AANE’s Independent Living Support Program
What is LifeNet?
LifeNet is a private pay, independent living support program for adults with Asperger's or similar autism spectrum profiles. LifeNet is designed to address questions like:
"How will I get the support I need as I begin living on my own?" or
"Who can help me continue to live independently as I grow older?" – Adult
"Who can help my adult family member manage their needs and live more independently of us?" – Parent
LifeNet offers peace of mind that an adult on the spectrum will be supported as they navigate adulthood by a devoted team of AANE professionals who understand them.
What does the LifeNet program provide?
LifeNet offers caring support and companionship for adults on the spectrum over their lifetime across a full range of everyday tasks and responsibilities such as:
- Developing executive functioning skills and strategies
- Maintaining a healthy and safe living environment in their apartment or home
- Arranging and keeping healthcare and dental appointments
- Tending to nutrition, food safety, exercise and hygiene
- Managing budgets, bills, benefits and money
- Engaging socially – around their interests and at their pace
- Pursuing productive employment and/or volunteer opportunities
- Shopping and errands, transportation and travel guidance, and more
LifeNet delivers this personal support and advocacy in multiple ways:
- Holding regular check-ins and in-person visits
- Responding to questions or issues as they arise
- Monitoring and responding to changes in well-being
- Developing frustration tolerance and emotional regulation skills
- Assessing options and supporting good decision-making
- Addressing unmet needs, and making progress toward personal goals
- Help completing forms/paperwork and meeting deadlines
- Coordinating between providers and others in the adult’s support network
- Managing transitions of all kinds
Who’s on the LifeNet Team?
More than just a single caseworker, each LifeNet adult is supported by a team of people who have experience in understanding and meeting the needs of adults on the autism spectrum:
- Personal Advocate (clinical case manager) – licensed, master’s-level occupational therapist, social worker, or similar clinical professional
- Support Partner – field-based direct support professional
- Clinical Supervisor – LICSW or other advanced supervisory clinician
- LifeNet Program Director – overall administrator and ombudsman
- Host Family – volunteer local family who shares meals and companionship with a LifeNet adult
- Peer/Friend – a similar-age adult peer matched from within the AANE community
Together, the LifeNet Team serves as both a support network and safety net of professionals and volunteers who care for and develop relationships with the adults in the LifeNet program, offering them a greater sense of community and belonging.