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


In ASCEND's December enewsletter we mentioned the Tony Award-winning National Theatre production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will run from February 28 through March 5, 2017 at the The Kimmel Center. Now One Book, One Philadelphia at the Free Library will center around this book as well.From the site: https://libwww.freelibrary.org/onebook/Celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2017, One Book, One Philadelphia is a signature event of the Free Library of Philadelphia that promotes literacy, library usage, and citywide conversation by encouraging the entire greater Philadelphia area to come together through reading and discussing a single book. From January 25 to March 23, nearly 100 events and programs will center around The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, the 2017 One Book, One Philadelphia featured selection.

From: The New York Times: by Margaret Carlson
Since the days when my mother wouldn't let my older brother go out to play stickball if I wasn't with him, there's been a lot of progress in attitudes toward those we now call developmentally or intellectually challenged. There's mainstreaming them into public schools, the Special Olympics, TV shows like "Speechless," Down syndrome children in clothing ads.

Jory Fleming is headed to Oxford, thanks to home schooling that tapped into his sense of curiosity.  
From: NBCnews.com by Douglas Belkin
Kelly Fleming remembers the low point of raising her son, Jory. He was eight years old when he spent an entire morning, afternoon and evening wailing uncontrollably. She still doesn't know what set off the boy, who has autism and a metabolic disorder.

Computer uses facial cues to spot if people have autism
An algorithm that analyzes facial expressions and head movements could help doctors diagnose autism-like conditions and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
From: Newscientist.com by Matthew Reynolds
There is no simple test for autism or ADHD, but clinicians usually observe someone's behaviour as part of the assessment. "These are frequently co-occurring conditions and the visual behaviours that come with them are similar," says Michel Valstar at the University of Nottingham, UK.

From: www.disabilityscoop.com by Michelle Diament
Federal officials are chiming in on how to balance independence and safety for people with disabilities who have a tendency to wander. 

Stress linked to gastrointestinal issues in children with autism.

Study finds increased reaction to stress may cause gastrointestinal issues in children with autism.
From: http://www.upi.com by Amy Wallace 
COLUMBIA, Mo., Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Researchers pinpoint the increased reaction to stress as the possible cause of the high prevalence of gastrointestinal issues in children with autism.

IEPs vs. 504 plans: Pediatrician's office often first stop for families navigating educational issues
From: AAP News by Kristy Kennedy, correspondent
A school principal was pushing for a kindergartner diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome to attend school in a regular classroom, despite a report from Jeffrey K. Okamoto, M.D., FAAP, explaining the severity of the boy's developmental delays and behavioral issues caused in part by constant hunger pangs.