Parents of Teens and Transition Age Young Adults (through age 22)

It’s no secret that teen years are difficult for every parent; however, parenting a teen with an Asperger profile complicates this time with a set of new and different challenges.

Many parents feel overwhelmed and unsure about what to focus on as their children move through adolescence. But you don’t have to panic. AANE is here to help you find the path that is right for you. There is no single way to help your teen and family thrive. At AANE you have access to the collective wisdom of our parent-professional staff, and our extended parent community, to help guide you on your parenting journey. You are not alone!

Essential Resources:
Information and Education:

Getting Started for Parents of Teens and Transition Age Young Adults
Diagnosis and Disclosure: Children and Teens
School Strategies and Resources
Learning During COVID-19: Special Education Advocacy Tips 
Transition to Adulthood: College & Employment
First-Person Accounts

Select Services and Support

Asperger/Autism 101 Workshop
Support Groups and Online Forums for Parents and Families
IEP Review
Parent Coaching
Upcoming Events

For everything AANE has to offer parents and family members, visit our main family page.

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Honoring Identity

06/09/2022
Lee el Mensaje de Brenda En Español This month we are discussing autism and gender identity. I remember over a decade ago receiving calls from autistic adults and parents sharing stories of how their gender assigned at birth didn’t match how they felt. Recognizing the growing need for support... more

If I Knew Then

06/09/2022
Hello, My name is Shari and I am a single mother of two adult kids. My oldest child, who I will refer to as J, is now 24 years old. He came out as transgender at age 15 and socially transitioned to identifying as male immediately. The autism diagnosis came later: first with a self-diagnosis as a... more

Anxiety Compassion

05/05/2022
Lee el Mensaje de Brenda En Español This month we are discussing autism and anxiety. I’m the mom of an autistic daughter who has lived with anxiety her entire life. I’d like to share what I’ve learned from her and how it has influenced my own response to those who experience anxiety... more

Anxiety and Autism: A Parent Perspective

05/05/2022
At least 40% of autistic individuals are also diagnosed with anxiety, making it the number one co-occurring mental health concern. As parents and family members gain a greater understanding of autism, they often realize the importance of understanding anxiety as well to find effective ways to... more

Autistic Parenting Pathways

04/05/2022
Lee el Mensaje de Brenda En Español This month we are talking about being autistic and a parent. All parents have to adjust to responding to their child’s needs as they grow and the new feelings and emotions they experience on their parenting journey. If you are an autistic parent,... more

Five Tips for Autistic Parents from This Autistic Parent

04/05/2022
What an interesting journey parenting has been, some 14 years now, and yet it has only just begun. Interesting, in part, because I became a father not yet knowing that I was autistic, and once I found out, my perspective on fatherhood changed rather dramatically. The diagnosis raised several... more

Shifting the Paradigm: Recognizing the Needs of Disabled Parents as Advocates

04/05/2022
I am a formally diagnosed autistic woman and the parent of an autistic adult who I parented through early intervention, public school, post-secondary experiences and now, into adulthood as I support him navigating through rehabilitation services. I am a social worker and researcher, but when it... more

So That’s What Autistic Burnout Is

02/03/2022
I just learned the term “Autisitc Burnout” and that was an “Aha” moment. I really wish I had known about it when my son was younger, because it would have helped frame those periods when suddenly he couldn’t have a conversation, couldn’t participate in school, couldn’t tolerate the... more

Dating & Relationships on the Spectrum: A Parent Perspective

10/05/2021
Parents of autistic children often wonder how best to be supportive if their teen or young adult decides to enter the arena of dating and relationships. While every individual on the spectrum has a unique profile and each family situation is different, we wanted to share the reflections of two... more

Parenting Anxiety

08/05/2021
Lee el mensaje de Dania en Español Running a non-profit can be stressful at times, so I have learned over the years to take care of myself in several ways. I enjoy hiking and quilting, but my hidden pleasure is binging streamed shows. I actually found two shows in the past couple of weeks I... more

A Journey Toward Self-Advocacy: Perspectives from an Adult Son & His Mom

08/05/2021
Joe, who is now 30 years old, started receiving special education services in preschool, was largely mainstreamed in K-12, and graduated high school in 2009. He attended a community college and obtained an Associates Degree in Engineering, and is currently working towards completing a BS in... more

Understanding the Employment Journey

03/04/2021
When a parent finds out their child is on the autism spectrum, whether that child is 4 or 34, the parent embarks on a new journey to understand how autism might affect their child’s future. Just as no two individuals on the spectrum are the same, no two parent journeys are the same either.... more

Online Support for Parents of Neurodivergent Transgender Adults

02/25/2021
In September 2020, the largest study to date to examine the connection between autism and gender identity found that people who do not identify with the gender they are assigned at birth are three to six times as likely to be autistic than cisgender people. (The term "cisgender" is used to describe... more

Two Sibling Perspectives

01/06/2021
The following essays were contributed by two individuals sharing their experiences of having a sibling on the autism spectrum. Both authors wished to remain anonymous. ____________________________   Loving Ben It would be difficult to talk about my brother Ben without mentioning... more

Special Education Advocacy Tips for the 2020-2021 School Year

08/13/2020
Here are a few special education advocacy tips from AANE as students head into an uncertain learning environment this fall. Whether they attend school in-person, hybrid, or remotely, we can help you set your child up for success.  While some kids thrived remotely with reduced social pressure... more