Welcome to ASCEND Group


To improve the lives of individuals
     and families in the Greater Philadelphia area impacted by Asperger Syndrome
and Autism through connections,
community and support.

 ASCEND Events: 


Free Gamer MeetUp for Tweens and Teens

(Video games, board games, Legos, foosball & air hockey)

Hosted by Elena Perri and Terry Peura  From ASCEND Group


This event is free but RSVP through MeetUp.com  is required. Once you join (it's free!) search for ASCEND Group.  


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.

Sunday, December 30, 2018 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM ( Every last Sunday of the month)

Social Enrichment Center, 542 Wesley Road · Springfield 

How to find us: The Social Enrichment Center is located at Hancock Methodist Church in Springfield. Entrance has red doors. 


We fill up fast so please RSVP to reserve your spot.


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.
Sun., 12/16 from 4 - 5 PM
Ruttenberg Autism Center
1740 Walton Road, 1st Floor

Blue Bell, PA 19422
Attendance is free but please RSVP to [email protected]

Discussion Group for Caregivers of Adults

This free group for parents/ caregivers will be held in a different room but at the same time as the adult group session, Chips, Chocolate & Chat.
Sun., 12/16 from 4 - 5 PM
Ruttenberg Autism Center
1740 Walton Road, 1st Floor

Blue Bell, PA 19422
Attendance is free but please RSVP to [email protected]

 Due to unexpected scheduling conflicts with a few of our presenters, we are postponing the Planning for the Future Seminar until the spring. We will post details about the rescheduled event as soon as they are available.  

If you were unable to attend our recent sold out College Panel Night at West Chester University here is some information presented that night:

Understanding College Accommodations
Difference K-12 and Higher Education

ASCEND Professional Events Calendar & Professional Directory

ASCEND Professional Member Events
Image result for directory


Professional Members' Offerings:

Social Groups, Support Groups & Workshops     

Summer Camps/Programs   

Research Opportunities (New studies added!)

Professional Member Events:


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Fall Workshops

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 will be led by popular financial speaker, Pat Bergmaier, and will 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 without distraction.

Thursday, 11/29 at 6:00 PM
1847Financial, 161 Washington St, Eight Tower Bridge, Suite 700 Conshohocken, PA 19428

Wednesday, 12/12 at 7:00 PM
Hosted by: North Penn Parents Special Ed Council
North Penn SD Administration Building, Lansdale, PA


Hill Top Prep Admission Open House

This is a great opportunity to learn about the students we serve, our unique academic programs, and see our beautiful campus on a tour lead by our Student Ambassadors. 
RSVP here.
Open House is Saturday, 12/1, 9:30 - 11:30 AM. 


Free JAFCO Star Group (SIblings Together Are Remarkable)

This support group provides typical siblings of children with developmental disabilities a safe space to talk about their feelings with other children who share their experience.We are offering this free service in two locations: 

ABINGTON, Sundays 12/16 
Location: Old York Road Temple-Beth Am (Rovinsky Family Youth Lounge) 971 Old York Road, Abington, PA 19001 Time: 1:15-2:15 PM (ages 7-11) 2:30-4:00 PM (ages 12-17)

MAIN LINE ,Wednesdays 12/19 
Location: JAFCO Office 215 N. Presidential Blvd (2nd floor) Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 
Time: 4:00-5:00 PM (ages 12-17)
Registration Required! To register, please contact: 610-525-1040 or [email protected]


Autism Spectrum Diagnostics & Consulting: Tech-Based Vocational Skills Group 

Research has shown that individuals with ASD can not only perform proficiently in the workplace, they can do so independently if the job matches their personal strengths and capabilities and specific job tasks are taught to mastery. The goal of this group is to not only develop participant proficiency in technology use, but to also teach key "soft-skills" such as; job searching, understanding workplace norms, routines and etiquette, social communication at work and workplace problem-solving skills.
This group will utilize an eclectic curricular approach as well as evidence-based practices in providing skill instruction to individuals with ASD. Skills are presented in a developmental sequence to ensure that participants obtain the foundational knowledge needed to develop higher order technical and workplace skills. Skill demonstrations, role-plays, work simulations and individual as well as group-based skill projects will be some of the key activities participants will be exposed to during sessions.
If interested please contact Reggie Candio at  [email protected]

Child and Art Therapy 
Empower Lunch Workshop

The Personal Power Project: Helping Children Stand Up To Bullies, Teasers, and Impossible Kids

From 10:30-11:30 AM in two locations:
250 W. Lancaster Ave. Suite 255
Paoli, PA, 19301 
- Tuesday, 12/11

5 Sentry Parkway East, Ste. 110
Blue Bell, PA 19422- Thursday 12/13


Adult Social Groups

Kristina Vacha, LCSW, LBS, MSS, MA Applied Behavior Analysis, Therapist, Behavior Support Specialist is forming an ongoing therapeutic support group for adults on the spectrum ages 25 and up. The purpose of the group is to talk about your experiences living as an adult with ASD and to discuss topics the group is interested in like employment and dating. Cost is $30 to attend. This group is appropriate for adults who are employed and or pursuing higher education. RSVP, completed registration form and facilitator approval are required to attend.

Kristina is also forming other therapy groups: https://www.meetup.com/Social-Steps/ 

Contact [email protected] or 484-274-8957.



ASCEND Membership

Member Benefits include:

    • Free admission to one or more meet-ups. To view our 2017 Meet Ups list click here.
    • Invitations to ASCEND-sponsored social events
    • Inclusion in our Membership Directory (optional and available only to member families)
    • Invitation to join our families e-lists (listservs) for message posting (member families only)
    • Access to member only links on our site like our recent information sessions: Choosing the Right Job or Career: Tips for Individuals on the Spectrum and Their Parents, SAP: Autism at Work: The groundbreaking Autism at Work program as well as our e-newsletter archive.
    • Free, unlimited posting of events, sessions, camps, social groups, etc on our calendar as well as our free, monthly e-newsletter which has 4000+ subscribers (posting for professional members only)
    • Invitation or join our professionals e-list (listserv) for message posting (professional members only)
    • Invitation to exhibit your services at one or more ASCEND educational workshops
    • Referrals of your services to clients who phone us for resources (professional members only).

ASCEND Individual Membership $25/year

ASCEND Family Membership  $45/year

ASCEND Professional Membership $160/year

Click to get a printable Membership Form in Word format.