May 2020: AANE Newsletter



May 2020: AANE Newsletter
We Are With You
It has been almost two months since the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions began in the US, and we at
hope the members of the Asperger/autism community are staying safe and healthy. We are extremely fortunate that we have been able to retain all of our staff and shift our programs and services to virtual platforms. This allows us to continue to offer the quality support, training, and education
adults on the spectrum
family members
, and
have come to expect from AANE. Read the full
letter to the community
from Executive Director Dania Jekel, which includes the steps we have taken to address current concerns. All are welcome to attend our
annual meeting online on June 9
to hear the latest organizational information. (Registration is required to receive the link.) As always,
contact us
to find out all of the ways AANE is with you–especially in these difficult times.
Context is Key
Physical distancing during this pandemic has forced a new social environment on many of us: video conferencing. This month, Dania Jekel reflects on a video conferencing experience and takes a look at how understanding the context of a situation can impact whether or not a social interaction is successful.
AANE Help: Adults & Parents of Adults
Programming & Groups
In addition to offering a wide array of programs & services online, AANE is continually adding virtual social and educational opportunities. Check the
events calendar
for the most up-to-date information for support groups, events, and activities. If you have any questions, email
Need to Talk? Join our FREE Online Chat!
Connect with others in the community and AANE staff.
Also, AANE has a
FREE Parents of Adults Online Google Group Forum
moderated by AANE Staff.
Support Groups
Many in-person, drop-in support groups have been converted to online groups. While some are continuing with the geographic designation to share local information and resources, others are welcoming new members from any location. Find out more information about support groups for adults and parents of adults.
We are Here for You!

As always, we’re here for you if you have questions or need to talk. Use the

Contact Us form
, make an appointment for
parent coaching

or schedule a free information and referral call with a member of the adult services staff.

AANE Help: Families of Children & Teens
FREE Online Group Chat with AANE Staff
As the weeks of restrictions stretch on, children and teens with Asperger/autism profiles may be facing new challenges.
AANE Staff will be offering more opportunities for parents to come together online to talk each week through May:
Other opportunities for family members to connect:
Support Groups for Families
Registration is starting soon for the next Parents of Children & Teens support group series. If you would like to receive a notification when registration begins,
click here.
Many in-person, drop-in support groups have been converted to online groups. While some are continuing with the geographic designation to share local information and resources, others are welcoming new members from any location.
Find out more information about support groups for parents & families.
Special Education Advocacy During COVID-19
With most schools converted to online learning, what is the best way to ensure children & teens with IEPs receive the support they require? AANE has create a 
comprehensive article
 outlining the actions you can take to ensure schools meet your student’s needs.
Free Webinar: Strategies for Online/Remote Learning
What can parents do to help students retain skills they have developed? How should parents encourage independence while students are at home and learning online? Watch a webinar with autism education expert Jane Thierfeld Brown for strategies to help.
The Kind of “Homeschooling” Plan My Son Really Needs
With schools closed, it is easy for teens with Asperger/autism profiles to become isolated. One AANE parent realized she needed to help her son find a healthy balance. Read her story and check out the Daily Wellness Plan she inspired.
We are Here for You!

Remember you can always reach out directly to us if you have questions or need to talk. Use the

Contact Us form
, make a
parent coaching appointment
, or schedule a free information and referral call with a member of our Children & Teen staff.

AANE Conferences & Workshops
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.
Did you miss registering for the Spring 2020 recorded conference?
It’s not too late! You can still purchase access to the recordings of all of the presentations through Vimeo. Click below for details.
AANE Program Highlights
Now Accepting Applications for Grant/Scholarship Funds
AANE is pleased to provide funds to families and individuals needing financial assistance for recreational activities and educational services. Click on the links below for more information.

Daniel Braun Memorial Camp and Recreation Activities Scholarship Fund

provides financial assistance for enriching recreational activities to families and individuals with low to moderate incomes living in New England and New York.

Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, Inc.
may be used for anything that directly improves the life of a child (through age 22) with Asperger Syndrome or related diagnosis living in New England.
*Special Note: 
If you are in a crisis situation where a cash grant can be helpful, please email
 for consideration.
Consider LifeNet when you engage in future planning
is AANE’s private pay, independent living support program for adults with Asperger profiles who live in independent or supported settings – or at home with an eye toward a future transition. LifeNet is designed to offer peace of mind that a family member on the spectrum will be supported by a devoted team from AANE as they navigate adulthood. This may have particular value as adults and parents prepare for the day when the parents may no longer be able to serve as their adult child’s primary caregivers.
Already supporting 35 adults in Eastern Massachusetts ages 21 to 86, LifeNet is now welcoming applicants for new groups in Eastern Massachusetts and the New York Metro area, who we plan to start supporting later this year. Learn more about LifeNet and how to apply.
LifeMAP Online Video Coaching
Unprecedented times require new approaches. You can get the help of a LifeMAP coach today online! LifeMAP coaching provides practical, one-on-one assistance to overcome obstacles and help achieve personal goals. LifeMAP Virtual Online Coaching provides this assistance with the ease and convenience of internet-based video conferencing.
Coming Up…
: 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: Using the extra time at home for reading? Join other post-high school adults with Asperger/autism profiles in a discussion of
“Kill the Farm Boy: The Tales of Pell” by Kevin Hearne & Delilah S. Dawson.
 Participation is free, but registration is required to receive the link
Read More.
Online: Autism Housing Pathways President Cathy Boyle is available for individualized housing consultations to address your unique needs & questions regarding public & private housing options for adults on the spectrum.
Read More.
Online: Learn about
aspects of transition planning, include accessing time- or age-limited resources. Reduced price thanks to a grant from the John W. Alden Trust.Read More.

: There’s no better time to curl up with a good book! Join other adults on the spectrum online to discuss, “Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic:
A Comedian’s Guide to Life on the Spectrum” by Michael McCreary.
Read More.
Online: Adults with Asperger/autism profiles can
flex their creative muscles, connect with fellow writers, and receive feedback on their work. Writers of all creative genres welcome—from short stories to poetry, screenplays, fan fiction, and more.Read More.

Online: Adults with Asperger/autism profiles can take this
two hour class by PwC volunteers to learn how to create a budget and explore strategies to follow it
Read More.
Online: Parents can learn the key t
ransition services to help prepare students on IEPs for further education, employment, and independent living after high school.
Reduced price thanks to a grant from the John W. Alden Trust.
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 – New York
See an update on AANE New York support groups moving to an online format.
AANE Updates…
101 For Couples
AANE offers an online, self-paced course for neurodiverse couples in which either or both partners have an Asperger/autism profile. Learn from first-person accounts and expert therapists trained in working with neurodiverse couples
Neurology Matters in
Couples Therapy
Couples Therapists! Receive the training you need to work more effectively with neurodiverse couples with AANE’s comprehensive, specialized, online training.
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 assessing the perception of childhood bullying in adults on the spectrum, factors that contribute to marital satisfaction in parents of children with autism, 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…

Staying Social Connected While Physically Apart

Here are some ideas from AANE to help kids & teens with Asperger/autism profiles stay connected to friends and family during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more

A woman on the spectrum critiques portrayals of women with autism in film.
Read through Facebook post→
Sometimes teens on the autism spectrum experience an intense mixture of emotions that parents may find puzzling. AANE’s Stephanie Loo explains why this may happen and shares strategies to help
Read →