AANE works with individuals, families, and professionals to help people with Asperger Syndrome or similar autism spectrum profiles build meaningful, connected lives. We do this by providing information, education, community, support, and advocacy--all in an atmosphere of validation and respect.
A One-of-a-Kind Organization
AANE (Asperger/Autism Network), one of the first Asperger-focused organizations in the United States, was founded in 1996 by a small group of concerned parents and professionals, shortly after the diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome (AS) first appeared in the U.S. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, edition IV (DSM-IV). AANE builds a supportive community by providing education, information and referrals to individuals with AS, their extended families, and the professionals who work with them.
Originally called the Asperger's Association of New England, on October 1, 2014, AANE changed its name to the Asperger/Autism Network (AANE), keeping the same acronym while evolving to meet changes in the diagnostic environment and to acknowledge our expansive reach beyond New England. Our new name ensures that people who need AANE's services and support will be able to find us - regardless of where they live or what diagnosis they receive under the new DSM-5 guidelines.
In May, 2019, AANE expanded by joining forces with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association (“AHA”), a like-minded non-profit organization with offices in Manhattan and Long Island. For more than 30 years, AHA had been an important resource in the Asperger/autism community and a frequent collaborator with AANE. Combining the two organizations will enable AANE to grow and innovate to better serve the Asperger/autism community.
An Inclusive Community
While our primary mission is to assist individuals affected by AS, AANE is an inclusive community that also serves people who have other neurological differences or who feel our services would be helpful. You do not need to have received a professional Asperger/autism diagnosis to make use of AANE’s services.
In addition to the services we provide from our home bases in Massachusetts and New York, AANE works in close partnership with other Asperger and autism organizations throughout the world, as well as disability organizations that offer services relevant to the autism population.
AANE continues to grow--particularly with the use of new technologies, allowing us to expand services to those living beyond the reach of our offices. For details, see our annual report.
Sustained by Those We Serve
AANE’s diverse Governance includes adults with Asperger profiles, family members of adults and children with Asperger profiles, and professionals. Together they oversee the strategic planning, development, finances, and governance of AANE. We also have an Executive Advisory Board which advises the Executive Director and the Board on clinical and programmatic issues. Finally, AANE’s Professional Advisory Board provides invaluable consultation and programmatic resources to our organization.
The staff of AANE are professional social workers and educators with expertise in Asperger profiles. Many of our staff have children, siblings, or other relatives or friends with Asperger profiles, and the work performed at AANE affects them at a very personal level. Employees with Asperger profiles are also an integral part of the AANE staff.
As an independent nonprofit, we rely primarily upon membership dues and donations from the community we serve. We receive support from a number of foundations and corporations. We also depend on the efforts of numerous volunteers who help us with a variety of administrative, clinical, technical, and fundraising projects.
AANE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our Employer Identification Number is 04-3376227.
Reach out to AANE Today!
AANE is easily accessible no matter where you live. On-line options are available for coaching, information, support, and education. We welcome you to make an appointment to visit us in-person. We also have offices in Watertown Square, Massachusetts, and in Manhattan and Amityville, New York. All our offices are accessible by car or public transportation.
Driving Directions to Watertown, MA location - from the Massachusetts Turnpike
- Take exit 17 off the Mass. Pike.
- Head North 0.3 miles on Galen Street toward Watertown Square.
- Turn right on Water Street, between Direct Tire and the BP gas station.
- Continue on Water Street and bear left. Please note that Water Street doesn’t end at the bottom of the hill but rather takes a sharp left turn and continues to the left, parallel to Nonantum Street.
- 51 Water Street will be on your left, in the Norman-Kent Building. Parking is available to the right of the building and behind the building.
- Enter the building though the main entrance, facing the street (not at Second Home). Take the stairs or the elevator behind the stairs to the second floor. From the stairs, AANE is located at the far left end of the hallway, in Suite 206.
Leaving the office, it is easier to take a right turn, then turn left onto Nonantum Street. That way you will enter Watertown Square at a traffic light rather than having to fight your way across two lanes of heavy traffic. Also, Water Street is a one-way, so you cannot take it when leaving the office.
Public Transportation (MBTA Bus Routes)
The office is located a block or two from the Watertown Yard and Watertown Square bus stops, which are accessible via a number of routes. For route details and schedules, please visit the MBTA Website.
- Route 52 Dedham Mall or Charles River Loop: Watertown Yard via Oak Hill and Newton Center
- Route 57 Watertown Yard: Kenmore Station via Newton Corner and Brighton Center
- Route 59 Needham Junction: Watertown Square via Newtonville
- Route 70/70A Cedarwood, N. Waltham or Watertown Square: University Park via Central Square, Cambridge, Arsenal Street and Western Ave.
- Route 71 Watertown Square: Harvard Station via Mt. Auburn Street.
- Route 502 Express Bus Watertown Yard: Copley Square (St. James Ave. at Dartmouth Street) via Newton Corner and Mass. Turnpike
- Route 504 Express Bus: Watertown/Newton Corner - Downtown via Mass. Turnpike
From Watertown Yard on Galen Street (across the bridge from Watertown square), and walk south down Water Street (across from the MBTA parking lot).
51 Water Street will be on your left, in the Norman-Kent Building. Enter though the main entrance, facing the street (not at Second Home).
Take the stairs or the elevator behind the stairs to the second floor. From the stairs, AANE is located at the far left end of the hallway, in Suite 206.