April 2021







Join us on Thursday, April 22 at 7:00 p.m. for a discussion with Chris Braga, talent acquisition specialist for Specialisterne USA, a non-profit social enterprise that pioneered the Autism @ Work movement in the United States. He will share information about Specialisterne USA, the organization’s recruitment/hiring process, and job opportunities. 

About Specialisterne USA:

Specialisterne USA partners with corporations, universities, high schools, and community agencies to create change by examining traditional recruiting, training and on-boarding practices to help companies to employ work ready neurodiverse talent.

Successful organizations realize standardized recruitment processes leave autistic and other neurodiverse talent behind. They know tapping into neurodiversity will bring new solutions to their teams, enhanced productivity and an increased bottom line. But understanding how to best access, recruit, onboard and manage neurodiverse talent can seem like an overwhelming endeavor.

Chris BragaAbout our presenter:

Chris Braga joined Specialisterne in late 2020 as the Talent Acquisition Manager for the United States. Chris has a diverse range of experience including entrepreneurship, sales, and IT recruiting. He has a passion for advancing the careers of candidates and helping hiring managers grow quality teams. Chris has a young son on the autism spectrum, which fuels his passion for making the employment process a more inclusive one, where everyone’s strengths and talents can shine.  




Breaking News
Double Donation 


JOIN US SUNDAY, April 18, 4:00 PM

Click on image above for more details. Register here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing information about joining the meeting.



 Free Improv Class for Adults 18+!

Upcoming sessions: Fridays, April 9 and May 7, 6:30 p.m.

You must RSVP for each session even if you have attended previous ones.

The ASCEND Group is offering an improv class led by Zoe Darazsdi and is limited to 10 participants; only a few spots left! RSVP to receive Zoom link. 

Margot Stein Virtual Support Group for Parents/Caregivers of Teens 

Third Tuesday of the month

Next Session:

April 20 from 7:00 - 8:15 PM

Watch video with Margot.

Margot Stein, marriage and family therapist, will facilitate these groups. Register at main link above: ASCEND members free, non-members: $10/session.


Ways You Can Support ASCEND


~ Make an online donation today!

~ Host a Facebook Fundraiser on your Birthday.
It's easy to set up and costs nothing!

~ Participate in United Way's Donor Choice Program (ASCEND's Donor Code is 15008)

~ Double the impact of your gift through your company's matching gift program.


Shopping online? Support ASCEND by using iGive and AmazonSmile links:

iGive website


Professional Events





Free parent virtual workshop
Taming Tantrums: Help Your Child Cope with Frustration & Anger

Meltdowns are usually caused by weak assertiveness, problem-solving, & coping skills. Well intentioned caregivers can accidentally escalate situations by using a mismatched support strategy with certain levels of frustration.
Wednesday, April 14 at 7:00 PM

1847 Financial

Upcoming Special Needs
Zoom Workshops

Our complimentary workshops are focused on empowering and educating families who have dependents with special needs. Every Wednesday at noon. Zoom link. 



Summer Adventures at Hilltop!

New! Circle Forward Esports! This program will be an option for the first 3 weeks of our camp season, and is designed to teach campers how to be successful competitive gamers. This is a full-day program that is separate from our other programs. Furthermore, due to the nature of Esports, this program will be able to run seamlessly whether in-person, virtual, or a hybrid of both.

Contact Brian Betteridge.


Camp Akeela: Autism & Asperger's Social Skills Summer Camp 

Camp Akeela is now accepting applications for in-person Summer 2021 Camp and spots are filling quickly!
See our How to Apply page for more information. Use this link to review COVID-19 plans for next summer.

Camp Pegasus Social Skills Summer Camp 2021: In Person

We are excited to share with you that we will be in person again for this upcoming camp season! We are putting strong safety measures in place and planning for every contingency!


Quaker School at Horsham Summer Enrichment Program

Our Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) is designed for children with learning disabilities who need help retaining and reinforcing skills in language arts, mathematics and social skills. Our program is designed with academic enrichment in the mornings and recreational activities in the afternoons, including swimming, art and weekly field trips.
Age Served: First-10th grades





Talking About Healthy Sexuality - Four-Part Virtual Conversation 

Temple IOD is hosting a free four-part virtual series around talking to your child, youth, or adult about healthy sexuality. All are invited to participate but the conversation will be of particular interest to parents, support coordinators, adults with disabilities, educators, and other professionals. Sessions will take place April 7-28 from 7:00-8:00 PM.

Gwynedd Mercy University Autism Institute 14th Annual Conference (Virtual)

Saturday, April 10 - Gwynedd Mercy University Autism Institute 14th Annual Conference (virtual)

Workshop breakout time 10:45 AM-12:15 PM

The Autism Institute is going virtual this year!! Gwynedd Mercy University proudly presents our first virtual conference. This year we will have over 20 one and one-half hour workshops presented by highly respected professionals in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorders. The content of the workshops is research-based best practices for working with individuals on the autism spectrum presented to an audience of professionals, preparing professionals, and family members. The event is free of charge and offers ACT48, PQAS credits, and OT CEU's. Please provide your ID numbers during registration for acknowledgment. We will also offer a voucher for lunch. 


Eagles Huddle Up for Autism to support autism care and research
This year's Huddle Up for Autism Drive-Thru event will take place at Lincoln Financial Field Stadium grounds on Saturday, April 10 and Sunday, April 11! Tickets are $20/vehicle. Purchase tickets here.


20s and 30s Philly Cheesesteaks, HappyHours, Hikes & more MeetUp presents: Time Management Summit

In this Time Management Summit, three world-class entrepreneurs will share their secrets. Get dozens of innovative tactics that deliver results — in one inspiring place. You’ll receive step-by-step instructions and easy-to-use formulas that you can use to Maximize Your Time. Our experts will share their winning strategies for success. Thursday, April 15 from 1-4 PM.



           FAMILIES CCAN Cook!
      Free Winter Sessions on Zoom

Simple meals, simple steps, great dinners with Chef Mary. Tuesdays, April 6, April 13 and April 20 at 4:30 PM.


              Adult Group Meetup:
           Zoom Conferencing Chat


This group provides an opportunity for older teens and adults (around age 18 and up) with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to meet for support, self-advocacy, networking, conversation, and fun.



  ASERT Youth and Young Adult
      Virtual Coffee Drop-in

Calling all youth and young adults! Looking for ways to speak up? Join us Thursdays from 12:00 - 12:30 PM. Email for accommodations.. 

Free ASERT Workshops

Transition Tuesdays: A Webinar Series 
Download the Trajectory and the Integrated Support.


Free Justice System Trainings

How do you support autistic individuals as they navigate the justice system? The ASERT Collaborative offers free justice system trainings led by Kate Hooven, ASERT’s Justice Training Specialist. Training topics include approaching someone with autism, searches, custody/arrest, etc. Trainings can be tailored to your group. For more information, email Kate Hooven at [email protected]




Employment for individuals with disabilities

Bender Consulting Services, Inc  provides disability employment expertise in the areas of recruitment, workplace mentoring, strategic planning, training, and digital accessibility to drive innovation and realize business value for customers.



Currently Recruiting Qualified Individuals with Disabilities 

AECOM is recruiting at its Conshohocken office for intern, 
management and engineering positions.  

AECOM brochure 

AECOM "How To Apply Online Guide"  

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© Copyright 2021 ASCEND Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Legal Disclaimer: ASCEND maintains the Professional Services Resource Directory and e-newsletter as a service to families and professionals as a reference tool. ASCEND does not endorse or claim to have personal knowledge of the abilities of those listed. The resources listed on this page are not intended as a recommendation, referral, or endorsement of any resource or as a tool for verifying the credentials, qualifications, or abilities of any organization, product or professional. Users are urged to use independent judgment when considering any resource associated with diagnosis or treatment of autism, or the provision of services related to autism.

ASCEND Group Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. We do not endorse any specific professional or therapeutic treatment. We are not meant to be a replacement for medical or legal advice. Our mission is to raise public awareness about Asperger Syndrome and related disorders, to advocate for improved education and services, and to provide support and information to the Asperger and autism community. This web site is for informational purposes only. Any link or mention on our web site should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation. If you have questions about Autism or Asperger Syndrome, please consult with a qualified medical professional.

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