Welcome to ASCEND Group

Thank you to our wonderful speakers, all the attendees and our ASCEND Board who made our conference a huge success! If you missed our conference or would like a recap, below are the links to the slides provided by the speakers. 

Dr. James Coplan: Autism Spectrum Disorder in 3-D: A Life Span Perspective (all ages)

Dr. Robert Naseef: Involved Fathers Get Results: Engaging Fathers and Strengthening Families (younger children) Flyer 1 Flyer 2

Dr. Mary Riggs Cohen: A Different Voice: Adolescent Females on the Autism Spectrum (teen session)

ASCEND Board Members: Karen Myers & Robert Schmus: It's Never Too Late for a Diagnosis (adult session)

Sonia Voynow, LCSW: Making Friendships: Beyond Social Skills Training (younger children)

Dr. Eric Mitchell: Mindfulness and Identity for Teens Diasnosed with ASD (teen session)

Dr. Mary Riggs Cohen: Breaking the Cycle of Social Isolation (adult sessions)


ASCEND will be forming an Adults with Asperger's/Autism Support Group!

Sign up for our free e-newsletter to receive updates as this group forms. 

ASCEND Professional Events Calendar &
Professional Directory


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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.

Member Benefits include: 
  • Discounted admission to ASCEND’s
    annual conference
  • Invitations to ASCEND-sponsored
    social events
  • Inclusion in our Membership
    Directory (optional)
  • Free admission to speaker meetings
  • Invitation to join our listserv
    for message posting (member families only)
  • Access to the online e-newsletter archive

There are membership level options that make
sense and are affordable for just about anyone.
Please consider becoming an ASCEND member today.

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.

 On this site

An important part of the ASCEND mission is identifying and sharing resources with families, individuals with autism, professionals, educators, and other community stakeholders. We invite you to browse this site for access to regional and national resources in many categories, including advocacy, research, autism in the media, and much more!

In the Media

Heidelberg apartments open for adults with - and without - autism
By Linda Wilson Fuoco for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Elise Mote's heartfelt speech of gratitude was the highlight of a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday in Heidelberg."You built this beautiful building that will give people like me, on the autism spectrum, the chance to live and make friends," said Ms. Mote, a 23-year-old child care worker who will move into the new Dave Wright Apartments over the holidays."My last apartment was the size of a shoe box because that was all I could afford," she said of a place in Squirrel Hill. "So I thank you so much!"For information on rentals, please click here

Special education case at Supreme Court could prove costly for schools 
From the article by the hollandsentinel.com
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court review of a battle between the parents of an autistic child and his Colorado school district could help raise the standards of education for some of the more than 6 million disabled schoolchildren across the United States. But it could also prove expensive for already cash-strapped school districts.

At Hill Top Prep, independent living boarding program helps students prepare for college
From the article: www.mainlinemedianews.com
Rosemont - To help students gain the life skills necessary to live more independently and with other classmates in a dormitory setting. Hill Top Preparatory School launched a boarding program that introduces students to an environment in which they experience a degree of structured independence. This initiative for boys grades 9-12 is designed as a first step toward preparing students for life in a college dormitory setting. For more information about Hill Top, contact Needham, headmaster, at 610-527-3230, ext. 645. To learn more about the school, visit www.hilltopprep.org.

At SpArc, an entrepreneurial program to foster independence  
From the article by Diane Mastrull in philly.com
Between the Baltic Birch cutouts, the bottles of glue, and the earbuds-wearing Theresa Wongus singing along to her music queen, Patti LaBelle, the scene at SpArc Philadelphia could have been mistaken for pure frivolity. But this was all business: the business of coaxing entrepreneurial skills from adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, a population whose talents often are not immediately obvious.  Make no mistake, they are there.

Eight things siblings of children with special needs struggle with
from the article by Jamie Davis Smith in the Washington Post
Having a sibling with special needs is a reality many children are born into, including my three typically developing children. Of all the things my children experience that I never did, their experience of growing up with a sister with significant disabilities is something I struggle to understand, even as I watch it unfold daily.

College Board Simplifies Request Process For Test Accommodations
from the article in https://www.collegeboard.org
Announces New SAT® Testing Supports for English Language Learners
NEW YORK-The College Board has overhauled its request process for testing accommodations, making it easier for eligible students to receive the support they need on College Board assessments. For more information, click here.