The Asperger/Autism Network (AANE) helps people with Asperger's or similar autism spectrum and neurodiverse profiles build meaningful, connected lives. We provide individuals, families, and professionals with information, education, community, support, and advocacy — all in an inclusive 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
Our primary mission is to assist individuals with an Asperger/autism profile. AANE is also 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.
AANE’s Use of the Term “Asperger’s”
Why does AANE use the term “Asperger’s” when it is no longer an official diagnosis? Should “Asperger’s” continue to be used given what historians have learned about Hans Asperger? Learn More.
Reach out to AANE Today!
AANE is easily accessible no matter where you live. Online options are available for coaching, information, support, and education. We welcome you to make an appointment to visit us in person in Watertown, MA. Our offices are accessible by car or public transportation. For walking directions from the nearest MBTA bus stop and parking information, please visit our Parking & Public Transportation page.