September 2018



Save the Dates! Upcoming ASCEND Events:

Sunday, 11/18
ASCEND Workshop at Congregation Or Ami, Lafayette Hill


ASCEND's Upcoming Events 

ASCEND Group Brains Vs. Games MeetUp 
Come out to test your brain power by playing board games such as Yahtzee, Trouble, Checkers, and card games like UNO & Crazy 8s.  Make new friends! Have fun! Light refreshments will be offered!

Ages 10-14 years
Sat., 9/22 from 9:30-11:30AM
Fick Educational Services @ Embassy Court, 17 Turner Lane, West Chester, PA 19380 
Free event but RSVP before 9/19 via (free) and SEARCH for ASCENDGroup Event.

How to find us: just off the Rt. 202 Exit for Paoli Pike, across from the West Goshen Shopping Center, as if headed to Chester County Hospital 

Chips, Chocolate & Chat Adult Social Group
A group of adult self-advocates who with the help of a facilitator, discuss topics chosen by the group. Topics that have been addressed include dating, co-workers, break-ups, meet-ups, interviewing for jobs, etc. In the past, we have had a few guest speakers who have addressed the group as well. 

Attendees: Adults on the autism spectrum, ages 18+
Sun., 9/23 from 4-5 PM 
Ruttenberg Autism Center
1740 Walton Road, 1st Floor, Blue Bell, PA 19422

Discussion Group for Caregivers 
Runs simultaneously but in a different room than the adult social group.
Attendees: Caregivers of adults on the autism spectrum
Sun., 9/23 from 4-5 PM 
Ruttenberg Autism Center
1740 Walton Road, 1st Floor, Blue Bell, PA 19422

ASCEND Game MeetUp for Tweens & Teens
This event is for kids age 10 to 17, and we will have Legos, board games, Wii video games, Nintendo DS and other video games, foosball and air hockey. We encourage participants to bring their favorite games to share and for parents to stay and socialize. Light refreshments will be available.
Sun., 9/30 from 2-4 PM
Social Enrichment Center
542 Wesley Rd., Springfield, PA 19064

How to find us: 
The Social Enrichment Center is located at Hancock Methodist Church in Springfield. Entrance has red doors.
Free event but RSVP before 9/27 via (free) and SEARCH for ASCENDGroup Event.


ASCEND Group College Panel Discussion
ASCEND Group presents a panel discussion with college staff members as well as students on the autism spectrum who attend these colleges. The panel will discuss resources, share their experiences, and offer their advice and insight into college life. 

Wed., 10/3 from 6:30-8:30PM
West Chester University - Graduate Center, Room 325, 
1160 McDermott Drive, West Chester, PA 19383
Fee: Free for ASCEND members; $10.00 for non-members families (one student & two accompanying adults)
Due to space being limited, registration required by October 1, 2018
Audience: High school students and their caregivers.
Register online here. 
Parking: free

Highlight on an ASCEND Professional:

ImageTherapy Bridges

Therapy Bridges provides private and school-based occupational, physical, and speech therapy services for both children and adults. Our mission is to provide quality services that are contextually focused and use best practices. We believe it is essential to implement assessment and intervention processes that support the child or individual, as well as their families in enhancing quality of life and participation in meaningful daily activities and interactions. Services are individualized to the needs of the client and involvement of families/caregivers and school personnel is viewed as essential. We value evidence-based practice and support research and training of future therapists necessary to implement best practice . 

Our therapists have advanced training in: Sensory Integration, Neuro-development treatment, Myofascial Release, Listening programs, Vision therapy, Yoga, Feeding & Social Skills interventions.

For more information or to schedule a visit, please contact us: email us or call (610) 395-2880.



ASCEND Professionals Events

Please Join Us!

Our complimentary workshops are focused on empowering and educating families who have dependents with special needs giving them clear, actionable information that can be used to understand and build a responsible financial lifestyle. Our small and interactive seminars are led by popular financial speaker, Pat Bergmaier, and they provide a comfortable setting in which attendees can learn how to take control of their present and future financial planning. As a follow-up, individual meetings may be scheduled to focus on your personal financial situation.

Tuesday, 9/18 at 6:30 PM
Lenape Valley Foundation 
601 Dresher Rd, Suite 150, Horsham, PA 19044

Interested in your organization hosting a workshop for your families? Should your employer potentially be offering one of these workshops on location? Please email Pat:  Pat Bergmaier, CFP®, ChSNC or call 215-317-4143.



Kaleidoscope Family/Caregiver Support Group with Simultaneous Peer Support Group

Family Support Group: Reframing Expectations: Setting and Achieving Realistic Outcomes in Postsecondary Living, Jordan Hollander M.Ed BCBA, Clinical Development Director, Kaleidoscope Family Solutions. Using a person-centered approach combined with the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, Jordan Hollander will focus on rethinking values, identifying strengths, and how to start teaching your family skills that are essential for success in the real world. Peer Support Group: Strengths, Interests and Dreams Equal Life Pizza Served.

Tuesday 9/25 from 7:00-8:30PM
Bethel AME Church 50 S. Merion Avenue Bryn Mawr, PA 19010


In the Media

Choosing a College When You are Neuro-Diverse
By John Elder Robison for Psychology Today

You're in high school, looking at going to college. Lots to think about. For students like my son and I, there's the additional wrinkle of neurodiversity-autismADHD, or dyslexia. How does that shape school decisions?  


Google Glass helps kids with autism read facial expressions, study finds
Source: Stanford Medicine, in

Children with autism were able to improve their social skills by using a smartphone app paired with Google Glass to help them understand the emotions conveyed in people's facial expressions, according to a pilot study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Autism Unlocked
Published in Children's View

Years of uncertainty - that's what you might face if your child is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and clinicians struggle to find the right treatment to address specific symptoms. But there's a different scenario: A genetic test quickly identifies the cause of your child's disorder. This unique key - coupled with extensive research on thousands of other children with autism - then unlocks the answers that will guide your child's treatment today and affect all of their tomorrows.

Combining the Power of Sport, Surf and Volunteerism
By Randy Scott Carroll for Photo Credit: Alex Felts and Chelsea Bronstein

In August, I spent a picture-perfect day in Wildwood, New Jersey, for "They Will Surf Again," a free, one-day event that helps people with disabilities go surfing.

Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Help-Line

Do you need help accessing services and supports for someone with an intellectual disability or Autism? A collaboration of Catholic Social Services-Developmental Programs. The Office for Persons with Disabilities and the Schools of Special Education of the Archdiocese is offering this convenient help-line to assist families connect to disabilities services provided by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.To reach the Help-Line, call 484-472-5041 or email:[email protected]

Local ASD News & Events

 6th Annual Autism Awareness Event in Autumn

Exceptional Families of Exceptional Children (E.F.E.C.) and Elmwood Park Zoo are teaming up to bring the community an Autism Awareness Event in Autumn! Elmwood Park Zoo is looking to expand the community's understanding of autism and Exceptional Families of Exceptional Children is looking to show families all of the wonderful resources available in this area. Join us for resources, information and family fun!
Sat., 9/22 from 11 AM-2 PM.
Elmwood Park Zoo
1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown, PA 19401

Autism Society Greater Philadelphia and AMC: Sensory-Friendly Movies 

8/28 Alpha

Tennis Buddies Squad Fall Registration

In the Fall, 2013, two teenagers decided to start a special needs tennis clinic for area students.  
Tennis Buddies Squad, now in its sixth year, has provided stress-free tennis instruction  with a fun-filled experience for all participants.  Fully staffed by volunteers, this is a free clinic for all our athletes. 
We are a USTA adaptive tennis registered program.

All ages with varying abilities are welcome to join our seven-week fall program. We meet on Saturdays from 12-1 PM at the tennis courts, Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, PA. Email us to sign up at  [email protected] If you would like to join us, please fill out a  release form and a participant form and bring it with you to the first clinic.


Hall Mercer Offers Early Childhood Program for Children with Autism and Related Disorders
This program is available to children eligible for Medicaid-reimbursed services, and transportation may be available.

Research Studies 

Mealtime Experiences Study
For young adults (18-23 yrs.) on the autism spectrum who have food selective behaviors (i.e., dislike a lot of foods or eat fewer foods than most people their age).

Young Children's Knowledge About General Event Representations
This will allow us to better understand the way children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) aged 6-12 years old think about routine social events.


The Traits and Social Cognition Study
The goal of this Drexel University study is to learn how people understand moving shapes. This includes how thoughts, feelings, and experiences influence what people see. We are looking for volunteers between the ages 16-35 years who meet one of the following criteria: 1) identify as on the autism spectrum, or 2) have a parent or sibling on the autism spectrum.


Young Children's Knowledge About Categories of Foods
A study on the ability of children, ages 7-12, with an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis to categorize food items.


Transportation Study
We are looking for people who are 18 years and older with developmental disabilities to complete a survey asking questions about transportation. 


This is a research registry in which children and adults with or without ASD are asked to create a profile in order to be matched with currently enrolling research studies.

Infant Brain Imaging Study (IBIS)
Infants between 3-6 months of age with an older sibling who is diagnosed with an ASD are invited to participate.


Research on Autism and Developmental Disorders (ROADD)  
Children ages 3-5 with or without a diagnosis of ASD may be eligible to participate.

Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation (EARLI) 
Mothers who have a biological child with ASD or who less than 28 weeks pregnant and who live in the tristate area are being invited to participate in this study.


JAKE App Study
Children and adults ages 6 and older with or without ASD may take part.

Autistic Women with who have given birth within the past 10 years in an acute care setting such as a hospital and had no complications in themselves or with their baby are invited to participate. 


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.