usable trampoline socks are required and available for purchase (2.00 per pair.)
Altitude Trampoline Park
700 Boston Rd., Billerica, MA  01821
978-663-5867   
http://www.altitudeparkma.com/page.cfm?pageid=44714

Museum of Science Disability Prototype Testers
The Museum of Science, Boston, seeks people with a variety of abilities and disabilities to help improve the museum offerings, such as exhibits and programs. Those with, but not limited to, sensory, physical, and cognitive disabilities, can be contacted to test new exhibit prototypes and explore the museum.
Interested participants will come to the Museum of Science to interact with exhibit prototypes or explore other existing museum experiences. Testing could last anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes and will always include free admission to the Museum of Science exhibit halls for the day and free parking in the Museum’s garage.
If you would like to help the Museum of Science become more accessible by providing feedback during an upcoming testing session, please fill out this online form.
This form asks for your contact information as well as some details about the group you plan to visit the Museum with. If you prefer to fill out this form over the phone instead of online, please contact Sunewan Chunhasuwan, a Research and Evaluation Assistant, at 617-589-4438. You may also email with any questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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.
www.ppal.net
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.
www.ppal.net
In Collaboration: CTI, MSPCC & PPAL


Support Group for Parents of Children with Special Needs
Pediatrics West, PC
133 Littleton Road
3rd Floor Conference Room
Westford, MA  01886
7 PM - 8:30 PM
Call Alison at 978-577-0414 for more information.

Spanish Support Group
Tower Building
60 Island St., Lawrence, MA
Meets 3rd Friday of the month
9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Contact: Gloria Ricardi Castillo at 978-624-2301 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sponsored by the Northeast Arc

Down Syndrome-Autism Connection Group

DS-Autism Connection (DSAC) is for parents whose children have both Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder. DSAC has 30 active families who meet once monthly by online chat to discuss the issues and challenges unique to the Down Syndrome-Autism community. Experts in the field often present on various topics relating to dual diagnosis. New members are welcome. DSAC is an affiliate of the Massachusetts Down Sydrome Congress. For more information visit the Down Syndrome Autism Connection’s website or email 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. .

Special Summer Camps

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.

Blogs

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

Main Branch Hours: Mon-Thu 9am-9pm, Fri-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun Closed  Senior Center Branch: Mon-Fri 9:15am-1pm

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