(Lakewood, Colo. - February 13, 2013) Parents with children with high-functioning autism or sensory integration disorder have the opportunity to involve their children in a unique book group at Jefferson County Public Library (JCPL). The Read Like Mad book group is for children ages 7-12 and meets at the Columbine Library at 4 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month through June. Each book group focuses on a theme and kids are asked to share a book that they have read on the topic of the month. An activity or game is also included at each session.
"We see many children with autism and sensory integration issues come through our doors and know there are limited opportunities for them to engage with books and reading in an informal group setting," said Donna Walker, JCPL’s director of public services. "One of our main goals is to meet the needs of our community and we certainly see the need for a group like this."
The group was formed after Sheryl Ditton, a children’s librarian at Columbine Library, was approached by a mother who is part of a group formed via the Meet Up website – Play Like Mad – for children with Asperger's syndrome, high-functioning autism, Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder and Sensory Integration Disorder, wondering if the Library had a book group for these children.
"While researching this idea, I learned that there are no other libraries in the metro area that offer a book group specifically for children with autism or sensory integration disorder," added Ditton. "Since starting the group last fall, we have seen the benefit the children get from their interactions at the library."
Even if children don’t have a book to share, they are welcome to participate in the activities and learn about the books the other children have enjoyed. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
For more information, visit jeffcolibrary.org  or call 303-235-5275.
About Jefferson County Public Library
Jefferson County Public Library (JCPL) is the third largest public library in the state of Colorado. Our mission is to meet the changing needs of our communities by providing information and environments that promote personal growth and community transformation. A JCPL library card is the smartest card in your wallet, giving you access to an online library that operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week, a network of 10 libraries, a Bookmobile, a Traveling Children's Library and offsite computer and Internet classes provided throughout the County, as well as books, periodicals, CDs and DVDs, audio and eBooks, and computer and Internet resources. For more information contact your local library or visit jeffcolibrary.org .