ORONO — Maine families have a new tool to help them learn more about Autism Spectrum Disorders and how to access educational and social services to support their child.

The Maine Parent Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorders is available as a download or in print. The three-volume set is the result of a yearlong collaboration between a group of Maine parents and the Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research at the University of Maine.

“Our goal was to develop a parent-friendly guide, a ‘road map’ of sorts, to assist families as they navigate the autism journey,” said Deborah Rooks-Ellis, director of the Maine Autism Institute and an assistant professor of special education at UMaine.

The first of the guide’s three booklets, “What to do when you suspect an Autism Spectrum Disorder,” leads families through the steps needed to obtain assessments and a diagnosis. The second booklet, “Accessing educational services, social services and interventions,” provides parents with an in-depth description of early intervention and special education services in the state, as well as a guide for transitioning from high school to adult services. The “Resource Guide for Maine Families” includes contact information for many services and supports across the state.

The Maine Parent Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorders can be downloaded from the Maine Autism Institute website. For print copies, families can call or email the institute.

FMI: www.maineautisminstitute.org/, [email protected], 207-581-2352.

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