Resources to support you during COVID-19

Visit our COVID-19 webpage for resources to support teachers and education professionals during these challenging times. We also invite you to view our Professional Development page to learn about new and archived workshops now available for your online learning this spring. MAIER’s online workshops are FREE and earn educator contact hours.

Training Modules

Connecting FACES in Maine: Addressing Racial Disparities in the Education of Black Students on the Autism Spectrum

African American family eating togetherIn this training module, Dr. Jamie Pearson provides participants with foundational knowledge about disparities that exist among minority students with Autism, and shares strategies to help support parents and educators identify appropriate services and supports for minority children with Autism. Professionals earn 12 contact hours upon completion of training and post-survey. Learn more about the FACES training module and register here.

PEERS® Friendship Skills Boot Camp now available!

3 young adults chattingWe are pleased to announce the launching of the PEERS® Friendship Skills Boot Camp! This self-paced training module, presented by UM Faculty Dr. Sarah Howorth, is a free online training module that is recommended for families and professionals who support teens and young adults with autism. Professionals can earn 12 contact hours upon completion of training and post-survey. Read more about this training module and register to participate on the Friendship Boot Camp Webpage.


Sexuality Education Toolkit

MAIER’s Sexuality Education Resource will link you to a variety of resources, all in a handy graphic to lead you through topics and conversations, many specifically developed for families of children, teens, and young adults with special learning needs. Check out this new resource, which includes links to helpful videos, visual supports, curricula, and toolkits, then share with others to help spread the word!  Read more about the Sexuality Toolkit here.          View and/or download Sexuality Education Resource here

Healthy Lifestyle Toolkit

A preview of the Healthy Lifestyle Toolkit; a header reads Resources for a Healthy Lifestyle; Physical Activity. Links to resources for caregivers & educators as wells as individuals are overlayed on to a blue background with cartoon characters participating in physical activity.The Healthy Lifestyle Toolkit, developed by Sara Hunt, a recent UMaine graduate in Child Development & Family Relations, explores a myriad of resources befitting for parents, caregivers, educators, kids, teens, and adults! Within the toolkit, you’ll find direct links to social stories, strategies, training videos, and more pertaining to physical activity, nutrition, sleep, hygiene, and social/emotional wellness. Read more about the Healthy Lifestyle Toolkit here.         View and/or download the Healthy Lifestyle Toolkit here!


Text box with Supporting Literacy development for individuals with ASDText box 'DIY AAC Tools at Home'Supporting Literacy Development, Access, and Communication for Home and School: New videos developed by Haley Usilton, UM graduate student in Communication Sciences and Disorders, to support the use of augmentative and alternative communication at home and at school and supporting literacy development, access and communication.

Research supported by the Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research

Studies conducted by researchers at MAIER are ongoing and highlighted in our August 26, 2020 newspost.

Rooks-Ellis, D. L., Jones, B., Sulinski, E., Howorth, S., & Achey, N. (2020) The effectiveness of a brief sexuality education intervention for parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. American Journal of Sexuality Education, 1-21.

Rooks-Ellis, D. L., Howorth, S. K., Kunze, M., Boulette, S., & Sulinski, E. (2020). Effects of a parent training using telehealth: Equity and access to early intervention for rural families. Journal of Childhood, Education, & Society 1(2), 141-166.

Additional Research and Resources

The Autism Center at OCALI : Serves as a clearinghouse for information on research, resources, and trends to address the autism challenge. The center offers training, technical assistance, and consultation to build professional and program capacity to foster individual learning and growth.

Autism Spectrum Disorders Fact Sheet: Developed by MAIER staff, this one-page fact sheet is suitable for the general public or anyone who may want to gain a better understanding of persons on the autism spectrum and promote acceptance and inclusion. 
[ASD Fact Sheet PDF]    [ASD Fact Sheet: MS Word]

Autism Fact Sheet / Translations 
View and download this basic fact sheet about autism based on CDC facts and information, and available in 15 languages. Developed and made available by the University of Southern California, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities for families and providers.

Center on Secondary Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: This research and development project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and focuses on developing, adapting, and studying a comprehensive school and community-based education program for high school students on the autism spectrum. Research and resources suitable for families, professionals, and educators to support students through their high school years and the transition to adulthood.

The Indiana Resource Center for Autism : Conducts training, consultations, engages in research and disseminates information to build local community capacity to support children and adults on the autism spectrum.

National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder: The NPDC works to develop free professional resources for teachers, therapists, and technical assistance providers who work with individuals with ASD. Resources include detailed information on how to plan, implement, and monitor specific evidence-based practices.

Supporting College Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders on campus: Teens and adults with autism are increasingly present on college campuses nationwide. To support the success of potential and current students with ASD on Maine campuses, we have gathered a list of resources for families, faculty, staff, and peers. It is our hope to encourage greater understanding of the condition and how it may impact individuals, in support of greater understanding, acceptance, and inclusion in our campus community.

Think College  Think College is a national organization located within the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass, Boston that offers both online resources and technical support for families of persons with IDD and for faculty and educators. Think College offers technical assistance and online trainings to assist education professionals and faculty in supporting students with intellectual disabilities who are considering or pursuing post-secondary education. Training modules and webinars include Universal Design for Learning (UDL), coaching and mentoring college students with IDD, and the roles and responsibilities of campus disability services. Think College staff also offer research summits each year offering an in-depth look at the research related to higher education, employment, and transition. The Think College website includes an online College Search directory of the many college programs across the U.S. for students with intellectual disabilities. Search by program, location, or keywords.

Transition to Adulthood Resources

UMaine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies : Maine’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). CCIDS brings together the resources of the university and Maine communities to enhance the quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Our statewide mission is met through interdisciplinary education, research and evaluation, community engagement, and dissemination of state-of-the-art information that reflect the guiding principles of inclusion, diversity, universal design and access, and social justice.

Additional Opportunities for Learning

2020-21 MAIER Professional Development Series
MAIER PD Archives


Check out the Family Resource Center for Tools and Information to support your students and their families!


Maine Department of Education logoLogo for US Office of Special Education Programs
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 Erin Frazier, 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.