Community Partnership supports visitors to the Maine Discovery Museum

Photo of outside of Maine Discovery Museum
Social narrative developed for the Maine Discovery Museum

The Maine Discovery Museum is one of MAIER’s most enthusiastic community partners when it comes to supporting children with autism and their families, and the newest addition to their accommodations includes the Social Narrative “I am going to the Maine Discovery Museum.” Social narratives, an evidence-based practice for supporting individuals on the autism spectrum, provide children with the opportunity to familiarize themselves with an experience before attempting it in person. Through words and photos, the Maine Discovery Museum’s narrative takes readers on a journey to meet the staff and view a sample of the exhibits.  In addition, it highlights important facts like finding the bathroom and snack room, identifying likely sounds, smells, and textures, and expectations for safe behavior. To view a copy of “I am going to the Maine Discovery Museum,” click here.

The Maine Discovery Museum’s social narrative is an outgrowth of a four-year partnership with MAIER’s Family Partnership (MFP) program. Each year, the MFP collaborates with the Museum for one or two special “My Day to Play” events, the Museum’s program “designed to provide children on the autism spectrum with a safe, comfortable environment to explore.” In 2016, MDM staff took part in an autism training session presented by MAIER staff to enhance their understanding of visitors with autism and to develop a plan to better support these families that visit their Museum.

The Maine Discovery Museum plans to have “I am going to the Maine Discovery Museum” available to visitors on their website and at the admission desk soon, so be sure to check with them before your visit. Also, be sure to check out their twice-monthly “My Day to Play” events especially for families that include a member with ASD.

The Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research is available to provide guidance and training to Maine agencies and organizations, schools, and district staff. Programming can be tailored for your specific needs, but can include an introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders, identifying areas of need, connecting with local resources, and developing a plan to support children with autism and their families. We can also help you develop your own Social Narrative, if you wish.  FMI contact MAIER by email or call 207-581-2352.