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
Saturdays at 10 AM - April 4 and May 2, 2015
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.  All special needs children are welcome - those that can build on their own and those that might need lots of hand over hand assistance; verbal children and non-verbal children.  Come and stay the whole time or for as long as your child wants.  We are flexible!  We want families to relax and have fun so do what makes your child comfortable.
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. .

Music Program for Special Needs Children (ages 3 - 7 years)
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 3:30 PM
Featuring Music Therapist, Laura Micheli, MT-BC from Roman Music Therapy Services, LCC
Special Needs children and their grownups are invited to a lively and tuneful afternoon.  We'll have all sorts of fun with this interactive musical experience.  Join us for melodies, moving, and more!
Space is limited and sign up is required.  Sign up begins April 6, 2015.  To sign up stop by the Children's Desk or call 978-674-1529.
Funded by a grant from the Digital Federal Credit Union

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.

Lowell Public Schools Special Education Department - Parent Survey

Over the past year, Lowell Public Schools has been working to group special programs in buildings, so that these students can remain in their assigned elementary and then corresponding middle school with their peers, as much as possible.  Stronger educational programming was also created by placing same specialized programs in some buildings, to improve teaching, learning and student outcomes.

Your opinion is important to us, we would like you to please take a moment and fill out our parent survey.
You can find the survey at . Thank you for your time.

The link for the survey can also be found on the Special Education Department website, under the News section -

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.

Light It Up Blue - World Autism Awareness Day: April 2, 2015 at 10 AM, The Discovery Museums, Acton, MA
With a diagnosis rate of 1 in 68, most people have family or friends that have been affected by autism. Stories and activities will focus on increasing autism awareness and celebrating the abilities of individuals with autism. Additionally, resources about early diagnosis and intervention will be available.  This program is free and open to children of all ages.  For more information visit the Discovery Museums web site.

Skills Training Class for Ages 22+: Through April 7, 2015, Wakefield. Class topics include:
• Eating healthy, Money management skills
• Social in the community, Make plans with friends
• Decision making, Travel training, Safety skills
For adults with Intellectual Disabilities who live at home with their family in the greater Wakefield area and in the DDS. Fees apply, scholarships available. To register contact 781-587-2316 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Big Apple Circus Autism-Friendly Event: April 7, 2015 in Boston
The Big Apple Circus Autism Theater Initiative presents the “Metamorphosis” production. Features shorter running time, adjusted lights and sound, calming centers and more. Tickets half price for April 7th shows. For more information contact or 800-922-3773.  Click here for more information.

Transition & Adult Services Resource Fair: April 10, 2015, 12 p.m. - 4 p.m., Franciscan Hospital for Children's Kennedy Day School, Brighton. Families with children with special needs will find resources and agencies that provide transitional services  and support. For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 617-254-3000 ext 1581.

Wings for Autism Event: Saturday, April 11, 2015 at Logan Airport
Wings for Autism is a program specifically designed to support families of children with autism, creating a travel test run to help ease the stress of airline travel.
Sign up is required for this event.  For more information and to register click here.

Resources for Autism Spectrum Disorders – Panel Discussion: Monday, April 13, 2015 at 6 PM, Boston Children's Hospital
Panelists from different agencies will share information about various resources available for ASD families and answer questions.  Families and professionals working with ASD families are welcome.  RSVP by April 10 to Alix Morrison at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 617-355-7493.  
Free self-parking available at the main Boston Children’s Hospital parking garage across the street. Parking vouchers will be distributed at the event.

Sensory Friendly Film at Chunky's Cinema Pub
Sensory-Friendly Showing Sponsored by Recreational Education Center- Home: April 15, 2015, 4 PM
Locations: Nashua, NH, Pelham, NH, Haverhill, MA
Chunky's offers monthly screenings for children with autism or other special needs. We will keep our theater lights up, the sound of the film turned down, and no 3D. Our audience members are allowed to walk around, dance, shout or sing! These showings are proudly sponsored by Recreational Education Center!

Touch a Truck: Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 10 AM at Recreational Education Center, 83 Pine St. Peabody, MA  
This outdoor event features big vehicles like a fire truck and police car for children to visit.  The event is free.  For more information visit the Recreation Eduction Center's web page or call 978-717-5062.

“Morningstar Access” Boston Children’s Museum: April 21, 2015, 8 AM - 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.
Preregistrater 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.

Especially for Me at the Discovery Museums in Acton
Autism Friendly Afternoons, 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
April 7, May 5, June 2, 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
April 25, May 31, July 11, August 9
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.

Sensory Friendly Films at AMC Theatres (Methuen, Tyngsboro)

The program provides a special opportunity for families to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment. The auditoriums dedicated to the program have their lights up, the sound turned down and audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing!



Special Summer Camps

Hard to believe but it's time to start thinking about summer camp.  MA Sped Child & Teen has a summer camp resource page that includes information about summer 2015.

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:

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