, Newburyport, MA

January 4, 2013

Social group forms for adults with special needs

By Mac Cerullo
Staff Writer

---- — AMESBURY — With limited options in town for adults with special needs, a local mother and her son have started a social group so those people can get together and have a little fun.

The Amesbury Social Meetup Group for Adults with Special Needs will be holding its first event on Monday night at The Barn Pub and Grille. Barbara Pouliot, the group’s leader, said the event would be a chance for local adults with special needs to get together for dinner, board games, dancing and fun in a safe and friendly environment.

The Barn event will be held from 5:15 to 8 p.m. in the upstairs function room, and Pouliot said the group had rented out the area and would be the only ones upstairs. There will be a $15 price of admission to cover the cost of food, she said.

Pouliot came up with the idea earlier this winter with her 26-year-old son Nathan, who has special needs himself stemming from a form of pervasive development disorder (PDD). Pouliot thought it would be a great way to spend time with her son and to help support other adults with special needs in the community.

Right now the group is planning on holding events every Monday and has dates booked through the month of January. Pouliot said she’d like the group to be a year-round thing if enough people join.

She also said her group is looking for sponsors to help support the special needs adults who join.

“If anyone in the community wants to sponsor part of an event, like sponsor $5 per member, they can go on the website and get free advertisement that way,” Pouliot said. “Any community support would be great.”

Any adult with special needs is welcome to join the group, and those who sign up are encouraged to bring their own games along, Pouliot said. No alcohol will be served at The Barn event, nor will transportation be provided, so those who come should be dropped off and picked up promptly, she said.

Future events have been scheduled for later in January at Leo’s Superbowl and Stage Two Cinema, along with a second event at The Barn on Jan. 21.

Those interested in joining the group can visit the group’s website at Prospective guests can RSVP online, and any questions can be directed to Pouliot at