Frequently Asked Questions about AANE Adult Support & Social Groups and Events 

 

Q: What does AANE mean by the term Asperger profile?

A:  AANE has adopted the term Asperger profiles to describe a range of neurological differences characteristic of over one percent of people in the United States and worldwide. Some people who come to us have received diagnoses of Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Social Communication Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), or Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). 

 

Q: Do I need to have a formal diagnosis to attend an AANE Adult Support Group, Social Group, or event?

A: No. AANE does not require that an individual receive any formal diagnosis in order to attend our adult support groups, social events, or explore our services. If you suspect that you are on the spectrum, our services, support groups, and social events may be helpful to you.

 

Q: How old does an individual need to be to attend an AANE Adult Support Group, Social Group, or Event?

A: The individual should be a post-high school adult who is at least 18 years old.    

 

Q:  Can someone who is neurotypical attend an AANE Adult Support Group, Social Group, or Social Event?

A: The answer is “no” for most AANE Social Group Interest Series (such as book clubs, Dungeons and Dragons, Trivia, Women’s Social Event Series) and for many discrete social events (AANE Halloween Party).   Certain events, such as going to the Museum of Fine Arts, the AANE Adult Services BBQ, and Red Sox Games are open to individuals on the spectrum and to their family and friends. Check each event description to see whether family and friends can attend.

Neurotypical family and friends can’t attend adult support groups. We offer parent/family of adult support groups and couples support groups for neurotypical family members and friends of adults on the spectrum.  

 

Q:  Can parents or caretakers attend an adult support group, Social Group/Interest Series, or social event with their adult child?

A: No, unless that specific event is open to other adult family members or friends. Most of AANE Adult Support Groups, Social Groups and events are intended for post-high school adults on the spectrum who are able to self-regulate AND independently participate in activities without the assistance of a dedicated caretaker.  Parents and caretakers are welcome to stay nearby in another room, but should not expect to participate in the group or event.

AANE events may not be appropriate for individuals who frequently wander off as AANE and external facilitators are not substitutes for care providers.

Q: Are there specific conduct guidelines? 

A: AANE is committed to welcoming all individuals, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, or gender identification. Participants at AANE events are expected to act respectfully toward other participants and group facilitators.  The information discussed in adult support groups should be considered private and confidential and should not be shared outside of the support group. AANE may ask individuals to leave an event if they are unable to act respectfully toward fellow group members or event participants. 

We do understand that some individuals on the spectrum may find it challenging to understand and follow these conduct guidelines.  We are committed to working with our clients when problems arise. If you have any questions about the code of conduct, please contact nancy.schwartz@aane.org.