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 BissonetteRegister Now!

Autism and Employment Webinar with Barbara Bissonnette

 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 (you will be emailed the discount code)
ASCEND Individual Members: $10 (you will be emailed the discount code)
Non-members: $20
Sign up by 2/15/2019 and receive an Individual Level Membership!


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., 3/10 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., 3/10 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]

ASCEND MeetUp for Adults

Let's do lunch at HoneyGrow for Adults (18+)
We will be gathering together for lunch and socializing at Honeygrow in Bala Cynwyd. Everyone will pay for their own food and drinks. We will arrange to have a table or tables for our group. More details about how to find us will be shared before the MeetUp.
RSVP on our MeetUp site: it's free!

*Free Gamer MeetUp for Tweens and Teens
(Video games, board games, Legos, foosball & air hockey) Hosted by Elena Perri and Terry Peura from the ASCEND Group
*This event is free but RSVP through MeetUp.com  is required as space is limited. 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 provided.
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!


Save the Date! College Panel Night

Tuesday, April 2 from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM at Bucks County Community College, Gene & Marlene Epstein Campus at Lower Bucks, 1304 Veterans Highway, Bristol, PA 19007. 
Stay tuned for more details.

 ASCEND Professionals' Events

 Family Support Groups and Peer Group

1) Exploring Executive Functioning
Led by Laura K. Evak M.A., CCC/SLP, Speech Language Pathologist at Communiverse, this presentation will help you understand the definition and components of Executive Function (EF), increase your awareness of how EF impacts different aspects of daily living, socializing and learning, identify some indicators of EF difficulties, and a brief introduction to at least two strategies to aid in improving EF. Refreshments and Coffee Served.
Tuesday 2/26, from 6:30-8:00 PM

Peer Support Groups ... now every Tuesday!
Date: Tuesday, 2/19 Time: 6:30-8:00 PM Social Skills: BINGO
Date: Tuesday, 2/26 Time: 6:30-8:00 PM Coping Skills: How to Deal with Unpleasant Situations Hand Project - Pizza 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.
Bethel AME Church, 50 S. Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010


2) Planning for Children and Adults with Special Needs
Randi Hope Steen, Esquire of Law Offices of Randy Hope Steen, Ltd. will discuss the importance of planning for children and adults with special needs, from appropriate Wills, Special Needs Trusts, the differences between Powers of Attorney and Guardianship, the choices we have to make as our children turn 18 and become emancipated, the importance of SSI, MA and why this is the gateway to the adult service world!
Thursday, 2/21 from 6:30-8:00 PM
Refreshments and Coffee Served
Location: Coatesville Area Public Library, 501 E. Lincoln Hwy. Coatesville, PA 19320


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. 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.
Wednesday 2/20 at 6pm (TBD)
Garnet Valley High School, 552 Smithbridge Rd., Glen Mills, PA 19342


Art of Friendship


Mike Fogel's Art of Friendship

Counter-Intuitive Parenting: Helping Your Child Copy with Anxiety, Worry & Stress
2) Center City, PA - Thursday, 2/14 at 1845 Walnut St., 15th floorPhiladelphia, PA 19103


 Center for Autism Research

Center for Autism Research: Next Steps into Adolescence

-A Workshop for those supporting children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are approaching adolescence-
As children approach and enter the teenage years, they must deal with physical growth spurts, mind-boggling hormone releases, and ever-changing and challenging social relationships. Children begin to care about being "cool," and classmates may no longer be as tolerant of "differences". For pre-adolescent children with ASD, these already complicated physical and social changes are compounded by the typical ASD difficulties of reading social cues and understanding the behaviors of others. Consequently, children with ASD approaching adolescence have greater transition needs than most typically developing pre-teens. 
Date: Thursday, 2/28 from 9 AM - 4 PM at Roberts Center for Pediatric Research, 1st floor conference center, Room 1-120B, 2716 South Street , Phila, PA 19146 
Contact: Susannah Horner, LCSW or 267-426-4910


 Ongoing Groups:

Fick Educational ServicesFick 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 teamwork 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 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 Group
Contact: Admissions Coordinator, Debbie DeBenedictis, at 610-649-1080, ext 1.

Autism Diagnostics
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.

If interested, contact Reggie Candio at  
[email protected]