Watertown-based Asperger/Autism Network Receives $25,000 Grant

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Joan McGrath, left, Executive Director of Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of Massachusetts & Rhode Island (PLAN of MA & RI), presents a $25,000 grant to Brenda Dater, Executive Director of Watertown-based Asperger/Autism Network (AANE) to support the organization. (Photo courtesy PLAN of MA & RI)

Watertown-based Asperger/Autism Network received a $25,000 grant from the Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

PLAN of MA & RI Executive Director Joan McGrath presented the check to Brenda Dater, executive director of ANNE.

The nonprofit PLAN of MA & RI is recognized as an expert in operating special needs trusts and, since 2020, has granted more than $1 million to nonprofits supporting individuals with disabilities. For more information, visit www.planofma-ri.org.

About the Asperger/Autism Network

The Asperger/Autism Network (AANE) helps people with Asperger’s or similar autism spectrum and neurodiverse profiles build meaningful, connected lives.  We provide individuals, families, and professionals with information, education, community, support, and advocacy — all in an inclusive atmosphere of validation and respect.

AANE (Asperger/Autism Network), one of the first Asperger-focused organizations in the United States, was founded in 1996 by a small group of concerned parents and professionals, shortly after the diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome (AS) first appeared in the U.S. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, edition IV (DSM-IV). AANE builds a supportive community by providing education, information and referrals to individuals with AS, their extended families, and the professionals who work with them.

Originally called the Asperger’s Association of New England, on October 1, 2014, AANE changed its name to the Asperger/Autism Network (AANE), keeping the same acronym while evolving to meet changes in the diagnostic environment and to acknowledge our expansive reach beyond New England. Our new name ensures that people who need AANE’s services and support will be able to find us – regardless of where they live or what diagnosis they receive under the new DSM-5 guidelines.

In May, 2019, AANE expanded by joining forces with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association (“AHA”), a like-minded non-profit organization with offices in Manhattan and Long Island.  For more than 30 years, AHA had been an important resource in the Asperger/autism community and a frequent collaborator with AANE. Combining the two organizations will enable AANE to grow and innovate to better serve the Asperger/autism community.

Find out more about AANE and see upcoming events on the organization’s website, https://www.aane.org/

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