Fun at the Maine Discovery Museum

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April 2015
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Sunday 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:
FiremanchildFiremen Alex and Ron arrived with their firefighting gear for the children to investigate while they demonstrated and engaged the children and parents in important lessons for fire safety. Policeman Dan shared his humor and friendly manner to help attendees gain confidence and reduce anxious reactions to a uniformed officer. Ron and Cheryl’s therapy dogs provided a comforting touch, and they offered important lessons on staying safe around unfamiliar dogs. A visit from two snuggly, furry rabbits rounded out this special event, and the bunnies enjoyed lots of hugs and welcomed petting from the attendees.
MattcrpIn addition to these special visitors, MAIER Family Partnership (MFP) hosted a presentation by Matt Brown, of Autism Safety Education and Training (ASET). Matt shared his knowledge and personal experiences about safety issues and concerns for families of children with autism, and offered helpful suggestions and resources to assist families to be proactive in keeping their children safe at home, school, and in their communities. In particular, Matt emphasized the importance of parents registering their child with ASD with their local police to ensure a timely and appropriate response if their child should wander or need help. For more information and links to important safety resources for families, see the ASET website.
Many thanks to the Maine Discovery Museum staff, and all the volunteers who made this day possible: the University of Maine Early Childhood Education students, Communication Science and Disorders students, Communication/ Journalism students, Autism at UMaine club members, Susannah Fisher, Dan Stewart, Ron and Cheryl Lare, Alex Demers, and the MFP families whose dedication makes these events possible.For more information about future Maine Family Partnership events, contact Donna Doherty at, 207.581-2468. 


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