In this difficult and unprecedented time, I have been trying to figure out what I could say that would be helpful to our Asperger/autism community. What would be meaningful to those of you who joined the AANE family last year from New York City, which has been hit so hard by this pandemic, or to our community members here in Boston where cases are also on the rise, or to others facing incredibly challenging circumstances around the country or even the world?
At AANE, we have heard from many of you who are dealing with a wide variety of situations. Over the years, I have seen how extremely resilient members of our community can be, and even in this difficult time, you have shown some incredible and creative problem solving. Some are using ingenuity and technology to stay connected and continue to work and learn, especially by those of you taking care of children at home. Families and adults are figuring out how to manage with little external structure, no routine, and an uncertain future–all things which can cause increased anxiety for everyone, but especially for those with an Asperger/autism profile.
We also know that many are struggling in significant ways. Some have lost jobs or may be feeling tremendous isolation. Single parents may be overwhelmed trying to work and care for children. Those who are sick or taking care of ill family members may be facing tremendous hardships. Even just the day-to-day uncertainty has many feeling stressed and anxious.
All I can do today is acknowledge each and every one of your unique situations, express my understanding that this is a profoundly difficult time for everyone, and let you know that AANE will continue to do everything we can to support you. Our staff is ready to listen, advise, discuss, and generally assist you during this time. We have additional night and weekend appointments, and additional online events, and chat groups. We are also able to provide a number of cash grants to any of you who may be in a financial crisis. In situations like this, it can be hard to reach out, but please don’t feel bad about seeking help, advice, or support.
AANE has always liked to say, “We are here for you,” and now–more than ever–please know that we are here to deliver on that promise.