April 2015

MAIERlogo2 pathways3

April 2015
Table of Contents

Director’s Welcome


Maine Autism Leadership Team (MALT) News

Family Focus


The Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research (MAIER) is a partnership between the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development and the Maine Department of Education.

MAIER is dedicated to building state-wide capacity to improve outcomes for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

  • Leadership
  • Training
  • Professional Development
  • Technical Assistance
  • Consultation
  • Research

Save the Date

  • April 6, 2015
    Hutchinson Center, Belfast
  • April 9, 2015
    Lawrence Jr/Sr HS, Fairfield, MSAD 49
  • May 20, 2015
    Jeffs Catering, Brewer

See all MAIER Professional Development

Director’s Welcome

Hello! Welcome to the first edition of Pathways, the e-newsletter of the Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research.The Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research, affectionately known as MAIER, launched on January 1, 2014 as a partnership between the Maine Department of Education and the University of Maine, College of Education and Human Development (COEHD). Our mission is to build statewide capacity to improve outcomes for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) through leadership, training, professional development, collaboration, and research.

In our inaugural year, MAIER hosted 13 professional development opportunities around the state, with a focus on evidence-based practice for working with students with autism. Two professional development opportunities occur in April and one final opportunity for this academic year in May <read more from the Director>.


April is Autism Awareness Month
Autism is a developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. It is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, and occurs in approximately one out of every 68 births. Autism is four times more prevalent in boys than girls and knows no racial, ethnic or social boundaries.

See our Resources section below for Activities, Ideas, and Resources for April Autism Awareness.  Thank you to the Autism Society of Maine for these ideas!

Autism Walk
Remember to join the MAIER Family Partnership team and walk in Bangor for the Autism Society of Maine’s 13th Annual “Walk for Autism” on April 26th! Register online: Autism Society of Maine website.

Maine Autism Leader Teams: Professional Development Training for schools, districts, and agencies supporting individuals with autism. MAIER is currently accepting applications for Maine Autism Leader training, an intensive professional development focused on research-based strategies for children and adolescents with autism!

The Maine Autism Institute is accepting applications for Maine Autism Leader Team (MALT) professional development for the 2015-2016 academic year. There are currently 28 MALT teams in the state! Maine Autism Leader Teams receive 6 days of intensive professional development over the academic year. Additionally, teams are provided a coach to help support the team’s goals and activities as autism leaders. Learn more in the application: (MALT application).

Share this unique opportunity for advanced training with your neighboring districts and colleagues.  Contact Deborah if you have any questions.


Save the Date – May 28, 2015!
A professional development day designed specifically for Maine Autism Leader Team (MALT) members to use data to drive program decisions! Dive into Data with the Maine Autism Institute! What data do you have and what does it mean? FREE to our Maine Autism Leader Team members! We do require registration for presentation materials and catering purposes. Please register by contacting Lisa Daniel, Phone: 207-581-2492, Email: Lisa_Daniel@umit.maine.edu.
Download Flyer (PDF); Flyer (Word).

Click to Download

Family Focus

Welcome to Family Focus, a section of our newsletter dedicated to sharing news and information of special interest to individuals, parents, families, and caregivers. In this issue of Pathways, we’ll introduce the MAIER Family Partnership (MFP) and invite you to join us in our efforts to create a supportive community among families across the state of Maine. Our goal is to work together to raise awareness, provide educational outreach, and support research efforts to improve the lives of families affected by ASD <read more about the MAIER Family Partnership>.

Lots of Fun at the Maine Discovery Museum

FiremanchildSunday March 22nd was an exciting day at the Maine Discovery Museum! More than 60 individuals attended the special “Autism Education and Safety Event” for children and families. The event was hosted by the Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research (MAIER) in partnership with the Discovery Museum’s “My Day to Play.” The Museum was closed to other visitors during this event so children with autism and their siblings could explore and experience activities in a safe, sensory-friendly setting.

The afternoon was filled with exploration and learning at the Museum and included guest visitors who focused on safety <read more>.


Autism Awareness Packets, created by the Autism Society of Maine, can be mailed to you FREE.  Packet includes Autism Awareness information, poster, stickers, ribbons and brochures for posting on a bulletin board at your school, workplace, library, church, and in your community.  Contact MAIER for a free packet today! maineautisminstitute@maine.edu

Learn about autism with an online tutorial, from Autism Society

First 100 Days Kit: a printable tool kit to assist families in getting the critical information they needed in the first 100 days after an autism diagnosis, from Autism Speaks.

Kids Health: a website that explains autism in simple language for kids.

Growing Up Together: a printable 4-page brochure, explains autism and how to be friends with someone with autism,  from Autism Society

Growing Up Together: Teens with Autism: a printable brochure for Teens, from Autism Society

Brochures on Autism: printable brochure, from Autism Society of Maine

Printable Crafts, Bookmarks, Coloring Pages, and Activities for Children

Websites for Children with Autism

Zac Browser: a free Internet browser developed specifically for children living with variants of autism spectrum disorder.

Easy crafts featuring puzzle pieces:

  • Kid’s Picture Frame
  • Puzzle Piece Butterfly
  • Puzzle Piece Project Toolkitby Autism Speaks
    This is a fun and interactive educational tool kit for grade levels K-12 designed to increase students’ understanding of autism during Autism Awareness Month.

Fun Stuff

Games for Kids with Autism

MAINE_crest289_spot  Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research
5766 Shibles Hall, Room 303
Orono, Maine 04469
Phone: 207.581.2352 | Fax: 207.581-9510
Email: maineautisminstitute@maine.edu