Cranston Public Library teams up with the Autism Project

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The Autism Project and the Cranston Public Library hosted a reception on Tuesday, June 14, to introduce a new collection of books on autism. The Autism Project donated the collection to the library thanks to funds from the R.I. Department of Health’s State Implementation Grant under U.S. Combating Autism Act of 2006.

“These books are critical resources for families. It is extremely helpful for everyone to have access to these materials,” said Mayor Allan Fung.

The collection includes a vast array of topics for parents and caregivers, such as facilitating communication, building social relationships, parenting with positive behavior supports, and motivating learning and exploring feelings. There are also books to teach self-advocacy, guide health care, address sensory and dietary challenges, and to prepare for life transitions. Readers will find resources to help children understand their autism spectrum disorder, and help them share stories by and about siblings, parents and grandparents.

“The Autism Project is thrilled that the Cranston Public Library has agreed to house this collection and that they will become part of the library system so that all families throughout Rhode Island will be able to request them from their local library and have a resource to navigate the complexities of understanding and living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder,” said Joanne G. Quinn, executive director of the Autism Project and mother to a child diagnosed with ASD.

Autism is a complex developmental disability that usually appears during the first three years of a child’s life, impacting brain development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Children and adults with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and nonverbal communication, social interactions and leisure or play activities.

Deb Langevin, whose 15-year-old son Josh was diagnosed at the age of 2 years and 3 months, is thrilled with the new collection.

“People don’t realize what a wonderful addition this will be to the whole library system, not just Cranston,” she said. “These types of books are so expensive, and usually there is only one part of a book that is truly useful or needed. They even have books in Spanish. This is just great.”

The Autism Project is comprised of parents, teachers, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists and other related professionals dedicated to create a comprehensive system of services to support individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.

A book list will be maintained at the library and at The Autism Project and can be requested for review by calling 785-2666 or e-mailing Jill Norwood at jill@theautismproject.org.

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