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. .

Hi, Everyone: While surfing the Internet to see what was new in the area of Special Needs support I came across this link -  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.



Upcoming Events at the Library

An Activity for Special Needs Children: Lego Time
Saturdays at 10 AM - January 10, February 7, March 7, 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.
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.

Especially For Me! Free Evenings for Families with Children on the Autism Spectrum
Date: December 13, 2014
Time: 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Location: The Children's Discovery Museum and The Science Discovery Museum
Ages Range: All Ages
Pre-Registration Required
Program Description: Come join in all the fun and explore both museums during this special free evening for families with children on the autism spectrum. Visitors may also drop-in for a workshop from a practicing music therapist from Indian Hill Music. Many studies have shown that music therapy is an effective tool for reaching this population, as it engages and fosters their capacity for flexibility, creativity, variability, and tolerance of change. Pre-registration required. Visit to register.

Food, including gluten free options, generously provided by Not Your Average Joe’s of Acton. Funded by Yawkey Foundations, The Foundation for Metrowest, Deluxe Corporation Foundation, DCU for Kids, The Nathaniel and Elizabeth P. Stevens Foundation, The Adelard A. Roy and Valdea Lea Roy Foundation, The Bruins Foundation, Morgan Stanley, and The Acton-Boxborough United Way Youth in Philanthropy Program.


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.

More Sensory Friendly Films

Sensory Friendly Breakfast "Penguins of Madagascar", December 13, 2014,  9 a.m. Haverhill, MA, and Nashua and Pelham, NH.

Sensory Friendly Movie: "Penguins of Madagascar", December 17th, 2014. 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.

Chunky's Theaters: Haverhill, MA, and Nashua & Pelham, NH. TO CONFIRM TIMES and for all Chunky's Sensory Friendly information, visit

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!

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:

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.

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