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PML Autism Guide

Autism Resources

Libraries and Autism - We’re Connected

1 in 59: 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 59 children in the United States is on the autism spectrum.  This is an increase from the 2014 statistics of 1 in 68. Autism affects boys 4 times more than girls. (April 2018)

Libraries and AutismAccording to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 59 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

New Resource!
Our Community Planning Coordinator, Sean Thibodeau, recently attended a library conference and discovered a wonderful resource for special needs families.  It is an online databsase, Exceptional Lives.  The database provides online resource directories that can be searched by zip code and allows people to create customized resource guides.  
We added it to our Autism Resources Guide.
Thank you, Sean!

Upcoming Events at the Library

Upcoming Events in the Community

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)


Horizons: A College Preparation Mentoring Program for High School Students on the Autism Spectrum
UMASS, Lowell
High school students on the Autism Spectrum who plan to attend college meet with trained UMASS, Lowell students.  The high school students, working with their mentors, will learn about college life as well as various available support services.
There is a $75 program fee but scholarships are available.
For more information click here.

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

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


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

Upcoming Workshops

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.

Surfing with Smiles: Surfing for Those with Special Needs
North Hampton, NH
Dates: July 26, August 9, 2018
For more information, click here.

The Greenway Carousel at the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Grove
Boston, MA
The carousel was designed to be accessible to individuals with physical, cognitive, and sensory disabilities.
For more information including hours of operation and price, 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
October 2
November 6
December 4
Click here to register or for more information.

Autism Friendly Evenings
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
August 11, 2018
October 6, 2018
November 17, 2018
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Click here to register or for more information.

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.

AMC is proud to partner with the Autism Society to offer unique movie showings where we turn the lights up, and turn the sound down, so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing! Our Sensory Friendly Film program is available on the second and fourth Saturday (family-friendly) and Tuesday evenings (mature audiences) of every month. Please check your local theatre listings for specific showtimes, and don't forget to share your family fun with #AMCSensoryFriendly.

Upcoming Films

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Beyond the Spectrum: ASD Art Class
Beyond the Spectrum: Adventures in Art for Children on the Autism Spectrum
Ages 8 - 12 Years Old
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
John, Bertram A. and Ronald M. Druker Family Pavilion (Classroom 159)
(Please meet the instructors in Room 159 by 10:20 AM)

Tickets are required for the Beyond the Spectrum programs.  Click here for more information.

Saturday, August 4, 2018
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Class Description: Color, Texture, and Shape
Artists across the world and throughout time have played with the relationship between color, texture, and shape to create unique visual artworks. We’ll look at some examples of artworks that feature exciting colors, textures, and shapes. Then, we’ll use what we’ve learned to create marbled paper collages!
Instructor: Ali Cohen
For more information visit the Beyond the Spectrum page, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call 617-369-4027.

Saturday, September 8, 2018
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Class Description: Magnificent Musical Instruments
Musical instruments can make wonderful sounds, but many of them are also visual works of art. We’ll learn about the art and craft of making musical instruments, and then we’ll return to the studio to make our own unique instruments.
Instructor: Ali Cohen
For more information visit the Beyond the Spectrum page, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call 617-369-4027.

Saturday, October 13, 2018
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Class Description: Memory Vessels
Why do so many cultures make containers out of clay? We’ll learn about the uses and importance of pottery vessels throughout history and in modern life. Then, we’ll make our own vessels to hold an important memory.
Instructor: Ali Cohen
For more information visit the Beyond the Spectrum page, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call 617-369-4027.

Saturday, November 10, 2018
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Class Description: Show Me a Story
How do artists use pictures to tell a story? We’ll look at examples of visual storytelling from Ancient Egyptian manuscripts to modern children’s storybooks. Then, we’ll create books which we can use to write and illustrate our own stories.
Instructor: Ali Cohen
For more information visit the Beyond the Spectrum page, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call 617-369-4027.

Saturday, December 1, 2018
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Class Description: Wonderful Weaving
Weaving, sewing, knitting, and knotting have fascinated artists for centuries. We’ll look at examples of fiber arts in the museum, and then return to the studio to make our own woven wonders!
Instructor: Ali Cohen
For more information visit the Beyond the Spectrum page, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call 617-369-4027.

Beyond the Spectrum Teen Studio Programs
Ages 13 - 18 Years Old
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
John, Bertram A. and Ronald M. Druker Family Pavilion (Classroom 159)
(Please meet the instructors in Room 159 by 10:20 AM)

Tickets are required.  Click here for more information.


Saturday, August 18, 2018
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Class Description: TBD
Instructor: Ali Cohen
For more information visit the Beyond the Spectrum page, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call 617-369-4027.

Saturday, September 22, 2018
10:30 AM  - 12:30 PM
Class Description: Unconventional Materials
What’s inside a sculpture? Look at examples of contemporary sculptures and learn about the materials artists use to create unique three-dimensional forms. Then, use recycled materials to build your own 3D artworks.
Instructor: Ali Cohen
For more information visit the Beyond the Spectrum page, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call 617-369-4027.

Saturday, October 20, 2018
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Class Description: Art in Pieces
Since ancient times, artists have made mosaics out of fragments of tile, stone, wood, and glass. Discuss how mosaics are designed and assembled, and sketch examples from the galleries. Then, work in the studio to design and create your own mosaics using an array of different materials.
Instructor: Ali Cohen
For more information visit the Beyond the Spectrum page, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call 617-369-4027.

Saturday, November 17, 2017
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Class Description: Story of My Life
Visual storytelling methods have transformed throughout history, from the earliest cave paintings to modern comics. Look at different methods artists have used to tell stories with pictures, from ancient Egyptian manuscripts through picture books and comic strips. Then, choose your own methods and materials to tell visual stories from your life.
Instructor: Ali Cohen
For more information visit the Beyond the Spectrum page, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call 617-369-4027.

Saturday, December 15, 2018
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Class Description: Weaving Memories
We interact with fiber arts every day, from clothes to couch cushions. Artists across many cultures have used the materials around them to weave, knit, knot, and sew useful and decorative objects. Look at examples of fiber arts throughout history, and then use a range of materials to create your own fiber artworks.
Instructor: Ali Cohen
For more information visit the Beyond the Spectrum page, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call 617-369-4027.

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

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