Issue 8 / Volume 8

July 2017




We had two great events last month - a fun Meetup at Sky Zone, and our first Chips, Chocolate and Chat, a free social gathering for adults 18 years and older on the autism spectrum. The response to the adult group has been very positive, and those who attended the first session enjoyed the opportunity to connect with other adults on the spectrum.  A special thanks to Randi Rentz, Robert Schmus and Eric Mitchell for getting this group off the ground!

Participants expressed an interest in meeting on a monthly basis, so we are hosting another gathering on Sun., July 23 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Ruttenberg Autism Center in Blue Bell. You can find more details below under ASCEND Events.

We will have more Meetups lined up soon, so stay tuned for details. If you haven't joined our Meetup group, you can do so by clicking here. Also, please contact me at [email protected] if you have suggestions for future Meetups and if you would like to host a Meetup. Organizing a Meetup is easy and doesn't require much time, so I hope you'll consider helping out.

Lastly, be sure to like our Facebook page and follow the ASCEND Group on Twitter. 

Warm regards,

Elena Perri
ASCEND President

Free ASCEND Events

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.
Sunday, 7/23 from 3:30 to 4:30PM
Ruttenberg Autism Center
1740 Walton Road, 1st Floor
Blue Bell, PA 19422
Attendance is free but please RSVP to [email protected]


"Swim Team" Movie Screening

ASCEND is co-hosting a free screening of the "Swim Team" movie with the Ruttenberg Autism Center on Tues., Aug. 22 at 6 p.m. at the Wissahickon Valley Public Library, 650 W Skippack Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422. Click here to RSVP. 



ASCEND Professional Member Events, Sessions & News

 Ruttenberg Autism Center: Appreciating  Autism: A Training Force for Law  Enforcement Officers
Ruttenberg Autism Center is pleased to partner with the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Campus and the Chiefs of Police to bring this essential training course to law enforcement throughout Montgomery County and beyond. MPOETC-approved; Offering 3 CLEE Credits

Thursday, June 29, from 9AM to 12PM
Public Safety Training Campus
1175 Conshohocken Road, Conshohocken, PA 19428

Click here for more information. 

ASCEND's Professional Member: JCHAI Transitions receives the Breaking Barriers Award!
JCHAI Transitions received a Breaking Barriers Award from the Genesis Foundation worth $50,000. The goal of this initiative is to promote inclusion of people with disabilities for young adults 18-30 and to teach them the skills they need to live and work independently in the community. This grant will help continue to grow the programs far into the community beyond the traditional residential supports work that they have been doing for 30 years.

 The next JCHAI Open House is on Thursday, August at 6pm where people can meet program directors and then visit JCHAI self-advocates living in their own apartments in their Supported Apartment Program at the Radwyn. RSVP required: Dr. Beth Rosenwasser or 215.498.1270

You can view a  four-minute video about JCHAI as well as learn more about JCHAI Transitions: (formerly JCHAI Café) offering young adults classes three nights a week & weekend Trips.


Local ASD News & Events

Autism Society Greater Philadelphia and AMC: Sensory Friendly Movies
AMC is proud to partner with the Autism Society to bring you unique movie showings where you can feel free to be you! We turn the lights up, and turn the sound down, so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing!

We are now expanding our Sensory Friendly Film program into four showings per month. Monthly showings are every 2nd and 4th Tuesday and Saturday of the month.

Saturday showings will still be family-friendly movies starting anytime from 10:00am on. Please check your local theater:

AMC Neshaminy 24, Bensalem, Pa 19020 215-396-8050

AMC Franklin Mills 14, Phila, Pa 19154 215-612-2740

AMC Marple 10, Springfield, Pa 19064 610-328-5439

July 8 Despicable Me 3
July 11 The House
July 22 Spider Man: Homecoming
July 25 War for the Planet of the Apes
Aug 8 The Emoji Movie

In the Media

Calculating the Costs of Curbing Medicaid" (which benefits many persons with disabilities, and their schools)
From: The Wall Street Journal, by Jo Craven McGinty
In his first full budget proposal, President Donald Trump advocates changing the way the federal government funds Medicaid. The fiscal 2018 budget was short on details but endorses a bill passed last month by the U.S. House of Representatives that would restrict Medicaid spending for the first time since the program started in 1965.



Things We Like

Free Expert Incentive Charts Can Boost Behavioral Change - FromAutism Parenting Magazine
Most of us are familiar with reward or incentive charts. Maybe we first came across them as a child, hoping to receive a star for our chart on the kitchen fridge. Or perhaps we learned about them when studying to be a teacher. Whether you call them sticker charts, star charts, or behavior modification or goal charts, the idea is the same: to nudge behavior in a desirable direction.


 2017 A- List
Submitted by Karen Krivit
Elwyn's Philadelphia Special Needs Resource Guide (the A-List)

New additions of short films to our Sproutflix catalogue: the largest and most diverse assortment of films featuring people with I/DD on the marketplace:
Brooklyn Love Tales   12 min. / documentary / USA
A personal look into the lives of three couples with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This is the latest film made by Anthony Di Salvo, Sprout's ED.

Navigation  4 min. / dance / Spain
A modern dance performance - Navigating through life makes every human face different situations; some are in favor of and others are against the tide - cutting through the waves of time and always moving forward.

Someone Like Me  9 min.  / documentary / USA
Two young adults with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder spend a day exploring Seattle together, and discuss the difficult realities of living with a preventable disability.


In This Issue...

  1. ASCEND News
  2. Professional Member Events, Sessions & News
  3. Local ASD Happenings
  4. In the Media
  5. Things We Like



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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.