MAIER Family Partnership

MAIER’s Family Partnership (MFP) is dedicated to providing outreach to individuals and families affected by autism spectrum disorders across the state of Maine. Together, MAIER staff and families work to identify issues of concern for Maine families and collaborate on projects to promote greater awareness and understanding, develop tools and resources, address access to services, and support research efforts. In addition, the MAIER MFP hosts educational and social events to offer families valuable information and resources, strengthen community ties, and encourage family-to-family networking and support. Download our brochure for more information.

Individuals with autism, parents and family members, and caregivers are welcome to join the MFP. Contact us to be placed on the MFP mailing list for news, event announcements, and other information. For more information about the Maine Family Partnership or any sponsored activities, contact Donna at MAIER.  207-581-2468/

News and Announcements

photo of the solar system from spaceInterested in astronomy and outer space? Join the MAIER Family Partnership to explore the cosmos together at the Emera Astronomy Center on the UMaine campus on Saturday February 22nd!

MAIER’s Family Partnership is offering this FREE event especially for older children, teens, and adults on the autism spectrum and their siblings, parents and/or caregivers. We will be offering two planetarium shows, one best suited for grade school children, and a second show best suited for teens and adults. This event is not recommended for very young children. Registration is required to attend. For more information, including how to register for this fun event, visit our events calendar for this event.

Young girl sitting next to SantaMAIER Families Visit with Santa at the Maine Discovery Museum

It was a special day at the Maine Discovery Museum MDM) in Bangor as Santa’s Village came alive for children attending the sensory-friendly “My Day to Play” on Sunday December 8th. Thanks to an on-going partnership between the MDM and the Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research (MAIER) at the University of Maine, more than 30 families experienced the excitement and joy of visiting with Santa in an environment designed to support children on the autism spectrum on their own terms.  [Read full story and see more photos from the day]

Thanks to all our friends and volunteers who helped make this afternoon a very special event for all!

Courage and Success for MAIER Families at the MaineBound Adventure Center!

Teen boy smiling from an indoor climbing wallSaturday, October 26th, was a special day inside the MaineBound Adventure Center at the University of Maine as MAIER Family Partnership (MPF) families gathered to test their courage on the indoor climbing walls. With the support of specially trained staff and volunteers from MaineBound and the Adaptive Outdoor Education Center (AOEC), and the encouragement of UMaine Student MEA volunteers, participants from 4 to 27 years old used their strength and determination to make their way upwards. While some participants came ready and excited to don the climbing harness and begin climbing, others needed to overcome their fears and face this new challenge. Despite some early trepidation, we are happy to report lots of smiles and successes! [Read full story here]

New Resource for Maine Families: Adaptive Sports and Recreation

Colorful cartoon of four children jumping and wavingThanks to our MAIER family partners, Marilyn Gott and Daniel C.Gott, D.O., we now have a new handout available to families and caregivers, ” Adaptive Sports and Recreational Opportunities in Maine.” As an active family, they know the importance of physical activity for overall physical and mental health, which can sometimes be a special challenge with children on the autism spectrum.

Dr. Gott explains, “In my 20 years as a family physician, I have observed the importance of maintaining a physically active lifestyle. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for healthy living include one hour of physical activity each day. The State of Maine is a vast recreational region filled with opportunities to be physically active. We are fortunate to have numerous organizations offering adaptive services to those requiring accommodation so that everyone can be healthy and fit.”    Daniel C. Gott, D.O.

Visit this webpage to download a copy of the handout and share with others to help spread the word! Interested in finding more fun things to do as a family? Visit our Places and Spaces page for our Maine Directory listings, Community Calendar of events, and tips and suggestions to support family members on the autism spectrum when visiting new places and spaces.



Read our Fall 2019 Pathways
Read our September 2019 e-news

Past issues

Read our Spring 2019 Pathways
2019 March  MFP e-news 
2019 January MFP e-news

Maine Department of Education logo
The Maine Department of Education provides significant support and funding for the activities and outreach of the Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research. Special thanks to Jan Breton, Director of Special Services Birth-20, Maine Department of Education, for her ongoing support for this project. To learn more about this unique partnership, see the “About Us” tab above. 

Logo for US Office of Special Education Programs

Autism Fact Sheet

photo of ASD Fact sheet - text and photos of children playingMAIER staff has developed this resource to help increase understanding, acceptance, and inclusion in your communities. Help us spread the word by downloading and sharing this Autism fact sheet!  
[ASD Fact Sheet MSWord]
[ASD Fact Sheet PDF]