December 2019 Newsletter



December 2019: AANE Newsletter
The Road Ahead
As the year draws to a close, AANE is already looking at the road ahead filled with a wide range of programs and services for individuals with Asperger/autism profiles, families, & professionals. Don’t miss AANE’s January conference and other upcoming events for opportunities to learn and connect. Contact us to find out more.
It’s Never Too Late
Many adults receive a diagnosis or discover they relate to the Asperger/autism profile later in life. This can bring much-needed clarity, but can also contribute to a sense of regret on many levels. AANE’s Executive Director Dania Jekel discusses the impact of a late diagnosis on older adults as they process this new information and look to the road ahead.
AANE’s Winter 2020 Jody Acford Conference

AANE’s Winter 2020 Jody Acford Conference

Teens, young adults, and adults with Asperger’s or similar autism spectrum profiles & their parents/guardians, and professionals will learn about public & private supports for adults living in MA. Navigate housing, healthcare, employment, and more…

Read more

Help Keep AANE Strong
“I never had to pretend to be someone else when I was at AANE.”
— Becky, AANE Adult
AANE’s Annual Appeal has launched, and we need your help to reach our $250,000 goal! Donate today on #GivingTuesday or any time throughout this giving season — and your gift will make a difference in the lives of individuals like Becky and thousands of others in our community.
Watertown, MA and Online: AANE will host a special screening of the film, “Autism Goes to College” followed by a discussion with the Executive Producer Dr. Jan Blacher and Dr. Eric Endlich, a specialist in working with college students on the spectrum. Attend in person or stream online!
Winter Support Groups
The AANE Winter Support Group Series for individuals with Asperger/autism profiles, parents, and family members is starting soon. Register today!
A Support Group Series has the same participants meeting for a set number of sessions and requires advanced registration.
Ongoing/Drop-In Groups do not require a multi-session commitment.
Support Groups Series: Parents
  • Online: Parents of Young Children (<12 years old)
In-Person: Watertown, MA
  • Parents of Tween Girls (4th-9th grade)
  • Parents of High School Girls
  • Parents of Transition Age Youth (18-22)
Support Groups Series: Adults
  • Women,18-35 (Wednesday Evening; bi-weekly)
  • Women, 35-50 (Thursday Evening)
In-Person: Watertown, MA
  • Men, 18-30 (Tuesday afternoon)
  • Men, 18-30 (Tuesday evening)
Limited spots may be open in other support groups or early notification sign-up if groups are closed. Check the list for Parents of Children & Teens, Parents of Adults, and Adults for availability.
Ongoing/Drop-in Support Groups
Click below for information on the different types of groups available in each location and category.
AANE Coaching
Help from a LifeMAP Coach is Only a Video Call Away!
Now all of LifeMAP’s programs are available through Online Video Coaching! Whether you would like to learn strategies to reduce the stress of the holiday season, to help build relationships, or to reach another life goal, LifeMAP Online Video Coaching is available anywhere through the convenience of internet-based video conferencing.
Coming Up…
Watertown, MA: View a wide array of creations by the Artist Collaborative artists and purchase wonderful works of art. *Extended shopping hours + reception on December 16! Read More.
Boston, MA: Join AANE and the Boston Public Library for a discussion of the “The Art Forger” by Barbara Shapiro. Read More.
Watertown, MA: In this workshop, an expressive arts / dance therapist will teach a variety of creative relaxation techniques to help manage the stress of the holidays. Read More.
Watertown, MA: Autism Housing Pathways President Cathy Boyle provides an individualized housing consultation to address your unique needs. Read More.
Boston, MA: AANE will be joining “Symphony for Our City” at Symphony Hall for a holiday concert with the Boston Pops! Read More.
Watertown, MA: Learn more about the Artist Collaborative, watch the artists at work, and enjoy entertainment and refreshments. Read More.
Boston, MA: Explore treasured works of art with friends from AANE on a tour of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Read More.
Nashua, NH: Meet up at the Nashua Public Library for a great discussion of “Neverwhere” by Neil Gaiman. Read More.
Allston, MA: This annual event is a wonderful opportunity for adults with Asperger’s or similar spectrum profiles to gather to celebrate the season and have some fun. Read More.
Watertown, MA: Learn to play the alto saxophone, clarinet, flute, trombone, or trumpet from Berklee School of Music instructors! Registration required. Read More.
Watertown, MA: For the experienced D&D player, enjoy an eight-meeting campaign with fellow rangers and rogues. Read More.
Watertown, MA: Whether your child/teen was recently diagnosed with an Asperger/autism profile or you need a better understanding, AANE can help. Read More.
Watertown, MA: Adults who are novice players or new to D&D, this is for you! Don’t miss the chance to learn & have fun over an eight-meeting campaign. Read More.
AANE’s Neurodiverse Couples Conference
February 22
Newton-Wellesley Hospital, MA + Live Stream
AANE is pleased to welcome back David & Kristen Finch who will speak about their experience as a neurodiverse couple. David is the author of the New York Times best seller, “The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to Be a Better Husband.” Registration will open soon!
Looking for More?
AANE has many ongoing programs for family members. Check out these upcoming events!
AANE – New York
Find out about programs and events of interest to the autism community in the New York area.
AANE Updates…
LifeNet Program Expansion: Planning New Groups in MA and NY!
With two, full cohorts of adults successfully enrolled and receiving support in 2019, the LifeNet case management program is now opening enrollment for a third group of adults in Eastern MA to begin in Spring 2020. In addition, planning is underway for new 2020 groups in New York City/Western Long Island and Westchester County, NY to be supported by local Case Managers and Support Partners there. Click below to learn more!
Combined Federal Campaign
Federal Government Employees and Retirees!
Please support AANE through the Combined Federal Campaign! Use code: CFC #12115
When one or both partners in a relationship are on the autism spectrum, couples counseling has to be different to be effective. Hear from neurodiverse couples on the importance of working with therapists trained to understand their unique challenges.
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 the areas of social cognition, eye movements, exploring a therapeutic mobile game, and much 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…
“The Enduring Power of Asperger’s, Even as a Non-Diagnosis”
Read the comments of AANE’s Executive Director Dania Jekel in an article from that takes a close look at the Asperger identity.
Read one person’s reflection on discovering his diagnosis and his call for change for the next generation. Read through Facebook post→
Ready for the holidays? Here are some ideas from AANE to help children with Asperger’s or similar autism spectrum profiles and their families enjoy the season to the fullest. Read →