Fun at Sunday’s “My Day to Play”

Girl playing

In partnership with the Maine Discovery Museum, the Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research (MAIER) hosted a “My Day to Play” on Sunday Dec 6th for more than 25 area families affected by autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The Discovery Museum in Bangor was shut down to the public from 4:30 – 6:00PM, and the families attending were able to explore the museum exhibits and enjoy planned activities free of charge. The event was a huge success, offering a safe space for children with ASD and their siblings to play and for parents and caregivers to meet others sharing similar experiences.

The highlight for many children was a visit to Santa’s village to meet Santa and his elves and choose a gift book to take home. Parents also received a free digital photo capturing the event. Special thanks go to our Santa Squad, Roy, Felicia, and Tommy, for creating a special place for children to meet and greet Santa on their own terms!

Boy with Santa

Santa and elves







Parents and caregivers attending the event received a copy of MAIER’s newly released Maine Parent Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorders. This three volume guide provides step-by-step guidance to parents and is enriched with MFP parent narratives and family photos. The guide is available free of charge to families on request. If you have not received your copy yet, contact us by email at or by calling 207-581-2352.

Our heartfelt thanks to University of Maine students from Early Childhood Education, Communication Sciences and Disorders, and ECHO, who joined in the fun as volunteers to make this event possible, and to Susan Bennett-Armistead for her generous book donations. Many thanks to Trudi and Ros, and other Discovery Museum staff and volunteers, for partnering with us and sharing your wonderful space for our MAIER family events.