Ride for Autism

Saturday, September 26, 2015 @ 8am

Download the First Hour Here

Download Cathy’s Audio

Guest:

Cathy Dionne

Cathy Dionne
Director of Programs and Administration
Autism Society of Maine

9th Annual Ride for Autism
October 3, 2015
Kennebunkport Conservation Trust
Kennebunkport, ME

Mission Statement

The Autism Society of Maine provides education and resources to support the valued lives of individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.

Autism Society of Maine Options Policy

The Autism Society of Maine promotes the active and informed involvement of family members and the individual with autism in the planning of individualized, appropriate services and supports. Click here tot read the Autism Society of Maine Options Policy.

Our History

ASM began as a support group for several parents who had children with autism who were placed in a day program at Mariah Clark School in Hallowell this program was created for children with behavior and communication disorders. The group met monthly to share concerns, experiences, ask and answer each other’s questions, and gain new information. The idea of expanding the group to include parent support groups from other areas (Gardiner, Hallowell, Winthrop, Waterville, Bangor) sprang up. The Spurwink School was also contacted because at that time they had a day program / school for children with autism. We eventually started having speakers from various area programs.

At that time we began our contact with ASA (then known as the National Society for Autistic Children – NSAC) and wrote our bylaws so that we could become an affiliated chapter. We first called our chapter the Maine Society of Autistic Children (MSAC) and later the Maine Chapter of the Autism Society of America (MCASA). However, another group in Maine had that same acronym so our name changed again, and we became the Autism Society of Maine (ASM).

We received funding from Developmental Disabilities Council, the State organization which provided funding for programs that served children with developmental disabilities. Initially we used the money to pay for speakers, food, respite for our meetings, and to hold conferences. Later, we wrote a grant to the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Mental Health and Corrections (now known as DHHS). We continued to receive some funding from the Developmental Disabilities Council.

We hired our first Executive Director and moved into our first office in Gardiner. There we evolved into an autism information referral service for the entire State of Maine. Today, we also run several statewide programs – Information Specialist Program, Summer Camp, and Family Retreat. We are currently located at 72B Main Street, Winthrop, ME.