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 College Panel Discussion

Preparing for College: Supports and Panel Discussion for Students with Asperger’s / Autism Spectrum Disorder & Their Caregivers

Fee: Free for ASCEND members; $10.00 for non-member families (3 attendees) Join ASCEND Group now and attend for free!
Due to space being limited, registration required by October 1, 2018
Audience: High school students and their caregivers
When: Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018 from 6:30-8:30 PM
West Chester University - Graduate Center, Room 325, 1160 McDermott Drive, West Chester, PA 19383  
Parking: Free (when driving into the corporate center, the WCU Graduate Center will be on your right hand side)
Light refreshments will be provided.
Register online here.


ASCEND Group, in coordination with Lehigh Carbon Community College, Eastern University, West Chester University, Kutztown University, Delaware County Community College and Bucks County Community College, present a panel discussion with college staff members as well as students on the autism spectrum who attend these colleges. The panel will discuss resources, share their experiences, and offer their advice and insight into college life. Topics include executive functioning, independence requirements as well as suggested planning and services that can be utilized to help support students through graduation. The intent of this session is to help families/caregivers plan for a future for those students who wish to pursue higher education.


ASCEND Game MeetUp for Tweens & Teens

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.
Sun., 9/30 from 2-4 PM
Social Enrichment Center
542 Wesley Rd., Springfield, PA 19064
How to find us: The Social Enrichment Center is located at Hancock Methodist Church in Springfield. Entrance has red doors.
Free event but RSVP before 9/27 via meetup.com (free) and SEARCH for ASCENDGroup Event

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., 10/21 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., 10/21 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]


ASCEND Group: Save the Dates:

Sunday, 11/18
ASCEND Adult Transition Workshop at Congregation of Ami


ASCEND Professional Events Calendar & Professional Directory

ASCEND Professional Member Events
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Professional Members' Offerings:

Social Groups, Support Groups & Workshops     

Summer Camps/Programs   

Research Opportunities (New studies added!)

Professional Member Events:


Autism Spectrum Diagnostics & Consulting Presents: Teen Girls' Paint Night
Purpose: To meet other teen girls and build friendships
When: A Friday Night in October
Where: ASDC Office in Doylestown
Cost: $40 to cover painting class (snacks and drinks will be provided) 
To RSVP (we need 10 girls to hold the painting class) please contact Dr. Brittany Lyman at   [email protected]



Valley Forge Educational Services 4th Annual Resource Fair for Adults with Special Needs

Valley Forge Educational Services Resource Fair brings together fifty of the area's best programs, services and resources for transition-age youth and adults with special needs and their families. Explore a variety of supportive employment organizations, residential services, community support services, continuing education programs, benefits counselors, family advocates, special needs financial planning experts and recreational and leisure programs-all in one location.. The event is free and open to the public.
Thurs., 10/11 from 6:30-8:30PM 
VFES 1777N. Valley Rd., Malvern, PA 19355



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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.

Thurs., 10/11 at 6:00pm
Clearview Regional High School, 625 Breakneck Rd Mullica Hill, NJ


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 Fall 2018 Dates (Sundays):  10/21, 11/18, 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 p.m. (ages 7-11) 2:30-4:00 p.m. (ages 12-17)

MAIN LINE Fall 2018 Dates (Wednesdays): 10/24, 11/28, 12/19 Location: JAFCO Office 215 N. Presidential Blvd (2nd floor) Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 
Time: 4:00-5:00 p.m. (ages 12-17)
Registration Required! To register, please contact: 610-525-1040 or [email protected]


Kaleidoscope Family/Caregiver Support Groups with Simultaneous Peer Support Group

Our First Location:
Family Support Group: 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 security, citizenship and advocacy.

Peer Support Group: Reciprocal Conversations to Create Lasting Relationships
Pizza Served
Individuals often have challenges forming lasting relationships that include meaningful and reciprocal conversations. This group will use role-modeling to practice effective dialogues with others.

Please RSVP to Pam Frebowitz, MS
[email protected] or call 215-681-0172
Refreshments and Coffee Served
Bethel AME Church 50 S. Merion Avenue Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Tues.,10/23 from 7:00-8:30PM

Our Second Location:
Family/Caregiver Support Group :Reframing Expectations: Setting and Achieving Realistic Outcomes in Postsecondary Living

Jordan Hollander M.Ed BCBA, Clinical Development Director of Kaleidoscope Family Solutions. Using a person-centered approach combined with the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, Jordan Hollander will focus on rethinking values, identifying strengths, and how to start teaching your family skills that are essential for success in the real world.

Peer Support Group: Reciprocal Conversations to Create Lasting Relationships Pizza Served Individuals often have challenges forming lasting relationships that include meaningful and reciprocal conversations. This group will use role-modeling to practice effective dialogues with others.

Thurs., 10/18 from 6:00-7:30PM
Coatesville Area Public Library, 501 E. Lincoln Hwy. Coatesville, PA 19320
Refreshments and Coffee Served

Center for Autism (CAR) Next Steps for Families

Register to attend in person or to participate online! The Center for Autism Research is excited to announce a NEW virtual participation option for this workshop!
Space is limited, so registration today!

This workshop is geared towards parents/caregivers of toddlers through elementary school-aged children who have recently been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Topics will include an overview of ASD, available therapies and treatments, how to decide what interventions to pursue, and tips for accessing community supports and resources.

Wed.,9/26 from 9:00AM - 4:00PM


Calling All Train Buffs! 
Join CAR at the Colebrookdale RailRoad for a special sensory-friendly train ride!

Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust  is teaming up with autism experts from the  Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Center for Autism Research (CAR) on  October 6th, 2018  for a special autism awareness & education event complete with a sensory-friendly scenic train ride.
CAR staff will be on-hand to answer questions about autism spectrum disorder, research, and services- and there will be fun raffle prizes and giveaways before the ride! 
For more info and to register click here.

Kristina Vaccha, LCSW, MSS, MA Applied Behavior Analysis, LBS, Therapist, Behavior Support Specialist is forming a therapeutic support group for adults on the spectrum.. 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.. It will also be an opportunity to socialize but the focus is more on support versus social skill instruction. The first meeting is free and once the group forms the fee will be $30 per group. Invoices provided for insurance and sliding scale available if needed. Contact via email 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.