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. .

New Books for Special Needs Families (Spring 2014)

We just got in some new special needs books for our Parenting Collection:

New Special Needs Titles
Bondy, Andy. Teaching Social Skills to People with Autism
Couwenhoven, Terri. The Boys' Guide to Growing Up
Couwenhoven, Terri. The Girls' Guide to Growing Up
Delmolino, Lara. Essential First Steps for Parents of Children with Autism
Krouk-GOrdon, Dafna. Moving Out: A Family Guide to Residential Planning for Adults with Disabilities
Lindsay, Leslie A. Speaking of Apraxia: A Parents' Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech
Palmieri, Mark J. Feeding Your Child with Autism
Wong, Adonya. In My Mind: The World Through the Eyes of Autism

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 - Sept. 13, Oct., 4, Nov. 8, Dec. 6
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

According to the website, the Raymond Lord Memorial Pool (Fletcher Street, 978 459-7370) is handicap accessible.  Call the pool for more details.

Family Support Pool Club: Sundays, through August 31, 2014. The LifeLinks Family Support Center's Sundays at the Paul Center in Chelmsford family swim. A Sunday Summer Membership fee includes the playground, field space, picnic areas, plus all household family members and one staff person if needed. Lifeguards will be present for safety and emergencies. Limited Financial Assistance available based on need. Register to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 978-349-3040.


Boston Museum of Science Disability Prototype Testers: Boston Museum of Science Disability Prototype Testers: Spring & Summer 2014. The Boston Museum of Science is seeking visitors with all disabilities to test new exhibit prototypes, explore the museum, and give feedback to help improve the accessibility of the museum.
Testing includes free admission to the Museum of Science exhibit halls for the day and free parking in the Museum's garage. To participate and give the Museum feedback fill out their Boston Musuem of Science on line form or contact 617-589-4438 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Summer Camp Information

Camp Apex-Marcus Lewis Day Camp: Westford, MA.

Typical camp that accepts a limited amount of High-functioning children with Autism and Aspergers. Improve their social skills, learn to make eye contact and engage in conversation. Campers must be approved prior to registering. Fees apply.  Click here for more information.

Camp Goodtime in Stoneham, MA

781-895-3200, ext 24. For children 3-22 with Asperger's, PDD, Anxiety Disorders, and Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities. Focus is on language and social skills through structured fun activities.

Camp Triumph

Bedford, Danvers and North Reading, MA. For children with ADHD, Executive Functioning Disorder, Aspergers, Non-Verbal Learning Disability, Pragmatic Language Deficit, and Anxiety Disorder. Visit the Triumph Center or call 781-942-9277.

Chit-Chat Summer Camp

Franciscan Hospital, Boston. Helps children who use augmentative-alternative communication (AAC) devices with communicative competence through intensive group services while participating in favorite camp activities. Visit their webpage or contact the Clinic Coordinator 617-245-3800 ext. 5643 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Horse Barn Summer Camp for Teens with Autism & Other Developmental Delays

West Newbury, MA. July 29th - Aug 2nd and Aug 19th - Aug 23rd, 2013. Integrated camp for teens ages 14 - 22 with autism and other developmental delays that want to care for and learn about horses and handling techniques. Must be able to fulfill program requirements to participate. For more information contact visit The Holland Project or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 978-764-8611.

The Paul Center Extended Year Summer Program 

Chelmsford, MA.  For students ages 4-21 with moderate to severe range of disabilities. or 978-256-4396.

Wenham Museum Autism Spectrum Express: The first Sunday of each month November 3, December 1. General admission applies. For families with members on the autism spectrum to enjoy the model trains and museum galleries at a special time. Take a break, have gluten/dairy free snack and have a look at special model train artifacts in Burnham Hall. For more information contact 978-468-2377 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. or visit the Wenham Musuem events page.

"Morningstar Access" Boston Children's Museum: August 15, September 1st, October 13, 2014  8 a.m. - 10 a.m., 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. Preregistration is required 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.

Family Farm Days on Drumlin Farm: July - September 15, 2014, Lincoln. Free for all with special needs to participate in accessible nature trails, garden and barn chores, and hands-on activities.
* The farm will be closed to the general public on Quiet Days. An ASL Interpreter will be available for some programs.
8/11, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm, Quiet Day
8/13, 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm, Quiet Day
9/14, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, ASL Available
9/15, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm, Quiet Day
Pre-registration is required to 781-259-2247 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the Drum Farm Family Farm Days Page.

Transition from School to Adult Life: A Statewide Transition Conference for Parents - Saturday, September 20, 2014

This full day statewide transition conference has been specifically planned for parents of children with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 22 who are transitioning from school
into the adult world.  The conference takes place at the Hogan Center at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.  The fee is $75 per person and includes a continental breakfast and lunch.  Register by Friday, August 29, 2014. Hosted by The Arc of Massachusetts with gratitude to The Arc of the United States and the
Walmart Foundation.  For more information click here.

Autism-Friendly Performance of the Lion King
October 11, 2014 at 2pm
Boston Opera House
Autism Speaks has partnered with Broadway In Boston and Disney Theatrical Productions to provide a unique theatre experience for individuals and families impacted by autism. This autism-friendly performance of Disney’s The Lion King will happen in a supportive, judgment-free environment and will include slight adjustments to the production to suit the needs of the audience—such as the reduction of any jarring sounds or strobe lights focused on the audience. In addition, there will be other accommodations of support, including a quiet area if individuals and families need a break from the experience and trained staff and volunteers to assist with patrons’ needs.
All tickets are being offered at reduced prices thanks to the support of Autism Speaks and their sponsors: $95, $65, $45, $25.
For more information and to purchase tickets go to the Autism Speaks website. *When purchasing tickets use code: AUSTISMSPEAKS.

Transition Planning Conference for Families: A free conference providing educational support for families of children on the autism spectrum or with developmental and
intellectual disabilities, ages 12-22 and beyond.
Saturday, October 25, 2014, 8:30am-1:30pm
Cascia Hall, Merrimack College
The conference program will include:
Planning for Age 18
Independence & Housing
Transportation Issues
Legal Matters and Government Benefits
Options for Employment, Education, or Day Services after age 22
Social & Recreational Development
The conference will be held at Cascia Hall at Merrimack College,315 Turnpike Street, North Andover, MA 01845. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Plenty of free parking available.
To register, please contact Stacey Leibowitz, Director of Family Services at 978-975-8587, ext. 1273 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This program is presented by CLASS and the ARC of Greater Lawrence and is funded by a grant from the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation.



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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