November 2020: AANE Newsletter Navigating Change

November 2020: AANE Newsletter
Navigating Change
As the season turns, we are reminded of the incredible amount of change adults, family members, and professionals of the Asperger/autism community have had to manage this year. No matter where you are in your journey, you can contact AANE for support, resources, and connection to help you navigate whatever change you are facing. New to AANE? Learn how we can help!
The Return Home
The ongoing pandemic has caused many adult children, both neurotypical and with Asperger/autism profiles, to return home to live with their families. This month, Executive Director Dania Jekel gives advice to adults on the spectrum and their families who may be experiencing this unexpected change.
Last Chance to Register for the Fall Conference!
AANE’s Fall 2020 Virtual Daniel W. Rosenn Connections Conference
November 14
Don’t miss AANE’s online fall conference featuring three expert presenters speaking on living an authentic life and forming meaningful friendships. The conference will also include virtual discussion and networking groups, providing an opportunity for adults with Asperger/autism profiles, parents, and professionals to learn and connect. Find out about speaker topics, continuing education credits, and more!
AANE Presents a Free Online Screening of “I Am Greta”
and a Conversation with Adults on the Spectrum
November 20-22
Greta Thunberg, a shy student with Asperger’s, began with her one-person school strike for climate action outside the Swedish Parliament and galvanized a global movement.
Join AANE for a free, special screening of the new documentary “I Am Greta.” Registrants will be given access to view the film any time between November 20 and 22 and a link to join AANE’s special online conversation on November 22. This discussion will feature a panel of adults on the spectrum who have also followed their passions to overcome challenges and create meaning in their lives.
Connecting to AANE During COVID-19
Check the events calendar for the most up-to-date information on AANE’s online programs, such as support groups, workshops, and social activities. If you have any questions, email Click the blue links below to see more information and register.
To see all of the free programs AANE offers, visit our Free Online Programming page.
Free Online Community Connection Sessions
Feeling isolated? These single-session discussion groups are a wonderful way connect online with AANE staff and others in the community for the first time. The following is a list of upcoming sessions with available spots. Click on the links and register today as sessions fill fast! (For more sustained support options, read about AANE Support Groups further down.)
Free Online Discussion Forums
Join others in online Google Group discussion communities moderated by AANE Staff.
AANE also has other resources and support for Neurodiverse Couples.
Help for Educators
As students file into your classroom or log on remotely, it can feel like the same challenges seem to arise day after day. Consider reaching out to the Training and Education Department at AANE and let us help you break the cycle. Learn how to move from a model of compliance to a lens of communication.
Handling School Change
Some communities are moving to in-person school instruction for the first time this school year, while others are moving back to remote-only learning. If your child is having difficulty with these kinds of changes, or the current accommodations aren’t working, you can request a meeting with your child’s IEP team or 504 Plan coordinator any time. Check out AANE’s article on Special Education Advocacy Tips and the Tip Sheet summary, and learn about our IEP Review and Parent Coaching services.
LifeNet, AANE’s independent living support program, offers a variety of social activities for its clients. For a limited time, AANE is making some of the online LifeNet social activities available to a small number of non-LifeNet clients. All activities are FREE. Click on the button below to see upcoming dates, view descriptions, and register.
  • Mini-Series and Movie Mondays (via Netflix Party & Chrome browser)
  • TaskMaster Watch Party (via Zoom)
  • Wellness Wednesday: Evening Yoga (via Zoom)
  • Virtual Concerts (via Zoom)
  • Thursday Morning Chair Exercises (via Zoom)
We are Here for You!
Have questions or need to talk? Use the Contact Us form or schedule a free information and referral call with a member of the Adult Services or Child and Teen staff.
AANE Support Groups
Online “Closed” Support Groups
“Closed” groups have the same members for a set number of sessions and have limited space available. Click on the title of the group to register. Financial assistance is easily available.
Online Support Groups for Adults
Online Support Groups for Parents of Children & Teens
Online Support Groups for Parents of Adults
Free Online “Open” Groups
“Open” support groups and programs have an undefined number of group members with new people joining from session to session. Click below for information on “open” support groups for our community and to register.
AANE Program Highlights
LifeMAP Coaches Further Their Professional Expertise
At the recent quarterly meeting for LifeMAP coaches, AANE’s Director of Training Janet Barbieri gave an important presentation on suicide prevention. The information will be a valuable tool in assisting clients during this unusually difficult time and beyond. Each LifeMAP quarterly coach’s meeting gives professionals the opportunity to share ideas and strategies to help clients in all aspects of daily life.
The Asperger/Autism Professional Coaching Association
Read about two honorary members of the Asperger/Autism Professional Coaching Association (AAPCA) who bring a wealth of experience to the Association. The AAPCA is a support network for professionals who use coaching techniques to assist older teens and adults with Asperger/autism profiles. Don’t forget to join the AAPCA Facebook group and LinkedIn page!
Neurodiverse Couples
AANE has multiple resources for those seeking to better understand relationships where one of both partners have an Asperger/autism profile. Neurodiverse couples can access AANE’s self-paced online course 101 For Couples. Couples therapists can receive specialized training to help them work with neurodiverse couples more effectively through AANE’s Training 101 and Certification 201. Click the links for more information!
Coming Up…
  • All AANE programming has moved online.
  • “LOCAL [City, State]” indicates groups/activities intended for those living in or near the listed area.
  • “Open” groups and programs have an undefined number of group members with new people joining from session to session.
  • “Closed” groups have the same members for a set number of sessions.
  • Text in blue are links to further information and registration.
If you like discussing science and technology, check out the AANE Meetup Group: AANE Adults for details and to RSVP for the next meeting! Read More + Register.
Autism Housing Pathways President Cathy Boyle is available for individualized housing consultations to address your unique needs and questions regarding public and private housing options. Read More + Register.
Not sure how to manage your personal finances? PwC volunteers will teach you how to create a budget and give tips to help you follow it. Read More + Register.
Meet friends online and have some fun! Register to meet online and play games like Quiplash, Fibbage, and Remote Insensitivity. Reserve your spot before the sessions fill! Read More + Register.
Love to read? Join other post-high school adults to discuss great books. Participation is free, but registration is required to receive the link. Read More + Register.
Let’s make music! Participants will explore and grow as independent and ensemble musicians through practice and group lessons using traditional or digital instruments. Read More + Register.
Our goal for this session is to hold a candid conversation about different ways to approach relationships and dating while autistic. Reduced price thanks to a grant from the John W. Alden Trust. Read More + Register.
Grab some popcorn and watch a flick with friends! Click to learn about Netflix account and browser requirements and to register! Read More + Register.
Meet other grandparents online and find new ways to connect with your grandchildren of any age on the autism spectrum. Read More + Register.
Fathers can share experiences, support one another, and build a toolbox for parenting children on the spectrum of any age more confidently. Read More + Register.
PwC volunteers will demystify credit report elements, and discuss aspects of debt including potential consequences and ways to better manage or reduce it. Read More + Register.
AANE Team Trivia is back! Please join us for a one-time event, in which we will be joining an existing virtual trivia night. Read More + Register.
Join other Boston-area adults to discuss wonderful books. Participation is free, but registration is required to receive the link. Read More + Register.
Whether your child/teen was recently diagnosed with an Asperger/autism profile or you need a better understanding of what the diagnosis means, AANE can help. Read More + Register.
Looking for More?
Take a day-by-day look at all of the events AANE has to offer our entire community.
AANE Updates…
Thank you for your ongoing support!
At a time of incredible uncertainty, AANE continues to be here for you. Get a head-start on your year-end giving with a donation to AANE today.
AANE Receives 10-Year Grant
AANE is one of 30 local nonprofits to share in $10 million in expanded funding from the Cummings Foundation. AANE will receive $33,333 per year over 10 years to fund initiatives that provide support, education and community to families of children and adults with Asperger/Autism profiles in Middlesex, Essex and Suffolk counties. Thank you, Cummings Foundation!
Autism Research Studies
University researchers and professionals looking for study participants to further autism research often post descriptions on AANE’s website. New studies include understanding experiences of work and unemployment for individuals on the spectrum, the effects of COVID-19 on the cardiovascular health of children with ASD, and many more. These optional studies may include individuals with autism and/or family members. Check back frequently as new studies are added regularly.
Check This Out…
AANE HallowEEK Costume Winners!

Thank you to all the adults in the AANE Community who submitted costume photos to the first ever AANE HallowEEK costume contest! Check out the creative winners on Instagram. (And while you’re there, make sure you’re following AANE!)

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AANE Artist Collaborative Virtual Show Coming in November!

Stay tuned for an online exhibition by the AANE Artist Collaborative, which will feature the wonderful work of talented artists with Asperger/autism profiles.

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Read the latest research on the effect of camouflaging in girls on the spectrum. Read through Facebook post→
AANE has an Updated Homepage!
Check out our pages for new visitors, free programming, and AANE’s efforts toward racial equity. Visit→