LifeNet Independent Living Support Program

Empowering Autistic adults to pursue and maintain connections to live the life they want.

LifeNet is a private pay, independent living support program for Autistic and similarly Neurodivergent adults. The program empowers adults to pursue the lives they want by building connections with a broad support team. LifeNet meets the needs of adults who ask questions like, “Who will help me transition to living on my own?”

The LifeNet team uses a strengths-based adult-centered philosophy centered on the adult’s priorities and interests. Above all, LifeNet supports and honors the adult’s self-determination and self-advocacy. The LifeNet team consists of a personal advocate (licensed master’s level clinical professional), support partner (field-based direct support professional), clinical supervisor (LICSW or other advanced supervisory clinician), LifeNet program director, and peer connections. The team serves as both a support network and a safety net, offering adults a greater sense of community and belonging.

AANE LifeNet Contact

Jay O’Brien, LifeNet Program Director

617-393-3824 ext. 260

[email protected]

We have been desperately looking for exactly the services LifeNet provides. Our lives have changed 100% for the better…The total teamwork among the team is rare and wonderful…Keep on going!!”

— LifeNet Parent

Yes they have helped me so much! Because they care about me and make sure everything is alright…The program is run by wonderful people who care about the people in the program and will do whatever is needed to make them feel welcome.”

— LifeNet Adult
Video overview of LifeNet in under 10 minutes

What does the LifeNet program offer?

LifeNet offers caring support for Autistic adults across a full range of everyday tasks and responsibilities such as:

  • Maintaining a healthy and safe living environment in their apartment or home
  • Arranging and keeping healthcare and dental appointments
  • Tending to nutrition, food safety, exercise and hygiene
  • Managing budgets, bills, benefits and money
  • Engaging socially – around their interests and at their pace
  • Pursuing productive employment and/or volunteer opportunities
  • Shopping and errands, transportation and travel guidance, and more

LifeNet delivers this personal support and advocacy in multiple ways:

  • Holding regular check-ins and in-person visits
  • Responding to questions or issues as they arise
  • Monitoring and responding to changes in well-being
  • Developing frustration tolerance and emotional regulation skills
  • Addressing unmet needs, and making progress toward personal goals
  • Help completing forms/paperwork and meeting deadlines
  • Coordinating between providers and others in the adult’s support network
  • Managing transitions of all kinds
Ensuring everyone enters into the LifeNet support program with realistic expectations is key to the success the Autistic adult can achieve.

We have processes in place to set and maintain the expectations of clients and their families as we work to support them. Read how.

Who’s on the LifeNet Team?

More than just a single caseworker, each LifeNet adult is supported by a team of people who have experience in understanding and meeting the needs of Autistic adults:

  • Personal Advocate (clinical case manager) – licensed, master’s-level occupational therapist, social worker, or similar clinical professional
  • Support Partner – field-based direct support professional
  • Clinical Supervisor – LICSW or other advanced supervisory clinician
  • LifeNet Program Director – overall administrator and ombudsman
  • Peer Connections – other adults in the LifeNet or AANE community with similar profiles or shared interests

Who’s eligible for the LifeNet program?

To ensure we can meet the needs of all LifeNet clients who enroll in this program, we’ve developed specific eligibility criteria to guide us.

Criteria includes:

  1. Geography: adult lives within ~1 hour drive from AANE’s office in Watertown, MA 
  2. Age: adults 21+
  3. Diagnosis: prospective participant identifies as Autistic
  4. Co-occurring conditions (e.g. acute mental health needs) reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure that prospective participants are connected to services that match their needs
  5. Interest in program: adult wants to participate in the program and is able to work with their team on their priorities  
  6. Program Fees: The prospective adult and/or their family understand that LifeNet is a private-pay service, see tiers and fees immediately below

Which LifeNet tier is right for you?

More detail about the full array of service levels will be sent to those who complete the Contact form below.

Tier 1 – Comprehensive

The top level of LifeNet service for adults and their parents who want or need to activate the full support team structure now, given their age, health status, geographic distance or other factors. Comprehensive offers the most time and frequency of interactions between the adult client and their LifeNet Team members. Cost: $31,000/year, with a one-time intake/personal plan development fee of $1,000.

Tier 2 – Basic

A middle level of LifeNet service for those who need less time and support at this stage of the adult’s life than the Comprehensive level, but who want to put the support team in place now for a potential transition in the coming years. Cost: $15,500/year, with a one-time intake/personal plan development fee of $1,000.

Tier 3 – Introductory

An entry level of LifeNet service, with less frequent interactions than the Comprehensive and Basic tiers, for those who want to begin establishing new support relationships for their adult child now, with an eye toward moving to a higher level of service if and when needed in the future. Cost: $9,300/year, with a one-time intake/personal plan development fee of $1,000.

Clients have the ability to move between tiers as their needs change. Tier modifications are available for an added cost. More detail about the full array of service levels will be sent to those who complete the Contact form below.

Note: In order for AANE to cover our costs and launch this program in a financially sustainable way, there will be no financial aid available at the outset. However, we are actively building the evidence base proving the value of this new program, which we will bring to public and private funders to help make LifeNet accessible to all those who qualify, regardless of income or assets.

FAQs about LifeNet

Hello! Please find below some of the most frequently asked questions (‘FAQs’) we get here at LifeNet. If you have a question that is not addressed here, email us and we will consider adding it to this page!

FAQs From LifeNet Adults and/or their Family Members:

FAQs From LifeNet Family Members:

We’re interested in learning more. What is my next step?

LifeNet began supporting eligible adults in Greater Boston/Eastern Massachusetts in 2019. We are now conducting eligibility screenings and will enroll eligible adults as individual openings arise in the months ahead.

If you are considering enrollment in LifeNet, please complete the no-obligation form below and click Submit. We will then follow up with you with more information about LifeNet to help you decide and take next steps.

  • Contact information

    By submitting this form, you are opting in to email communication from AANE. You may update your email preferences at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of AANE emails, excluding confirmation and reminder emails.


  • Location Information:

  • Affiliation

  • Please check all boxes that apply to you.

  • Demographic information (optional)

    By filling out these fields, you help us gain insight into how we can help our entire community. Your personal information is protected by our privacy policy and is not shared with anyone outside of AANE.
  • For the Autistic person
  • For the Autistic person
  • For the Autistic person
  • For the Autistic person
  • For the Autistic person
  • This helps us plan programming of interest to our community
  • This helps us plan networking events for our community
  • If this question is left blank you will receive postal mail from AANE.

Stay Current

Subscribe for AANE weekly emails, monthly news, updates, and more!