July 2020 Newsletter: Listening & Learning

July 2020: AANE Newsletter
Listening & Learning
Over the last several weeks, there has been a powerful and necessary call to deeply examine and purposefully address the systemic racial inequalities that pervade our culture. At
AANE, we are committed to meaningful, constructive, and sustained action to improve our support of
adults on the spectrum
family members
, and
in the Black community and to forge a greater understanding of the intersection of autism and race.

This starts with

listening and learning. It is crucial for our organization to better understand the experiences, issues, and needs of those on the spectrum who feel the effects of racism. This will include in-depth staff training and organizing a series of upcoming online webinars for our community, which will be forums to delve deeply into different aspects of race and autism.

Most importantly, AANE is prioritizing designing steps to sustain efforts for inclusion and equity within the fabric of AANE as an organization and through its programming. This is only the beginning.
To find out more about AANE,
contact us.
Back to the Basics
When so much focus is understandably consumed by the current health and social crises, it is easy to forget some of the fundamental aspects of the Asperger/autism profile. Executive Director Dania Jekel reviews some of the key points to remember, which can help parents as well as adults realign their thinking to cope with the current circumstances and beyond.
AANE Help During COVID-19
Programming & Groups
AANE’s virtual programming is continuing through the summer. It’s the perfect opportunity to listen, learn, and connect. Check the
events calendar
for the most up-to-date information for support groups, events, and activities. If you have any questions, email
events@aane.org. Click the blue links below for more information and to register.
Join our
FREE Online Community Connection Sessions!
Connect with others in the community and AANE staff.
Also, AANE has
FREE Google Group Forums
moderated by AANE Staff:
AANE also has other resources and support for
Neurodiverse Couples.
Support Groups
Closed Groups: A closed group (formerly know as a “support group series”) has the same participants meeting for a set number of sessions, and requires advanced registration. All current closed groups will be held online. Click on the title of the group to register.
Open Groups
Most in-person, open groups (formerly known as “drop-in/on-going support groups”) have been converted to online groups. Many are welcoming new members from any location, while some are continuing with the geographic designation to share local information and resources. Click below to find out more information about open support groups for our community.

AANE’s independent living support program,
offers a variety of social activities to its clients. For a limited time, AANE is making some of the free, online LifeNet social activities available to a
limited number
of non-LifeNet clients. Registration is required.
Accentuate the Positive
With all of the extra time at home due to the pandemic, parents witnessing the challenges their children and teens experience more closely may feel increased anxiety, which in turn impacts their approach to their children. One AANE parent received some great advice that shifted her focus. Read her story and check out the Daily Positives Plan she inspired.
We are Here for You!
Have questions or need to talk? Use the

Contact Us form
, make an appointment for parent coaching for
parents of children & teens
parents of adults

or schedule a free information and referral call with a member of the Adult Services or Child & Teen staff.

AANE Conferences & Workshops
July 23
August 26
Now online! Whether your child/teen was recently diagnosed with an Asperger/autism profile or you need a better understanding of what the diagnosis means, AANE can help.
Read More & Register.
AANE’s Summer 2020 Virtual Conference for Educators and Parents
August 15 + 16
Register Today!
Students with autism are at greater risk than their typically developing peers for developing anxiety and anxiety disorders. Conference participants will learn preventive tools, strategies, and interventions for reducing anxiety, ways to improve home/school collaboration, and gain a deeper understanding of both the parent and student perspectives. Professionals licensed in Massachusetts can receive continuing education credits (psychology, social work, and mental health counseling.)
AANE Program Highlights
Considering LifeNet?
As we all continue to feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, AANE has seen a measurable increase in interest in
LifeNet, AANE’s independent living support program for adults with an Asperger profile. Many who contact us are:
  • adults on the spectrum who realize they need people who understand them outside of family and can help them live (or continue to live) independently.
  • parents or siblings who, as they continue to grow older, want to put the support network and safety net in place for an adult family member now to be more prepared for an uncertain world.
If you are wondering if LifeNet is right for your situation, click below to learn more about the program and how to secure a slot in our next LifeNet groups in eastern MA, NY metro, and – we’re happy to announce – central CT, for service starting as soon as this fall.
Neurodiverse Couples
101 For Couples
Couples! Recognize and understand your relationship through the lens of neurodiversity. Registration gives both partners unlimited access to this self paced, 3-hour online course for a 90-day period, including downloadable PDFs to keep.
Neurology Matters in
Couples Therapy
Couples therapists can receive AANE’s comprehensive, online training to work more effectively with neurodiverse couples. The 8-session Certification 202 will be offered in September.
Coming Up…
  • All AANE programming has moved online.
  • “Local [City, State]” indicates groups/activities intended for those living in the vicinity of the geographic location listed.
  • “Open” support groups and programs have an undefined number of group members with new people coming and going on a regular basis.
  • “Closed” have the same members for a set number of sessions.
  • Text in blue are links to further information and registration.
Programming Note: Due to the continued concerns surrounding COVID-19, AANE will not be holding its annual, summer BBQ for adults this year.
: Adults with Asperger/autism profiles can enjoy watching a movie together even while staying physically apart! Learn how to join the party & register.
Read More.
Online: Ready for game night? Register to meet up online and play games like Quiplash, Fibbage, and Remote Insensitivity. Reserve your spot today!
Read More.
Online: Connect with other grandparents with grandchildren on the autism spectrum of any age – children, teens, or adults.

Read More.

Online: Dive into a discussion with other post-high school adults of the book,“Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots” by Deborah Feldman.

Participation is free, but registration is required to receive the link
Read More.

Online: Ever wonder how AANE’s LifeMAP coaches work with older teens and adults? Don’t miss the chance to listen and learn straight from LifeMAP! Registration is required.

Read More.

Online: Are you getting ready to start or return to college? Have your summer plans been cancelled? This series will meet one evening per week for 8 weeks and help you get ready for college life–academically and socially.
Read More.
Online: This webinar will provide a framework and practical tools to support young adults with caring for their own space including cooking, cleaning, and organizing. Reduced price thanks to a grant from the John W. Alden Trust.

Read More.

Online: Stress management is important now more than ever. Use movement, breath, meditation, and mindfulness to identify stressors in life and use them as a springboard for insight and action. This event is supported by a generous grant from the Boston Evening Clinic.
Read More.
: Channel you passion for books, and join other adults on the spectrum online to discuss a recent favorite. For this meeting, participants will choose their own book to read and share their thoughts about it with the group
Read More.
Looking for More?
AANE Calendar
Take a day-by-day look at all of the events AANE has to offer the entire community.
AANE Updates…
Join Us (Virtually) at the 2020 Rodman Ride for Kids
The 2020 Rodman Ride for Kids will be a completely virtual event. We are confident that Team AANE will make a concerted effort to raise funds in support of our vital services and increase awareness of our work and mission — all while adhering to social distancing and public health advisories.
Congratulations Asperger/Autism Graduates of 2020!
Now that the school year is over, AANE’s LifeMAP program would like to congratulate all of the students with Asperger/autism profiles who achieved their education goals.
Read More.
Did you miss AANE’s 2020 Neurodiverse Partner’s Conference?
Access to a recording of David & Kristin Finch’s presentation from February 2020 is available for a limited time.
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 examining healthy relationships, an exploration of factors affecting eating behaviors and BMI,
the effects of camouflaging in adults, 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…
‘Autistic while black’: How autism amplifies stereotypes

Read one woman’s reflections on being Black, female, and autistic, and the call for more research to understand experiences like hers.

Read more


An adult on the autism spectrum gives parents important advice in understanding sensory differences for their children.
Read through Facebook post→
Community member and frequent blog contributor Sam Farmer shares his thoughts on social distancing and how it relates to his past experiences of isolation.
Read More→