Welcome to ASCEND Group


 ASCEND Events: 


Teleseminar with Barbara Bissonnette 

Choosing the Right Job or Career: Tips for Individuals on the Spectrum and Their Parents

 Are you overwhelmed or nervous about choosing a job or career? Have you tried an occupation that didn't work out? Are you wondering whether a special interest could become paid employment?

This teleseminar is for individuals with Asperger's Syndrome and similar autism spectrum profiles, and their parents. It focuses on how to choose an occupation that will be manageable and emphasize areas of strength. Participants will learn: 

- Why decisions should not be based on interests alone

- Techniques for learning what a job is really like

- Why the work environment is crucial to success

- How to determine occupations to avoid 

The presenter draws on more than a decade of experience coaching individuals with Asperger's Syndrome/autism. 

About Our Presenter:

Barbara Bissonnette is a certified coach and the Principal of Forward Motion Coaching (www.ForwardMotion.info). She specializes in career development coaching for individuals with Asperger's Syndrome (and similar autism spectrum profiles) and Nonverbal Learning Disorder. She also offers parent consultations and training for professionals and employers.

She is the author of the award-winning Complete Guide to Getting a Job for People with Asperger's Syndrome; the Asperger's Syndrome Workplace Survival Guide; and Helping Adults with Asperger's Syndrome Get & Stay Hired: Career Coaching Strategies for Professionals and Parents of Adults on the Autism Spectrum.

Barbara earned a graduate certificate in Executive Coaching from the Massachusetts School Professional Psychology and is certified by Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC). 

This teleseminar can be accessed in two ways: either calling in by phone or logging onto a website. The call-in number and website information will be provided one day before registration. There will be a question and answer session following the presentation.

Register here.
Date / Time: Wed., 1/31 from 7:00PM - 8:15 PM
Fee: ASCEND Members: For free, Non-Members: $10.00
Join ASCEND today and attend this session free!

Chips, Chocolate and Chat: ASCEND's Social Gathering for Adults on the Spectrum

This is a gathering of adults who may be interested in connecting with other self-advocates. While staff are available to help facilitate, participants will collectively guide the nature of the group and how they may like to see the group evolve from a gathering moving forward. Instead of becoming a therapeutic group, this group is intended to provide opportunities for connection and discussion among participants, possibly leading to additional activities based on common interests.

Sun., 2/11, from 4 - 5 PM
Ruttenberg Autism Center
1740 Walton Road, 1st Floor
Blue Bell, PA 19422
Attendance is free but please RSVP to info@ascendgroup.org

Discussion Group for Caregivers of Adults 

This free group for parents/ caregivers will be held in a different room but at the same time as the adult group session, Chips, Chocolate & Chat.

Sun., 2/11, from 4 - 5 PM
Ruttenberg Autism Center
1740 Walton Road, 1st Floor
Blue Bell, PA 19422
Attendance is free but please RSVP to info@ruttenberg.com


ASCEND Professional Events Calendar & Professional Directory

ASCEND Professional Member Events
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If your are an ASCEND Organizational Professional Member and would like to submit a listing for our website, simply click below to complete one/more of the following forms:

Submit an Event       Submit Research      Submit a Service


Professional Members' Offerings:

Social Groups, Support Groups & Workshops     

Summer Camps/Programs   

Research Opportunities (New studies added!)


To improve the lives of individuals
     and families in the Greater Philadelphia area impacted by Asperger Syndrome
and Autism through connections,
community and support.

 Support ASCEND today!

As a nonprofit organization, we depend solely on the support of our members. There are membership level options that make sense and are affordable for just about anyone.


ASCEND Membership

Member Benefits include:

    • Free admission to one or more meet-ups. To view our 2017 Meet Ups list click here.
    • Invitations to ASCEND-sponsored social events
    • Inclusion in our Membership Directory (optional and available only to member families)
    • Invitation to join our families e-lists (listservs) for message posting (member families only)
    • Invitation or join our professionals elist (listserv) for message posting (organizational level only)
    • Access to the online e-newsletter archive

Click to get a printable Membership Form in Word format.

Interested in volunteering? We welcome ASCEND members and non-members to sign up to volunteer on one of our committees. It's a great way to meet other people in our community and to give back! Please click here to sign up to volunteer.


In the Media

Study: Autism Linked with Different Reactions to Chemical Signals
From: www.thescientist.com, by Shawna Williams
While humans aren't as smell-dependent as many other animals, studies have shown we respond differently to others when they're emitting certain olfactory signals-even if we can't consciously detect them. In a study published today in Nature Neuroscience, researchers find that men with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) sometimes respond differently to these chemical cues in human sweat than do people without the disorder, indicating that such responses may partly explain the disorder's symptoms.


For huffingtonpost.com, by Katie Rose, Co-Authored with Jordynn Jack, Ph.D.
The argument to ban laptops in classrooms has risen from the dead (again).
Those who argue for laptop bans tend to cite the same set of studies. Some studies suggest that students who type notes don't retain material as well as those who hand write. In one study, taking notes by hand amounted to a not-very-whopping 2% improvement on a test score. Another study suggests that laptop users distract students around them. Relying on these studies (and others), professors have taken to banning laptops in their courses, and publicly proclaiming that we all should do the same.