• Autism Resource Center of Central Massachusetts Autism Resource Center of Central Massachusetts


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Mission Statement

The Autism Resource Center was conceived in 1996 by a group of parents to serve primarily as an information and referral service for children and families affected by disorders within the Autism Spectrum; Autism, PDD NOS and Asperger's. The Center services the eastern portion of DMR Central-West Region. This encompasses North Central, Worcester, and South Valley areas. All totaled there are 65 towns within the Autism Resource Center's service area, although families from outside our service area may choose to utilize the Center.

This program is funded by the Department of Mental Retardation (DMR) and administered by Horace Mann Educational Associates, Inc. The Autism Resource Center is a family governed project and is overseen by a Family Steering Committee made up of parents who represent the concerns and ideas of families from the three geographical areas within the service region.

Family supports and networking, education and information are vital services the Center provides. The Autism Resource Center is designed to help parents, educators, service providers, and medical professionals provide effectively for those diagnosed within the Autism Spectrum. The Center does not recommend any single program or treatment but instead offers information on a great variety of issues giving parents and professionals what they need to make educated choices.


What does the Autism Resource Center offer?
Family Supports

Mothers Network Brunch
Mothers can bring their pre-school age children. While the children play or watch videos, mothers meet around the coffee table monthly at the Resource Center.

Autism/PDD Parent Group
Meets monthly at the Resource Center. Network with other parents who share many of the same concerns. Groups run with and without outside speakers.

Asperger's Parent Group
Meets monthly at the Resource Center. Network with other parents who share many of the same concerns. Groups run with and without outside speakers.

Parent to Parent
Many parents are interested in speaking with other parents by phone. With permission from parents, names and numbers can be shared.

Parent's Night Out offers parents a chance to meet at a local restaurant and network with others in a
relaxed atmosphere.

Sibling Groups
A variety of groups are offered for brothers and sisters who are between the ages of 7-15.

Family Fun Days
The Center offers a variety of monthly Family Fun Activities to give families an opportunity to meet with others and enjoy leisure activities in a supportive environment. Swim parties, bowling parties, holiday parties, visits to zoos and museums are some of the activities we have sponsored in the past. We note and celebrate children's birthdays each month at these parties. Activities are offered usually without charge for families or at a reduced cost.

Family Days....at Camp*
These weeklong programs are designed to fill a void in programs that often exists in late June & August. Parents accompany their child with autism, along with siblings. This is a family day camp setting that offers swimming, fishing, canoeing, crafts, games, daily entertainment etc. A Midweek evening cookout allows working Parents to join in the fun. There is plenty of time for parent networking.

Autism Awareness Projects
The goal is to build better supports at school and in the community. Educating all who are part of our children's lives does this. Staff from the Center and trained parents are available to speak with regular education classes to heighten their awareness of what the Autism Spectrum is and how peers can help. Professionals from the Autism Resource Center are available to speak with teams of teachers about the Autism Spectrum. A parent, teacher or administrator may initiate the request.
Call the Resource Center for more information.

College Internships
College students interested in a truly supported learning experience are assigned to selected families. Through time spent with these unique children, in conjunction with utilizing various aspects of what the Resource Center has to offer, students develop a greater understanding of Autism 24/7 with its many perplexing issues.

Volunteer Program
Individuals of all ages donate time working on a regular weekly schedule or just intermittently for specific projects. Volunteer time could be at the Resource Center or with families and community.

Educational Supports

Parent/Professional Workshops
Specialists are invited many times throughout the school year to address a variety of topics. These sessions are held in the evening and are open to parents, professionals, and college students.

Teacher Education Series - Summer Institute (2 days)
Teachers are given the opportunity to learn from professionals who specialize in the education of children within the Autism Spectrum....Sessions are held after school. Annual Two Day Summer Institute is held in late June. PDP's available

The center offers a variety of workshops so that parents are informed of their educational rights.

Information Resource Library
An extensive library of books, videos & audio tapes are available for families and professionals to borrow. A variety of professional journals and newsletters can be used.

Quarterly Newsletter and Website
"Connections", our quarterly newsletter, features Center updates, calendar of events including area conferences and articles of interest written by families. The center updates the web pages with information frequently.

Phone Support
Staff is available 5 days a week to answer questions and lend support. Messages can be left on answering machine and calls will be returned on the next workday.



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