May 2021






Have you or someone in your family attended a
free webinar or program that ASCEND offered this year?

If so, please consider making a donation to the ASCEND Group!


All contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extend of the law. 


JOIN US SUNDAY, May 16, 4:00 PM

Click on image above for more details. RSVP here.


Margot Stein Virtual Support Group for Parents/Caregivers of Teens 

Third Tuesday of the month

Next Session:

May 18 from 7:00 - 8:15 PM

Watch video with Margot.

Margot Stein, marriage and family therapist, will facilitate these groups. Register at main link above: ASCEND members free, non-members: $10/session.

Professional Events




Connect Plus Therapy ABA 

CPT is now accepting Medical Assistance in Philadelphia! Read more here. 

Connect Plus Therapy provides Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and support to their families. CPT uses the science of behavior analysis to target the core deficits of Autism in order to teach skills that are functional for your child’s life to produce lasting, socially meaningful change.




Zoom Open House

You are cordially invited to attend our open house for prospective parents and professionals at Camp Pegasus, the therapeutic social skills day camp on the Main Line. Camp Pegasus, the creation of Mike Fogel, founder of the Art of Friendship Social Skills Program, is beginning its eighth year full of exuberant campers, grateful parents, and rave reviews! Thursday, April 29, 9:30 AM. Contact for Zoom link.

Free Virtual Webinar:
The Personal Power Project: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety & Stress

Good news! Stress and anxiety respond very well to cognitive behavioral therapy. But kids need to practice coping outside the therapy office. Even the most loving and attentive caregivers can accidentally prolong or intensify a child's anxiety by providing instinctive reassurance and comfort. Wednesday, May 12 at 7:00 PM

Click here to pre-register.


1847 Financial

Upcoming Special Needs Zoom Workshops

Saturday, May 1 - Montgomery County Community College's Bridging to the Future Conference (virtual)
Workshop breakout time 11:30am-12:30pm

Tuesday May 4, 6:30 PM - hosted by Downingtown Area School District!

Tuesday May 11, 7:00 PM - hosted by TACA NJ

Please email Pat for Zoom links.

Our complimentary workshops are focused on empowering and educating families who have dependents with special needs. Every Wednesday at noon. Zoom link. 




Camp Connect: ABA Camp

Ages 2 and up, 9:00 AM-3:00 PM; early and aftercare available. June 28 - August 20.
ABA (individualized), splash (splash pad, water fun), social skills (cooperative play, making friends), life skills (cooking, self care, outings), sensory (gym, messy play, music, art).



Summer Adventures at Hilltop!

New! Circle Forward Esports! This program will be an option for the first three weeks of our camp season, and is designed to teach campers how to be successful competitive gamers. This is a full-day program that is separate from our other programs. Furthermore, due to the nature of Esports, this program will be able to run seamlessly whether in-person, virtual, or a hybrid of both. Check out Hill Top's amazing summer programs designed for students in grades 2 through college freshmen. Flyer.

Contact Brian Betteridge.

Camp Akeela: Autism & Asperger's Social Skills Summer Camp 

Camp Akeela is now accepting application for Summer 2021. Grades 3-12; we also have a one week family camp! 
See our How to Apply page for more information. Use this link to review COVID-19 plans for summer.  
Camp Akeela: w
here quirky campers thrive! 


Camp Pegasus Social Skills Summer Camp 2021: In Person

We are excited to share with you that we will be in person again for this upcoming camp season! We are putting strong safety measures in place and planning for every contingency! Ages 4-16 years old.


Quaker School at Horsham Summer Enrichment Program

Our Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) is designed for children with learning disabilities who need help retaining and reinforcing skills in language arts, mathematics and social skills. Our program is designed with academic enrichment in the mornings and recreational activities in the afternoons, including swimming, art and weekly field trips.
Age Served: 1st-10th grades.


The Growth Opportunity Center in Southampton and Narberth

We are running in-person social groups: children and teen groups for ages 3 to 20 years old, creating a positive and fun, welcoming climate. We also also offers adult social skills groups: the young adult group focuses challenges in transitions from high school to higher education or the work world. Our general adult group helps individuals develop the skills needed to initiate and sustain fulfilling relationships, as well as to cope with stress effectively.



From McAndrews Law Offices:

Attorneys Permitted to Attend Special Education Mediation

Since mediation was first offered through the Office for Dispute Resolution (“ODR”) as an option to resolve special education disputes between school districts/charter schools and families in Pennsylvania, attorneys have not been permitted to participate in the process. The thought was to provide families and school districts with a relatively quicker, easier, and less expensive process. In reality, many families entered the mediation process without the expertise needed to navigate the complexities of special education and the law. Often this resulted in families entering mediation agreements without a full appreciation of what they were agreeing to or what they were agreeing to give up.

Will My Stimulus Check Affect My Public Benefits?

By now many individuals have received at least two, and possibly three, Covid-19 economic stimulus payments. These payments were issued by the federal government to provide financial assistance to those struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic and to help stimulate the economy. Most eligible individuals received a first check of $1,200, another check for $600, and with the passage of the most recent COVID-19 relief bill, many people will also receive a third stimulus payment of $1,400. Many of our clients who are receiving resource-based public benefits have asked whether the receipt of these payments will affect their Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medical Assistance/Medicaid (MA) benefits.


If you would like to share our ASCEND Group enewsletter, please use this link.







       Now Playing in Virtual Theaters: 
            The Reason I Jump




PAR is pleased to share information about The Reason I Jump with our members. Based on the best-selling book by Naoki Higashida, The Reason I Jump (runtime: 82 minutes) is an immersive cinematic exploration of neurodiversity through the experiences of nonspeaking autistic people from around the world. Playing virtually for $10: check out link here.



Opening Doors to College: 
Film and post viewing discussion by Dan Habib


The film "shows how students like Curtis, Janet, Fudia and Missy are leading this inclusion revolution as they immerse themselves in classes, residential life, extracurricular activities and the entire college experience at Millersville and Temple Universities." The film is 35 minutes long, and a follow-up discussion is one hour and 45 minutes. Both are available to view via this link.

More info on national college opportunities can be found at


Facebook Live Discussion with Dr. Wendy Ross this Thursday, April 29 at noon. Hosted by Theraplay. Dr. Ross from Jefferson Health will join a panel of our experts from Theraplay, Inc. to discuss resources for children with red flags or have been diagnosed with autism.

Planning for College for Students with ID/DD webinar

This Achieva session is being held Wednesday, May 5 from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Topics will include how to pay for college, using an IEP to pay for college, dual enrollment, and more. For more information and a registration link, click here.

PAN Training- Communication: The Basic Know-Hows for Families

Speech-Language Therapy Strategies for families with children on the spectrum will be held on May 7 from 12:00-2:00 PM Click here to register and learn more about other PAN training events.

The Everyday Lives Conference

The Pennsylvania Office of Developmental Programs presents this fully virtual event which will merge with Community of Practice Regional Collaborative Conference, Technology Summit, and the Dual Diagnosis conference for a month-long event. May 11 - June 10; more details and a schedule of events can be found here. Registration is free for families and autistic individuals.


PA ABLE Savings Program Webinar

This free event is is scheduled for Thursday, May 13 from 10:00-11:00 AM for individuals with disabilities, families, and professionals to learn more about the benefits of opening a PA ABLE account. Click here to learn more and register.

Trainings from TechOWL Now - May 26!

These free trainings on How to Build a Team to Find and Implement AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) solutions for individuals with complex communication needs. Click here for more information on upcoming dates and registration.


 May 24 topic:

What does Independence look like for your family member?
Contact Sara Crimm for details.


              Adult Group Meetup:
           Zoom Conferencing Chat


This group provides an opportunity for older teens and adults (around age 18 and up) with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to meet for support, self-advocacy, networking, conversation, and fun.



  ASERT Youth and Young Adult
      Virtual Coffee Drop-in

Calling all youth and young adults! Looking for ways to speak up? Join us on Thursdays from 12:00 - 12:30 PM. Email for accommodations.. 

Free ASERT Workshops
Download the Trajectory and the Integrated Support.


Free Justice System Trainings

How do you support autistic individuals as they navigate the justice system? The ASERT Collaborative offers free justice system trainings led by Kate Hooven, ASERT’s Justice Training Specialist. Training topics include approaching someone with autism, searches, custody/arrest, etc. Trainings can be tailored to your group. For more information, email Kate Hooven at [email protected]




Employment for individuals with disabilities

Bender Consulting Services, Inc. provides disability employment expertise in the areas of recruitment, workplace mentoring, strategic planning, training, and digital accessibility to drive innovation and realize business value for customers.



Currently Recruiting Qualified Individuals with Disabilities 

AECOM is recruiting at the following offices:

Conshohocken office

New! Geologist II
New! Senior Geologist
Project Manager - Dams Engineering

Philadelphia Office

New! Senior Rail Engineer
New! Graduate Engineer I - Structural
New! Engineer I - Civil
New! Civil Engineering Intern-Structural
New! Traction Power Designer
New! Project Director
Junior Transit/Rail Engineer
Rail Transit Engineer

Newark, DE Office

New! Project Director
New! Engineering Intern - Civil Design
New! Inspector II, Construction

AECOM brochure 

AECOM "How To Apply Online Guide"  

Ways You Can Support ASCEND


~ Make an online donation today!

~ Host a Facebook Fundraiser on your Birthday.
It's easy to set up and costs nothing!

~ Participate in United Way's Donor Choice Program (ASCEND's Donor Code is 15008)

~ Double the impact of your gift through your company's matching gift program.

Shopping online? Support ASCEND by using iGive and AmazonSmile links:

iGive website




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Legal Disclaimer: ASCEND maintains the Professional Services Resource Directory and e-newsletter as a service to families and professionals as a reference tool. ASCEND does not endorse or claim to have personal knowledge of the abilities of those listed. The resources listed on this page are not intended as a recommendation, referral, or endorsement of any resource or as a tool for verifying the credentials, qualifications, or abilities of any organization, product or professional. Users are urged to use independent judgment when considering any resource associated with diagnosis or treatment of autism, or the provision of services related to autism.

ASCEND Group Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. We do not endorse any specific professional or therapeutic treatment. We are not meant to be a replacement for medical or legal advice. Our mission is to raise public awareness about Asperger Syndrome and related disorders, to advocate for improved education and services, and to provide support and information to the Asperger and autism community. This web site is for informational purposes only. Any link or mention on our web site should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation. If you have questions about Autism or Asperger Syndrome, please consult with a qualified medical professional.

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