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

Super Special Kids: A Storytime for Special Needs Kids and Their Families

These storytimes are held once a month on a Saturday morning.  All special needs families are welcome - yes, siblings too!

We have finished up for this school year but will start up again in September.  Even though we won't meet again until the fall, the library is open in the spring and summer.  Stop by and see what we have.  Special needs families are most welcome to visit the library.  We look forward to seeing you!

Note from Molly: In addition to being the Coordinator of Youth Services, I am also the mother of a special needs child so I understand the blessings and challenges of being a special needs family.  At our storytime it's okay for kids to move or make noise.  I don't expect everyone to sit quietly. For some of our friends that is near impossible.  I know it is for my own son!  One of our main goals for storytime is for families (everyone in the family - grownups too!) to feel comfortable and have fun.  So please join us!  We look forward to seeing you and your family at storytime.

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.

“Extra Special Steps” Summer Dance & Theater Program:  Summer 2014, Bellingham. Steps Off Broadway is offering the Extra Special Steps (ESS) summer program for students with special needs to express themselves through song, dance, and theatre. ESS was developed by trained professionals to enable each student to learn, given the specific level of attention, support, or accommodation they may require in order to be a successful performer  Extra Special Steps will offer:
• Trained professional teachers
• For ages five to adult
• People with varying disabilities
• Weekly summer classes
• Final performance
For more information contact by May 9 to 508-876-9797 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

“Autism-Friendly” Thomas the Tank Engine Train Trip: July 20, 2014 North Conway, NH. A train car will be reserved for families who have a child on the autism spectrum. Volunteers from the Mt. Washington Valley Children’s Museum will be on board with quiet activities. This will be the last train of the day, you will not be rushed to get off the train once it returns to the station, allowing your child to spend more time enjoying the activities. For ticket fees and reservations contact 800-232-5251 or 603-356-5251, ext. 21, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit The Conway Autism Friendly Day Out 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.

Sensory Movies


Chunky's - Sensory Friendly Movie: Planes: Fire & Rescue, July 23rd, 2014, 4 p.m. 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.
** Locations: Haverhill, MA, and Nashua & Pelham, NH.
** Chunky's - Little Lunch Date: Planes: Fire & Resuce, July 16th, 11:30 a.m.  For preschool children and their caregivers. Lights slightly dimmed and admission is free. This 2 is a worry-free lunch without the fear of disturbing others. Please confirm times with the theaters.
** Chunky's Sensory Friendly Breakfast! Planes: Fire & Rescue, July 19th, 9 a.m. Haverhill, MA, and Nashua and Pelham, NH.
TO CONFIRM TIMES and for all Chunky's Sensory Friendly information, visit

Sensory Friendly Films: July 26th, Planes: Fire & RescueAMC 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
Or for more information visit

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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