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: 


ASCEND Group Webinar:

Improving Emotional Regulation in Individuals with ASD Webinar

Description: Challenges in managing strong emotions is common for children and teens with disorders of relating and communicating, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. In this talk, we will discuss why this is and practical strategies will be presented that can help develop these crucial skills across settings. Our hope is to help all those affected by ASD become:

  • An emotionally well-regulated child/teen/adult who can stay engaged across a range of emotions
  • A reflective thinker who understands his/her own inner world as well as those of others
  • A flexible thinker who is able to understand the complexity and nuances of social relationships

During this webinar participants will learn:

  • What is emotional regulation and why is it a common problem for individuals on the Spectrum?
  • Emotional regulation is a developmental process. We will discuss what foundation capacities need to be in place prior to its emergence.
  • The role brain development plays in emotional regulation.
  • How the emotional life of the family can help the child with ASD to develop emotional regulation.
  • The importance of imaginative play in the development of emotional regulation.

Webinar occurs Wednesday, November 20 from 7:00-8:15 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
Register now.

About our Presenter: Steven B. Glazier, M.A.

Steven Glazier is a Licensed Psychologist who has been working with individuals with developmental, emotional, and behavioral challenges for over 30 years. Since 1995, he has been in private practice, specializing in treating children with Autism Spectrum Disorder with a relational/developmentally informed approach. Steven has been on the faculty of Widener University’s Early Childhood Mental Health Program and the Boards of the Philadelphia Preschool Early Intervention Autism Committee, Delaware Valley Chapter of the World Association for Infant Mental Health, ASCEND, and the Center for Autism. He is a faculty member of Profectum Academy, an international agency dedicated to training multidisciplinary professionals who work with special needs children, and he is designated an “Expert Practitioner” by the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders. He treats individuals across the lifespan in his Bala Cynwyd office, consults in preschools and schools, and mentors other professionals. 


Meetup: (Adults 18+) Lunch at Keswick Tavern (Glenside)
Saturday, November 23 at 11:00 AM

Let's get together for lunch at Keswick Tavern. Grab a beer and a burger or other delicious pub grub. Everyone will pay for their own lunch and drinks. Tavern may be loud depending on how many people are there at lunchtime.
The tavern is accessible via the 22 bus which runs along Keswick Avenue. For more info about Keswick Tavern:  http://www.keswicktavern.net

Game Meetup 
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 22 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Every 4th Sunday of the month
How to find us: The Social Enrichment Center has moved to: 216 South Orange Street in Media. Parking available.


Sunday, January 12, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Dave and Buster's, 500 West Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting

Tickets: $35 per person (includes Unlimited Video Game Play, $20 Power Card, buffet with Bar Burgers, Four-Cheese Pizza Bites, Crispy Chicken Bites served with Ranch dip, Baked Macaroni & Cheese, French Fries, and Unlimited Soda.

The restaurant will open an hour early so that our group has exclusive use of the gaming area. 
50/50 Raffle and Gift Raffles!

Get your game on and support ASCEND! Purchase tickets here.


Educational Programs
Tuesday, January 28 - In person
Susan Paul, Presenting: Social interaction/social anxiety across the lifespan
Thursday, February 27 - In person
Paul Kesselman Presenting: Cyber health and wellness

Chips, Chocolate and 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., December 15 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., December 15 from 4-5 PM 
Ruttenberg Autism Center
1740 Walton Road, 1st Floor, Blue Bell, PA 19422


Professional Events and Ongoing Groups:


  Upcoming 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.

1) Tuesday, December 10 at 7pm (virtual)
Hosted by: PA Leadership Charter School

2) Thursday, December 12 at 6:30pm
Hosted by: Carousel Connections
Location TBD
3) Saturday, December 14th, 10am
Hosted by: Devereux
(closed to Devereux families only!)

Interested in hosting a workshop for your families? Should your employer be offering something similar? Please reach out to Pat!

 Ongoing Professional Groups


Difficulty regulating one's emotions not only impacts the individual's mood and well-being but also his/her ability to socialize with others effectively. This group will focus on helping group members identify their emotions including bodily sensations and triggers and how these emotions negatively impact their ability to connect with and socialize with their peers. Group leaders will facilitate the learning of more effective coping skills for managing emotions in difficult and stressful situations as well as learning how to better connect and maintain relationships with peers.

Groups of 8 will meet for 1 hour per week sessions starting Monday, October 28 in Doylestown, PA. Members will be grouped based on their age, language abilities, and goals for the group.

Openings for Children ages 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, & 13-15. Children will be grouped by age, language abilities, and social skills goals.
Lego®-Based Therapy, or Lego®-Club as it called by group members, is an evidenced based treatment where children develop skills through collaboration on group projects through the use of Lego®. Group members collaborate on building sets, free style projects, and creating and producing short stop-action films. Children with ASD, ADHD, anxiety, and other social challenges are welcome! 
Groups will be run on Monday afternoons/evenings for 1 hour per session for 8 sessions starting Monday, October 7, 2019.

Contact Dr. Brittany Lyman at [email protected] for more informatio

Mike Fogel's
 Art of Friendship

1) Social-Coping Skills Groups are currently enrolling girls, boys and co-ed groups between 4-18 years old in Paoli, Haverford, Plymouth Meeting and Center City Philadelphia.  Social-coping skills groups are designed especially for the social developmental needs of teens between the ages of 12-18. Girls-only and boys-only middle school and high school groups are available. Mike Fogel's Art of Friendship Social-Coping® Curriculum (also used at Camp Pegasus) launches participants on a "Reputation Project" with perspective-taking and the hidden rules of socialization at its core. 

2) emPower Lunch
Love with Limits: The Art of Friendship's Positive Behavior Support Plan for Home & School Reinforcement of Social Coping Skills, Cooperation and Self-Regulation

Parents, educators, and professionals are invited to FREE lunchtime workshops! Each month, Mike Fogel MA, ATR-BC, LPC presents practical and memorable social-coping skills and parent/caregiver reinforcement tips. These are the same strategies promoted at Camp Pegasus and the Art of Friendship Social-Coping Skills Program. 

Child & Family Art Therapy Center ~ 250 W. Lancaster Ave. ~ Suite 255 ~ Paoli, PA 19301
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM, Tuesday, October 8

 5 Sentry Pkwy Ste 110, Blue Bell, PA 19422,11:30 AM - 12:30 PM, Thursday, October 10



Kristina Vacha's Groups
Kristina Vacha, Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, LBS, MSS, MA

1) MeetUp Group: Autism Spectrum
Kristina Vacha, LCSW will be facilitating a movie meetup once a month at the Movie Tavern in Exton. This group is appropriate for individuals who are college educated or current college students and who can attend independently.  An initial consultation at my office is required before attending events or groups. This group is for adults with autism who are interested in increasing social connections and addressing issues related to living as an adult on the spectrum. 

2) Anime Club for Adults on the Spectrum
If you are an adult on the spectrum or know one who might be interested in being part of an anime club, join our meetup group.

Join meetup.com (it's free!) and search for https://www.meetup.com/Autism-Spectrum-Connections/ to send a request to join.

3) Adults on the Autism Spectrum Group
This group is a therapeutic support group where you can talk about your experiences as an adult with autism. We address concerns with social isolation, developing more meaningful relationships with others including improving family dynamics, developing friendships and dating, succeeding at employment or education, coping with anxiety and depression, improving self advocacy and developing a better understanding of the autism diagnosis. The group is for adults ages 25 and up who are employed or enrolled in higher education. More about this group

4) Spouses & Partners of Aspies / Autism Support
This group is for adults who are married or in a relationship with an adult with autism spectrum disorder. The group will discuss experiences, offering opportunities to support each other, to vent as needed and to share positive experiences as well.

5) Adult Support Group
This group is for adults on the autism spectrum who are struggling with feeling stuck in significant areas of adult life. If you would like to be working but are currently unemployed or underemployed, socially isolated, unsure about how you would like to become a more independent adult, use or hope to use state funded adult autism services, then you may find this group helpful. More about this group

6) Women with Autism
This group is for women with autism 25 years and up. Whether diagnosed in childhood or recently this group will give you a place to meet other women and talk about your experiences as women living with autism. This group is targeted for women who are employed and/or pursuing higher education. More about this group

If you or an adult with ASD you know is interested in this group (or in one of the other groups Kristina meets with) please contact Kristina: [email protected] or 484-274-8957.

I am a good listener and will give you time and space to share your concerns. I specialize in supporting transitioning teens and adults with ASD and parents/caretakers. I offer a comprehensive strengths-based approach that also utilizes evidence-based interventions to address issues related to anxiety and depression, life transitions, family and relationship dynamics, self-advocacy, work/employment, co-morbid mental health issues, healthy lifestyle, independent living, contact with law enforcement, and sexuality/dating. I work across the spectrum including nonverbal individuals to high functioning professionals.

ASCEND Group Membership Levels...Membership options that make sense

As a nonprofit organization, we depend solely on the support of our members as
we work to fulfill our mission to raise public awareness about AS and related disorders, advocate for improved education and services, and provide support and information to the Asperger and autism community.

Access to some of the content on this website is available only to subscribing members. Various membership options and benefits are shown below:

Member Benefits include:

  • Free admission to one or more meet-ups. To view our 2017 Meet Ups list click here. To view our 2018 Meet Ups click here.
  • Free or discounted registration for ASCEND webinars and educational sessions.
  • Posting of events, research, camps and groups (organizational members only)
  • Referrals (organizational members only)
  • Invitation or join our professionals elist (listserv) for message posting (organizational members only)
  • 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 our Members Only "Cybrary" containing: Autism & Employment Networking &  Interviewing Webinars, SAP: Autism at Work Session Recording,  College Panel Night hand-outs and our e-newsletter archive (all members)

ASCEND Individual Membership $25/year

ASCEND Family Membership $45/year

ASCEND Organizational Membership $160/year

Need to Pay
by Check?

Download our Word membership form and simply send us your registration by US Mail: 

ASCEND Group, Inc., PO Box 2097, Media PA 19063

GIFT MEMBERSHIPS: Give an ASCEND Membership as a gift to a loved on or colleague. Select one of the new membership options below, and indicate during checkout that the membership is a gift. Please note that you’ll need to have enough of the recipients contact information on hand to complete the required fields for their member profile.