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: 

Barbara BissonetteRegistration Now Open!

Autism and Employment Webinars with Barbara Bissonnette


1) Networking Webinar: Tues., 1/29 from 7:00 PM - 8:15 PM (session runs for one hour followed by a 15-minute Q&A)

Job Networking for the Not-So-Socially-Savvy

Do you cringe at the thought of attending a job networking meeting and speaking to people you don't know? Don't worry! There are many ways to utilize this job search technique that do not involve rooms full of strangers. We'll begin with an explanation of what, exactly, networking is and why it is the best way to find employment. Then you will learn specific ways to begin and grow a network both online and in person. The webinar includes examples from the presenter's actual clients.

2) Interviewing Webinar: Tues., 2/19 from 7:00 PM - 8:15 PM  (session runs for one hour followed by a 15-minute Q&A)

Job Interviewing: Communicate Your Skills and Get Hired!

Do you wish that someone would explain the unspoken rules about what to say during an interview? Are you confused about the difference between marketing your skills and lying? Nervous about what to expect? This webinar is for you! You will learn: how employers evaluate candidates; how to prepare strong responses to anticipated questions; tips for avoiding common mistakes; the correct way to follow up; and the pros and cons of disclosing during an interview.

ASCEND Family and Organizational Members: Free
ASCEND Individual Members: $10.00/session

Non-members: $20/session 
Sign up for both webinars and receive an ASCEND Family Membership for free!



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., 2/10 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., 2/10 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]


*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, 2/24 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM ( Every last Sunday of the month)

Directions: 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.



Family Support and Peer Groups

Our Bryn Mawr Location: Family Support Group: Managing Challenging Behaviors for Your Child with ASD or IDD
Led by Kaleidoscope's own Clinical Development Director, Jordan Hollander, M.Ed., BCBA, this workshop will focus on effective techniques and tools to help you begin the process of managing any behaviors and/or actions that may be challenging for your child with autism or developmental disabilities. 

Peer Support Groups ... now every Tuesday!
Date: Tuesday, January 15, 2019 Time: 6:30-8:00 PM Independent Living: Cooking Class with Baked Ziti for the Winter Ball and dinner

Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 Time: 6:30-8:00 PM Topic: Independent Living: Topic: Life Planning: Vision Board Collages

Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 Time: 6:30-8:00 PM Social Skills: Group Game Night

Refreshments Served. Please RSVP to Pam Frebowitz at [email protected] or call 215-681-0172
All groups are open to the community! Family Support Groups are free however there is a $5 fee for peer support groups if you are not receiving waiver services from Kaleidoscope. Refreshments and Coffee Served
Bethel AME Church, 50 S. Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Tues.,1/22 from 6:30-8:00 PM

Our Coatesville Location: Family/Caregiver Support Group: "Charting the LifeCourse"
Charting the LifeCourse with Darcy Elks from the PA Family Network Together we will see how the Lifecourse Framework can be used to think about the big vision for a good life and tools to focus on life domains such as transition, employment, community living, safety and and security, citizenship and advocacy. Refreshments and Coffee Served
Thursday, 1/17 from 6:30-8:00 PM
LocationCoatesville Area Public Library, 501 E. Lincoln Hwy. Coatesville, PA 19320



Hill Top Prep 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. 
Please click here to RSVP or call 610-527-3230.
Wednesday 1/9 from 9:30 - 11:30 AM.
Hill Top Prep 737 S. Ithan Avenue, Rosemont, PA


This ADOS-2 training provides experienced autism professionals with introductory training on the use of the ADOS-2 to assess and diagnose autism spectrum disorder (ASD) across ages, developmental levels, and language skills. 
Tuesday, 1/22 from 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday, 1/23 from 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM

Valley Forge Special Kids Camp Expo 

Free and open to the community! 
Saturday, 1/26 from 1 - 4 PM at Valley Forge Educational Center

1847 financial logo

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.
Wednesday, 1/30 at 6 PM
Maple Point Middle School 2250 Langhorne-Yardley Rd, Langhorne, PA 19047


 Ongoing Groups:

Fick Educational Services: New Social Groups Forming

Fick Educational Services will be forming new social skills groups for the New Year! If your child struggles to make friends and could use some practice with team work or coping skills, consider a social skills group at FES. We form groups based on need and age and will tailor activities to suit the child's needs. Call us at 610-457-2199 for more information.

 Mike Fogel's Art of Friendship

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 skills groups SHOULD NOT be one-size-fits-all. Different kids have different challenges!  AoF differentiates Social-Coping Skills into the following skill areas to meet the needs of your client or student:

  • Social Cognition Social Skills Groups with a focus on play (i.e. theory-of-mind, perspective-taking, hidden rules of socialization plus developmentally appropriate play)
  • Social Cognition Social Skills Groups with a focus on conversation (i.e. theory-of-mind, perspective-taking, hidden rules of socialization plus developmentally appropriate conversation skills)
  • Self-Regulation & Impulse Control-Focused Social Skills Groups
  • Anxiety-Focused Social Skills Groups
  • Frustration, Anger & Problem Solving Focused Social Skills Groups
  • Victims of Bullying & Resilience Focused Social Skills Groups
  • Girls Groups
  • Adolescent Groups
Contact: admissions coordinator, Debbie DeBenedictis, at 610-649-1080, x1,

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, contact Reggie Candio at  [email protected]

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.