December 2020: AANE Newsletter What Matters

December 2020: AANE Newsletter
What Matters
As we enter the last month of a year, it is common to reflect on what matters most to us. For AANE, it is supporting and serving the Asperger/autism community. In a year of incredible difficulty and change, our dedication to adults with autism, family members of those on the spectrum, and the professionals who work with the autism community remains the focus of all we do. Learn how we can help!
Climbing Out From Under the To-do List
Getting things done is a frequent challenge for individuals of any age with Asperger/autism profiles. This can cause a great deal of frustration — both for the person on the spectrum and others who don’t understand why it happens. This month, Executive Director Dania Jekel gives practical tips to help prioritize what matters and accomplish tasks.
Meet Lisa. She and many others like her in our community have turned to AANE for reliable and accessible services in these uncertain times. Now more than ever, our community is counting on you to help us stay strong. With your help, we can support even more individuals and families in 2021. Please give today.
Combined Federal Campaign
Federal Government Employees and Retirees!
Please support AANE through the Combined Federal Campaign! Use code: CFC #12115
AANE Support + Connection
We are here for you!
Have questions or need to talk? Use the Contact Us form or schedule a free information and referral call with a member of the Adult Services or Child and Teen staff.
Free Online Community Connection Sessions
These single-session discussion groups are a wonderful way connect online with AANE staff and others in the community for the first time. For more sustained support options, consider AANE Support Groups listed below.
Online “Closed” Support Groups
“Closed” groups have the same members for a set number of sessions and have limited space available. Click on the title of the group to register. Financial assistance is easily available.
Free Online “Open” Support Groups
“Open” support groups and programs have an undefined number of group members with new people joining from session to session. Click below for information on “open” support groups for our community and to register.
Free Online Discussion Forums
Join others in online Google Group discussion communities moderated by AANE Staff.
AANE also has other resources and support for Neurodiverse Couples.
To see all of the free programs AANE offers, visit our Free Online Programming page.
LifeNet, AANE’s independent living support program, offers a variety of social activities for its clients. For a limited time, AANE is making some of the online LifeNet social activities available to a small number of non-LifeNet clients. These FREE activities include yoga, watch parties, exercise classes, and more. Click on the button below to see upcoming dates, view descriptions, and register.
AANE Programs
LifeMAP Online Virtual Coaching
The ongoing pandemic restrictions have created new challenges, but adults with Asperger/autism profiles do not need to put their life goals on hold. AANE’s LifeMAP program can provide one-on-one virtual coaching to help in a wide variety of areas, such as employment, independent living, and more. Discover how coaching can help you overcome obstacles and achieve your personal objectives.
Help for Educators
Whether students are attending school in person or logging in remotely, it can feel like the same challenges arise day after day for educators. AANE’s Training and Education Department can help break the cycle. Learn how to move from a model of compliance to a lens of communication.
The Asperger/Autism Professional Coaching Association
The Asperger/Autism Professional Coaching Association (AAPCA) is a support network for professionals who use coaching techniques to assist older teens and adults with Asperger/autism profiles. Check out the AAPCA Facebook group and LinkedIn page!
Neurodiverse Couples
AANE has multiple resources for people seeking to better understand relationships where one or both partners have an Asperger/autism profile. Neurodiverse couples can access AANE’s self-paced online course 101 For Couples. Couples therapists can receive specialized training to help them work more effectively with neurodiverse couples through AANE’s Training 101 and Certification 201. Click the links for more information!
Coming Up…
  • All AANE programming has moved online.
  • “LOCAL [City, State]” indicates groups/activities intended for those living in or near the listed area.
  • “Open” groups and programs have an undefined number of group members with new people joining from session to session.
  • “Closed” groups have the same members for a set number of sessions.
  • Text in blue are links to further information and registration.
Our goal for this session is to hold a candid conversation about different ways to approach relationships and dating while autistic. Reduced price thanks to a grant from the John W. Alden Trust. Read More + Register.
Love to read? Join other post-high school adults to discuss great books. Participation is free, but registration is required to receive the link. Read More + Register.
If you like discussing science and technology, check out the AANE Meetup Group: AANE Adults for details and to RSVP for the next meeting! Read More + Register.
Grab some popcorn and watch a flick with friends! Click to learn about Netflix account and browser requirements and to register! Read More + Register.
Meet other grandparents online and find new ways to connect with your grandchildren of any age on the autism spectrum. Read More + Register.
Fathers can share experiences, support one another, and build a toolbox for parenting children on the spectrum of any age more confidently. Read More + Register.
Join other Boston-area adults to discuss wonderful books. Participation is free, but registration is required to receive the link. Read More + Register.
Meet friends online and have some fun! Register to meet online and play games like Quiplash, Fibbage, and Remote Insensitivity. Reserve your spot before the sessions fill! Read More + Register.
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.
Coming Soon! AANE is excited to announce an expansion to the upcoming Winter 2021 On-Demand Jody Acford Conference. AANE will provide recorded presentations in both Massachusetts and New York editions of the conference, which will cover benefits and supports for adults with Asperger and similar autism profiles. If you are a teen or adult on the spectrum, their parent or guardian, or a professional working with the autism community, this conference is for you! Registration opens January 2021.
Looking for More?
Check the events calendar for the most up-to-date information on AANE’s online programming. If you have any questions, email
AANE Updates…
Volunteers Needed for Virtual Game Nights!
Are you an avid online gamer? Would you be interested in being a volunteer assistant facilitator at one or more of AANE’s virtual game nights? We are looking for adults who:
  • love online games and hanging out with the people who play them.
  • will commit in advance to helping out at one or more game nights a month.
  • will reliably show up to assist with facilitation.
If you are interested in volunteering, please email Michele Cantara or Nancy Schwartz.
AANE’s Fall 2020 Virtual Daniel W. Rosenn Connections Conference Recording
Missed the conference? No worries! Register today to have access to conference recordings until December 15! Learn More.
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 research to improve transition options, adult perspectives on education and interventions, and many 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 people are coming into their own as politicians…

Jessica Benham is the first out LGBTQ+ woman elected to the state legislature and one of the few lawmakers to disclose publicly she is on the spectrum. Read a thoughtful piece on the significance of more individuals with autism engaging in politics.

Read more

While some aspects of remote learning are challenging for many children with autism, some kinds of online socializing may be easier. Read through Facebook post→
AANE Resources for Women
Did you know AANE has a page of collected information, resources, and support groups specifically for women with Asperger/autism profiles? Visit AANE’s Page for Women→