“That was the most helpful conversation I have had with anyone about my son. The isolation and frustration I had been feeling was overwhelming. Thank you for sharing your time and wisdom. I feel greatly relieved to have some ideas to apply that make sense for our family.”

What is Coaching for Parents of Adults?

Consider parent coaching when you have a complex set of questions or difficult issues to address that can’t be adequately addressed in a 30 minute Information and Referral session.  Parent coaching is a one-to-one intensive problem solving and skills-building session or series of sessions that are designed to help parents of post-high school adults identify practical strategies they can use to address their adult child’s and their family’s unique needs at home, at college, work, or out in the community.

Here are some of the problems we’ve helped parents address through parent coaching:

  • "My son knows he has Asperger’s but doesn’t accept the diagnosis. How do I get him to ask for help? To let me help him?"
  • "Our daughter was diagnosed with Asperger’s only recently.  We are all new to AS.  What does it mean for her future? For our future?"
  • "Our adult child no longer communicates with us. He is in “shut down” mode  and we are worried we will lose him."
  • "My daughter is stuck and barely leaves the house. She’s so unhappy, but she won’t accept help from us."
  • "Our daughter lives with us, but she would like to live on his own.  We’re not she is ready for that or if we are either."
  • "My son may be an adult, but he’s really irresponsible. How do I keep him out of trouble?  I don’t have any control over him."
  • "My husband and I are getting older and our daughter has always lived with us.  How should we prepare her for when we aren’t there anymore?"

Through coaching we help parents:

  • Parent on the same page
  • Parent without power, and instead parent through influence and trust
  • Improve communication with their adult child
  • Target the right benefits, support resources and providers to help their adult child and their family reach their goals.
  • Identify and try out practical strategies for changing behaviors (both theirs and their child’s).
  • Adjust those strategies
  • Create a roadmap and prioritize where they need to spend time, money and energy to achieve their goals.

When Should I Consider Parent Coaching?

  • If Asperger/Autism is new to you or your adult child and you don't know where to begin.
  • If you want help sorting through conflicting or overwhelming information or recommendations to figure out what will be the right fit for your adult child and family.
  • If you feel frustrated or confused by your child's support team.
  • If you need practical parenting strategies to help your family function with less friction.
  • If you and your spouse/partner/co-parent need help parenting on the same page.
  • If things are going well now but you want to plan for transitions, independence and adulthood.

How Much does Parent Coaching Cost?

A single parent coaching session is $125. You can also schedule 4 coaching sessions for $400 to reduce the per session cost to $100 for each session. We recognize that cost can be an obstacle for some families. AANE is very honored to have been awarded a $100,000.00 grant from the Cummings Foundation in support of Parent Coaching in Middlesex, Suffolk, and Essex counties in Massachusetts for families with financial need.

Please email Janeka.Melanson@aane.org for more information about financial assistance for parent coaching in these 3 counties.

How Do I Schedule Parent Coaching?

Parent coaching is available in person at AANE, by phone or video-conferencing. All sessions are one-hour in length and available by appointment. It's easy to sign up for your coaching session and pay online. Follow these four steps:

Step 1: Read the Terms of Agreement.

Step 2: Decide whether you prefer a 4 session package (talking one hour per week with your coach for 4 weeks) or a single session. Save $75 when you sign up for the 4 session package.

Step 3: Click here to register. To schedule your first appointment, choose a coach and an available time.

  • You will be registered for a single parent coaching session at $125. If you would like apply your first session fee to a series of four sessions, request that from the coach by the end of your first session.
  • Additional single or series sessions may be scheduled.

What People are Saying About Parent Coaching

 "After talking with you I feel greatly empowered and more confident that we can do this and get through the next few years in one piece. It's obvious you know what it's like to live with Asperger's in your family. Thank you!"

Meet the AANE Parent Coaches

Kelly Urban, MA, LMHC

Kelly Urban, is a therapist and LifeMAP coach, who also works in AANE's Adult Services Department. Kelly previously worked at McLean Hospital, using DBT to teach young women emotion regulation tools and other life skills to move forward in their lives. Since 2014, Kelly has been providing information and referral services to adults, their families and professionals, to help navigate what an Asperger profile means for them or those they care about.


Jamie Freed, LICSW

Jamie Freed, LICSW, is a Senior Clinician at AANE where she has worked since 2003, primarily as Director of Adult Services. Co-creator of and clinical consultant to AANE’s LifeMAP Coaching Program, Jamie has also provided information, consultation and support services to adults, families and professionals within the AANE community. She has developed and facilitated groups for a variety of neurodivergent constituencies including but not limited to: Older Adults, LGBTQ+, College Students, New to ASD, Job Seekers and Parents on the Spectrum. Jamie is also a therapist in private practice. In addition to learning from hundreds of adults on the spectrum, she is the parent of an autistic adult, grateful to learn from her best teacher since 1996.


Michele Cantara

Michele Cantara is the AANE Director Family Support Adult Services. She is also the mother of a young adult with ASD who is taking college classes and working at two part-time jobs.  In college, Michele majored in Psycholinguistics, which helped her recognize her son's social interaction issues early on, which started her down a path of advocating for parents.  In 1998 she co-founded the Massachusetts Special Education Parents Advisory Council (MASSPAC).  Michele also spent 35 years in the high-tech industry, and she now applies her well-honed consulting and change management skills to parent coaching sessions at AANE.   Michele also leads several support groups for parents of adults and moderates the parents of adults online forum.  Michele's parent of adult coaching specialties include:

  • applying change management techniques, such as "WIIFM" (what's in if for me) to identify goals that motivate the adult with AS, parents and other family members and friends to incrementally change behavior
  • re-setting parents' expectations and parenting style
  • communication practices for parenting without power, as well as for sustaining or re-establishing trust
  • guidance for parents whose adult child may be a victim of undue influence as a result of a cult or harmful relationship
  • adults with AS and co-morbid OCD
  • how to access resources and benefits relating to income subsidies, insurance, housing, independent living supports, vocational services, and estate planning and guardianship.