All of our programs & events are available to our members. We serve all families in the Central MA area; members must reside in one of these towns and complete our intake process. The Autism Division of DDS allows families who live in towns contiguous to the service area who choose to utilize the Autism Resource Center if it is their preference.
Some of our programs are available only to children, under the age of 18, who are eligible for the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) which the Center does not determine; our intake specialists can assist you in the application process. Some of our programs are available only to adults with ASD without intellectual disability.
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. Activities are grouped by age. Some are appropriate for children, others for teens & young adults across the spectrum and some for adults with ASD only.
The Center and its affiliates offer many different workshops for parents, professionals, and supported individuals.
The Center recognizes that a diagnosis affects everyone in the family and offers several support groups . Some groups offer a social group for individuals with ASD as well, which run during the same time frame as the parent support group. Sibshops are offered for siblings aged 7 and older.
The Center has a growing online community for sharing experiences and spreading the word about Autism from the comfort of your own home. A Facebook Page and closed Facebook discussion group for parents are available.
The Center has an extensive library of books and DVDs are available for families and professionals to borrow.
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.
The autism omnibus bill of 2013 led to the designation of the Department of Developmental Services to serve adults with autism who do not have intellectual disabilities. We offer Adults on the Spectrum without intellectual disability an array of services and supports right here in Central Massachusetts. Our Adult Services Specialist Dianne Crossley is available to meet with adults, their families and to help individuals access services available to them. Call Dianne at 508-298-1611 to make an appointment .
The Autism Division of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) runs a Autism Waiver Program that provides one-to-one interventions to help children with autism who exhibit severe behavior, social and communication problems through a service called Expanded Habilitation, Education (intensive in-home services and supports). This service occurs in the child’s home or other natural settings under the supervision of trained clinical staff and is available for a total of three years. The waiver also provides related support services such as community integration activities and respite. At the conclusion of the three years of intensive services, a child may access supplemental services that meet the child’s needs and help with the transition out of the intensive Autism Waiver Program until the child’s 9th birthday. An open request period is held each year and applications are available at that time.
The Center publishes two quarterly newsletters, The Resource Connection is for families raising children with autism and The Resource Connection News For Adults is for Adults with autism without intellectual disability.