Support Group Options:
- In-person Parent of Adult (POA) Support Groups in Massachusetts and New Hampshire
- Online Video Conferencing Support Group for Parents of Adults
- Facilitators for MA, NH, and Video Conference Parent of Adult Support Groups
- AANE Sponsored Parent of Adult Support Group in Rhode Island
- AANE Online Discussion Group for Parents of Adults
Facilitators for MA, NH, and Video Conference Parent of Adult Support Groups
Michele Cantara, Director of Family Support Adult Services, AANE
Michele is the mother of a young adult with ASD who is taking college classes and working at two part-time jobs. In college, Michele majored in Psycholinguistics, which helped her recognize her son's social interaction issues early on, and started her down a path of advocating for parents. In 1998 she co-founded the Massachusetts Special Education Parents Advisory Council (MASSPAC). Michele also spent 35 years in the high-tech industry, and she now applies her well-honed consulting and change management skills to parent coaching sessions and support groups at AANE. Michele facilitates groups in Watertown and Chelmsford.
Jennifer DeSanctis-Narby, AANE LifeMap Coach and Group Facilitator
Jennifer, a native New Yorker, moved to New Hampshire several years ago and loves it. She started at AANE as LifeMAP coach in 2014 and has facilitated our Bedford NH parent of adult support group since 2015. Coaching LifeMap clients and leading parent groups is her passion. She says, "it's a pleasure spreading the word of AANE's fine work throughout NH, and I'm proud to be part of such a great team. My LifeMap clients and the parents I work with teach me so much! They are eager to learn, are open to trying new things, and light up when goals big and small are met." Jennifer believes her work at AANE is by far the most rewarding job she has ever held. She is constantly amazed by parents' commitment to their child's future, but she also recognizes that this commitment can be all-consuming and draining. She has a motto, "What else can go right?" She believes this "attitude adjustment" can yield great results -- once you begin to focus on what is going right in your life, significant positive changes can occur.
Lizzette Grattan, LifeMap Program Coordinator & Coach
Lizzette joined AANE in July 2017 and is a LifeMAP Program Coordinator and LifeMAP coach. She helps adult and teen clients develop the skills they need to attain their personal and career goals. Prior to AANE, Lizzette spent eight years at Work Opportunities Unlimited as a Career Resource Specialist helping individuals with intellectual disabilities obtain and sustain employment. In this role, she also developed new job opportunities for her clients, and connected them and their families to employment related services. She also collaborated on clients' Individual Support Plans (ISPs) and attended their annual ISP meetings. Through her work experience as well as parent advocacy and transition training from the Federation for Children with Special Needs, Lizzette has developed a keen awareness of the challenges that young adults with Asperger's face as they leave high school or college, enter the workforce, and live independently. Lizzette has a Biology/Medical Technology background and has also obtained a Masters in Special Education. Lizzette enjoys learning to improve her career interests.
AANE Sponsored Parent of Adult Group in Rhode Island
AANE also sponsors a face-to- face support group for parents of adults in Rhode Island. This is an open group and all parents of adults with autism spectrum and related diagnoses are welcome. The group meets on the second Monday of most months at 6:30PM at Bradley Hospital in East Providence. To join, contact Toby Liebowitz at Tobyaane@gmail.com or 401-490-0574 (please leave a message and Toby will call you back).
AANE Online Discussion Group for Parents of Adults
The online discussion group is designed for parents of younger adults (19-26) as well as older adults (27+). Siblings, aunts, uncles, and other adult family members may also join this group. In this forum you can share your concerns, questions, and successes with other parents. If you are looking for an understanding community of parents who are also "walking in your shoes" and who can offer support, empathy, and information to ease your stresses and celebrate your successes, please join today.
Who: For parents of adults with Asperger or related profiles
Moderator: Michele Cantara
To Join: Please complete the form below. Then look for your email invitation, and follow the instructions to set-up your account.