Services for Teens & Their Families

AANE (the Asperger/Autism Network) serves parents (and other family members) of teens with Asperger Syndrome (AS), High-Functioning Autism (HFA), Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), or Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD or NVLD). We also serve the teachers and other professionals who work with this population.

AANE Information Line: Parents may call Stephanie (617-393-3824 ext. 17; ) or Erika (ext. 14, ) at any time, and as often as necessary, for information, support, or referrals to help in raising a teen with Asperger Syndrome. Stephanie is also glad to speak with parents of young adult college students. Stephanie Loo, M.Ed., AANE Director of Teen Services, is also the parent of a young adult with AS. Erika Drezner, MSW, AANE Coordinator of Teen Services, has two children on the spectrum.

“I remember the very first conversation I ever had with Stephanie Loo, and how after that phone call I didn't have to feel bad when others didn't understand. It was such a weight lifted off of my heavy heart. Thanks again!”
— Parent of a teen with AS

We encourage families with very limited budgets to contact us about the MDDC Empowerment Funds (for Massachusetts residents—Vermont has a similar program), AANE’s family grants, and free or discounted one year AANE memberships.

Our extensive teen information packet includes:

AANE members also receive two issues a year of the AANE Journal and a monthly e-newsletter listing upcoming events.

AANE members who live in New England can join our on-line support group for parents of teens, which Erika moderates. Members who live close enough are welcome to attend one of our High School Social Groups with concurrent Parent Workshops (parents of younger teens are also welcome), teen/parent events in Plymouth County, or face-to-face parent support groups. Please contact if you are interested in helping to start a new support group in your area; we can help with training, speakers, and materials.

AANE families who wish to host a small house party for teens and parents may contact Stephanie for help with planning and invitations.

At AANE, we feel that parents and teachers learning about AS is key to teens’ success. AANE members receive discounted admission to our conferences and other educational events. The teen years pass quickly; AANE conferences and workshops prepare you to help your teen by providing you with the information you need right now.

  • Every fall we offer Asperger Connections, a full one or two day fall conference with top experts in Asperger Syndrome.
  • In recent years we have added a spring conference with a professional slant. Right on our web site, you can see video of great presentations from the spring 2010 conference on AS and Anxiety. The spring 2011 conference will be on AS and Sexuality.
  • Cape Cod Summer Conference. The 2011 speaker will be Dr. Brenda Smith Myles.
  • Perspectives on College Life panel presentation includes college students with AS, parents, and college personnel. See video of our fall 2010 panelists.
  • Transition Planning for Teens with AS. Learn about your teen’s legal right to services during the high school years to prepare him or her for an independent adulthood in tune with the teen’s own vision of the future life he or she wants. Be prepared to make the most of these years, as few services are available after high school graduation!
  • Asperger Academy: Success in College for Students with AS
  • Staying Safe: Looking at Relationships with Sally Fogel, Certified Sexuality Educator. Contact Erika to schedule an intake interview for your high school age boy or girl. Contact for information on upcoming groups and intake interviews.
  • Annual Matthew Dandurand Memorial Lecture for teens in Western Massachusetts gives teens and their families a chance to learn from a speaker who is usually an adult with AS. You can also nominate a teen from Western Massachusetts for the Matthew Dandurand Award for Exceptional Effort.
  • We also offer classes on parenting, and classes on promoting your child’s success in school.
    • Once a month we offer Understanding Asperger Syndrome, a one-evening class for parents whose children have recently been diagnosed.
    • Welcome to the Teen Years: Is it Asperger’s or Is it Adolescence?! introduces you to the challenges of this critically important life passage, and the resources to meet them. Meet other parents as well as AANE staff.
    • Building Independence for your Teen with AS How do you guide your teen toward an independent adulthood, and how can you enlist other adults in the process?
    • Advocating for Your Teen with AS in the Public Schools
    • Success in School for Teens with AS