Transitioning to adulthood can be a challenging time of life. There is a significant need for autistic young adults to find meaningful connection, friendship, guidance, and support from autistic peers who have navigated this time period. Mentorship programs help, but few have been created with autistic young adults and for autistic young adults. AANE was inspired to launch this program based on the vision and experiences of autistic individuals within our community.
What is Simpatico?
The Simpatico Peer Mentoring Program is an exciting, new AANE pilot initiative being developed to provide peer-to-peer mentorship for autistic adults between the ages of 18-35 years old who are seeking meaning and engagement in their lives. The intention of this program is to provide opportunities that lessen the feeling of isolation prevalent within the autistic population through experiences that will yield companionship and a supportive community.
What is the vision?
The vision for Simpatico is to be a mentorship program exclusively for autistic adults to provide purpose, guidance, and support. Ongoing get-togethers will allow all participants to discover lasting connections and feel increased self-worth and value. As we gain insight through participants’ interviews, listening group forums, and surveys, we will begin to define suggested activities, frequency of meetings, and group outings.
Where is it?
The Simpatico Peer Mentoring Pilot Program is currently based in Massachusetts with the hope that all paired participants in the program can meet either in person or virtually depending on shared preferences due to public health and safety concerns. The flexibility of Simpatico's programmatic structure will be further supported by Simpatico managers.
Why did AANE choose the name Simpatico?
The word simpatico originates from the Greek word meaning sympathetic, and in both Spanish and Italian, simpatico means affable and likable. In English usage, simpatico means “having a personal affinity, being in sync with each other”...a simpatico relationship.
Want to become a Simpatico Mentor or Mentee yourself or know someone who might be interested?
If you live in Massachusetts and are interested in becoming a Simpatico Mentor or Simpatico Mentee, or know someone who might be interested, please complete the form below:
Interest in Becoming a Mentor or Mentee
Please note that the Simpatico Mentoring Pilot Program is only operating in Massachusetts. All Mentors and Mentees must live in Massachusetts to participate. We hope to expand in the future! Once you have submitted this form, a Simpatico Team Member will contact you to discuss the next steps. Completing this form does not guarantee participation in the Simpatico Pilot Program.
There are no upcoming events at this time.
Help us build the Simpatico Peer Mentoring Program by taking our survey!
Survey to Help AANE Build Simpatico
To learn more about Simpatico, you can email Simpatico Program Managers, Jay Eveson-Egler at Jay.Eveson-Egler@aane.org and/or Pam Palmucci at Pam.Palmucci@aane.org.
Acknowledgement and Gratitude
We are profoundly grateful to the Andrew Family Foundation for their inspiration and investment in this program and to our leader and former Executive Director Dania Jekel, for pushing us forward. Dania’s vision made this partnership and The Simpatico Peer Mentoring Pilot Program possible.