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Parenting Girls on the Autism Spectrum, with Eileen Riley-Hall


Asperger’s Association of New England

Dear Parents,

Parenting our girls presents its own set of unique challenges. A number of parents of girls have reached out to us at AANE and requested more support. We’ve listened and are pleased to present a special event, Parenting Girls on the Autism Spectrum: Overcoming the Challenges and Celebrating the Gifts, on Saturday, December 7, at AANE in Watertown.

This event will feature a talk with author, mother and teacher, Eileen Riley-Hall, a table of resources for girls and their families, and an opportunity for all of us to meet and talk.

  • When:    2:00 – 5:00pm Saturday, December 7, 2013
  • Where:  AANE Office, 51 Water Street, Watertown, MA
  • Fees:      $50 per parent/professional; $75 for both parents includes light refreshments.

Click here to register. 

This program is appropriate for parents/grandparents and professionals.

No walk-ins. Advance registration with payment is required by December 4th.


Sensory-Friendly “Santa Express”

  • Date: November 22, 2013
  • Time: 6:30 pm
  • Location: Newport, RI

Autism Speaks New England Chapter & the Newport Dinner Train are offering a one-time-only, specially-designed holiday event for the autism community. Enjoy a nighttime train ride to the “North Pole”, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, then join in with caroling and snacks. Presentations will be Sensory-Friendly, with the train outfitted with a “quiet room”. Reduced tickets will ONLY be available to families who call 401.841.8700 and mention Autism Speaks. For more information visit The Autism Speaks RI Santa Express page or contact or 401.841.870.

“Caring Bunny” comes to Simon Malls

If you have never been able to bring your child with autism to see the Easter Bunny, now’s your chance!

AbilityPath, an online special needs community for parents and professionals, is bringing “Caring Bunny” to Simon malls to allow children with special needs the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with the Easter Bunny in a quiet, unrushed setting and get their picture taken. Great care has been taken to ensure a sensory-friendly environment that allows children to enjoy their time with the Caring Bunny. Families will be able to purchase a photo as a keepsake of the day.

In Massachusetts, Caring Bunny will be at the following locations:

March 17th — Auburn Mall in Auburn
March 17th — Solomon Pond Mall in Marlboro
March 17th — Independence Mall in Kingston
March 24th — Emerald Square Mall in North Attleboro

You must pre-register for the event by going to–live/family-fun/caring-bunny-mall-photos.html

Broccoli Sprout Extract for Autism

Location: The Lurie Center at MGH

More information

It has been documented that symptoms of autism decrease in some individuals during fever. This change may be due to the cell stress that is caused by the rising body temperature. It is believed that this type of cell stress may be the basis of symptom improvement seen during fever.

Sulforaphane, obtained from extract of broccoli sprouts, has been shown to have a protective effect on cells because it produces a mild stress. We believe that this protective stress can mimic the positive role of a fever in reducing symptoms of autism.

This study will enroll 45 males aged 13 to 30 years who have been diagnosed with autism. 30 subjects will be randomly selected to receive sulforaphane and 15 inactive placebo, and their symptoms will be followed at the Lurie Center for 22 weeks. Study procedures will include:

  • Medical and Neurological Exams
  • Blood and urine sampling
  • Assessments of social communication and behavior

Compensation for time will be provided.

Sensory Integration and Oral Motor Difficulties

presented by: Lori Goodrich, OTR/L 
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

You’re invited to our next exciting, educational evening lecture for parents, occupational therapists and occupational therapist assistants, and teachers.

Eating a wide range of foods is essential to meet a child’s nutritional needs that is necessary growth and development for the body and brain.  Picky eating can be the result of many factors, including Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), nutrition, medical based concerns and behavior. Picky eating can have a broad reaching impact on a child’s energy level, development and social participation.   Identifying the cause of a child’s picky eating and using strategies and treatment in order to support a healthier and balanced diet.  Providing opportunities for a child to have a positive and safe interaction with food  is essential for their own well-being, as well as the well-being of their family members.
Please click on the link below to register or RSVP.

Program Cost: $25
Parent Couple: $35

Wednesday March 27, 2013 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM EDT
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Spiral Foundation
74 Bridge Street
Newton, MA 02458


Andrea Leung
Spiral Foundation
74 Bridge St.                         Newton, MA  02458
617-969-4410 ext 231

Continuing Education
Contact hours:

1.5 hours   (.15 CEUs)

Course level: Introductory

OccupationalTherapy Practitioners/ Occupational Therapy Assistants:  The Spiral Foundation is an Approved Provider of continuing Education for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants by the American Occupational Therapy Association.  The assignment of AOTA DEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.  Please note:  CEUs will be calculated depending on the hours of attendance and the completion of the course evaluation.

ADA/Section 504:  If you require special accommodations, please contact us at the address above.

As part of the OTA The Koomar Center family, the Spiral Foundation warmly invites you to participate in any of our educational offerings.

The Spiral Foundation is the not-for-profit research and education affiliate of OTA The Koomar Center; at the request of OTA The Koomar Center, we will be emailing upcoming lectures and courses as well as newsletters filled with helpful tips and the most exciting updates in SPD research. You may unsubscribe from our email list at any time.

The Spiral Foundation is an Approved Provider of Continuing Education for occupational therapists & occupational therapy assistants by the American Occupational Therapy Association. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA. Please note: CEUs will be

calculated depending on the hours of attendance and the completion of the course evaluation.

As always, please contact us with any questions.617-969-4410 ext. 231

Get more information
Register Now!

Sudbury Little League-Challenger Division 2013

We are pleased to offer another year of Challenger League Baseball in 2013. The Challenger Division is designed to provide children with disabilities who are ages 6-22 with the opportunity to play baseball in a comfortable and caring environment. This will be our 8th season with the Sudbury Red Sox Challenger Team. If you are interested in joining the Sudbury Red Sox team you can sign up at and follow the “Register Online” prompts on the left hand side of the page.  Once again Sudbury Little League has generously offered to waive the registration fee for our team, so registration is free and a t-shirt, hat and certificate or trophy will be provided! T-shirts will be ordered by April 5th so please plan on registering before then if you would like a t- shirt.

This year our games will be played every Sunday from May 5th to June 16th from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. at Upper Featherland Field on Concord Road in Sudbury. (Please note that there will be no games on Sunday May 26th, Memorial Day weekend). Each session will usually begin with a warm-up period that will allow each child to throw, catch, and bat. We use RIF (Reduced Injury Factor) baseballs and ultra-light bats, your child may bring his or her own bat and helmet if they prefer. We will have “buddies” on the field and in the dug out helping to organize and shadow the players, but cannot always guarantee that each player will have their own “buddy”. Families are also welcome to join their child on the field to assist during the game if they wish. After the warm-up period, the players will be split into two teams and will play a two or three inning game as long as they are able. Each child will have the opportunity to bat at least twice each time their team is up. A coach will either deliver the pitch, or place the ball on a batting tee. The runners advance through the bases with assistance or independently, while the fielders make plays. Please note that all batters must wear a helmet.

Please feel free to come and watch a game to see if your child would benefit from participating in our program. Our goal is to provide the children with a chance to experience the joy and camaraderie that the game of baseball can bring and we hope to see as many families as possible join our team. We hope that the Challenger Division of Sudbury Little League will continue to grow and provide children from all over the area the chance to play baseball for years to come. If you have any questions about the program, please feel free to contact either of us. We look forward to seeing you at the ballpark this spring!

Carole-Ann Baer, Commissioner

John Morrissey, Coach

Language Development Study

DO YOU HAVE A BABY JUST LEARNING TO TALK?   At the Tufts University Infant Development Lab, Dr. Emily Bushnell and her students are currently conducting a study on early word learning and recognition.   We desperately need infants 16 – 22 months old to help us out!   The baby simply sits on a parent’s lap and sees a series of colorful picture pairs, while a voice names one of the pictures in each pair.   Parents are with the child throughout the 30-minute session, which takes place at the Tufts Medford campus; free parking and a thank-you gift are provided.  If you have an infant 16- to 22-months-old and would be willing to help us out, please contact us at   Leave your name, baby’s birthdate, and a contact phone number or email address.   We will get in touch with you to provide further information and see if you would like to make an appointment for your infant to participate.   Thanks

Sensory Friendly Film: Escape from Planet Earth

“The Lights are up and the sound is down. Come enjoy a sensory friendly movie at the Framingham 16 Theatre. Families are allowed to bring in their own snacks, there are no previews or advertisements and the ‘Silence is Golden’ policy is NOT in effect.”

* Date: February 23, 2013
* Time: 10:00 am
* Cost: Normal movie rates apply
* Where: See list below

For more information contact the AMC Movie Theaters or the Autism Society of America. Other independent theaters may also be holding sensory friendly screening, but AMC and the Autism Society have specifically partnered for this series.

AMC Burlington (personally, I haven’t been very impressed with this theater)
20 South Avenue
Burlington, MA

AMC Braintree 10
121 Grandview Road
Braintree, MA 02184-2616

AMC Framingham 10
22 Flutie Pass
Framingham , MA 01701
Located on Flutie Pass between the Natick Mall & Shoppers World, one block North of Route 9.

AMC Dartmouth Mall 12
140 North Dartmouth Mall North Dartmouth, Mass. 02747

AMC Tyngsboro 12
440 Middlesex Road Tyngsboro, Mass. 01879

AMC Loews Methuen 20
90 Pleasant Valley St. Methuen, Mass. 01844

NFPA Interactive Fire Safety Storybook

The National Fire Protection Association has produced an interactive storybook, “I Know My Fire Safety Plan,” that teaches children with autism spectrum disorder what to do if a smoke alarm sounds. The story can also be helpful to children with other developmental disabilities.

Variety Day at Sesame Place

(We’ve done this the last two years and it’s amazing and it falls during April vacation week!)

“Join Variety for its Annual Spring Sesame Place Day! Come see your favorite characters, ride your favorite rides and sing your favorite songs at this one-of-a-kind amusement park!

This event is open to Variety children and up to 4 family members and a TSS/Aide. If you are from somewhere outside of our “service area,” which includes the Greater Philadelphia Region, Delaware and New Jersey, you are still invited to attend. We just ask that you submit an Intake Form to us (see below).

We will continue updating the website with information regarding this event as we get it. Please do not contact our office about Sesame until registration opens on the 8th.

Click here to learn about our new Intake Form and registration process for our Variety at Play events.

To download a Fact Sheet and a printable registration form, please click on the Download Forms button below. *Please note you will not be able to download a registration form until March 8th.

*Please make sure that you have completed and submitted an Intake Form. If you have not done so, click here to download the form.

Interested in sponsoring a resource table?  Please email Nicole Simon at

  • When: Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 10:00 AM
  • Where: Sesame Place, 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, PA
  • Cost: Admission is free; however parking is $25 per vehicle (paid at the park on the day of the event)