Support Groups for Parents, Family Members, and Friends of Adults

Support Group Options:

In-Person Support Groups for Parents of Adults in Massachusetts and New Hampshire

These AANE parent of adult support groups are designed for parents who want to build an ongoing connection with a small community of parents and other family members. Each group meets face-to-face once per month, usually from 6:30-8:00 PM on a designated day (e.g. Third Thursday of the month).  Each group meets 6 times over the course of 6 months.  Group members must register in advance and membership is limited to 12 individuals.  Each group is facilitated by an AANE staff member.  Participants must be parents, family members, or friends of a post-high school adult 19 years or older with Asperger’s or a related profile. Family members and friends need to be 18 years or older to join.

Common topics of discussion are:

  • Now that your child is an adult, how do you parent without power?
  • How do you keep the lines of communication open?
  • How can you help your child find and sustain employment or live independently?
  • How to get your adult child expand his or her social network?
  • What local providers, programs, and services have other parents used and what were the results?
  • How have other parents tapped into health, income, housing and other benefits?

Parents and family members also rely on these support groups to:

  • Give voice to their concerns and frustrations
  • Acknowledge both hard-won and unexpected victories.

Registration is $100 for the first participant and $50 for additional members of the same family. We recognize that cost may be an obstacle for some families. Contact Michele Cantara (michele.cantara@aane.org) to request a discount or waiver.

AANE is running the following PoA groups from April/May 2018 to October 2018.  
Registration has closed for these groups.

  • Watertown, MA - For parents with adult children who are over 27 years old
    1st Thursday, facilitated by Michele Cantara
  • Watertown, MA - For parents with adult children who are 19-26 years old
    3rd Wednesday, facilitated by Michele Cantara
  • Chelmsford, MA - For parents with adult children who are 19-32 years old
    1st Tuesday, facilitated by Jennifer DeSanctis-Narby
  • Westwood, MA - For parents with adult children who are 19-26 years old
    1st Tuesday
  • Westwood, MA - For parents with adult children who are 19-26 years old
    3rd Tuesday
  • Bedford, NH - For parents with adult children who are over 19 years old
    3rd Tuesday, facilitated by Jennifer DeSanctis-Narby
  • Online/Video conferencing support group - For parents with adult children who are over 19 years old
    2nd Tuesday, facilitated by Jennifer DeSanctis Narby

We will offer the next round of Parent of Adult Support groups in January 2019, and registration will open in November/December 2018.  If you would like to receive early notification about registering for the January-June 2019 PoA Support groups, click here to fill out this notification form.

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.

 

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.