Helping your Teen Work Toward Independence as an Adult

Person engaged in video conferenceThe Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research (MAIER) is offering a free recorded web-stream presentation entitled “Helping your Teen Work Toward Independence as an Adult: A Mother and Son’s Perspective,” presented by Connor and Jessica Archer, for April’s Autism Acceptance month!

This pre-recorded one-hour web-stream event is available free to families and caregivers for viewing at your own convenience.

Session Description

This topic explores different techniques and approaches of how parents can help your teen work towards becoming independent when he/she enters adulthood. Presenters Connor and Jessica Archer will guide parents and caregivers through what is like in the early teenage years for children, the years where your teen graduates’ high school, and then the transition where your teen becomes a young adult. The presentation will focus on the early teen years, graduation from High School, and the transition to adulthood with examples from their own personal experience as an individual on the autism spectrum and his mother, an educator with an advanced degree in Special Education.

Speaker Bios

Connor Archer is a 5th year student at Husson University, finishing his work towards a Bachelors of Science in Integrated Technology, two certificates in Marketing Communications and Digital/Social Media Marketing, and a Masters in Business Administration, with an expected graduation date of May 2021. Connor is also the founder & Chairman/CEO of The Courageous Steps Project, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that strives to help children and young adults with developmental challenges such as Autism. Connor is a National Award Winner from the 2016 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, focused on recognizing youth volunteers for their outstanding contributions in the community. Most importantly, Connor is diagnosed with the challenges of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and has overcome many obstacles in his development, which leads to his successful accomplishments thus far.

Jessica Archer (Connor’s mom) holds a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education with a concentration in Science, Masters Degree in Special Education, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Literacy and Special Education all from the University of Maine. Currently, Jessica is a middle school teacher, and an adult education English teacher and math tutor in the RSU #26 (Orono) school system. Jessica has worked in education for 28 years. Jessica went back to get her Masters Degree in Special Education to learn how to teach Connor at a young age, as he was learning.

The Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research (MAIER) is a partnership between the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development and the Maine Department of Education. MAIER is dedicated to building statewide capacity to improve outcomes for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). UMaine is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.


2020-2021 MAIER PD Series offered at no cost to participants.

Please use this link to register for the link to the recording


Please contact

5766 Shibles Hall, 307
Orono, ME 04469

Phone: 207-581-2352




Maine Trust for People with Disabilities

Maine’s only pooled trust for people with disabilities

The Maine Trust for People with Disabilities - logoThe Maine Trust for People with Disabilities (MTPD) is Maine’s only nonprofit organization that offers parents, relatives and friends a convenient and economical way to establish and fund a special needs trust account for an individual who has a disability and who qualifies for public benefits, such as MaineCare or SSI. In addition, the MTPD offers individuals with disabilities the option to establish and fund their own accounts. The MTPD is a pooled special needs trust established in compliance with federal law.

These funds can be used to pay for such things as:

  • Recreation and Entertainment
  • Training/Education
  • A  car
  • Electronic devices
  • Appliances
  • Medical care and goods not covered by Medicaid
  • Other living expenses not covered by public benefits

The Maine Trust for People with Disabilities is sponsored by a Maine non-profit corporation The Maine Trust for People with Disabilities, Inc. The daily operations of the Trust are performed by a wide range of volunteers, including people who have disabled family members, representatives of social service agencies, and individuals from legal, business, accounting and investment management businesses. Norway Savings Bank serves as Trustee, and Old Port Pension Administrators is the recordkeeper.

For more information and to create a trust, visit the MTPD website…