November 2021






JCHAI CenterWe are meeting in person at the JCHAI Education Center, 274 S. Bryn Mawr Avenue in Bryn Mawr, PA on Sunday, November 14 at 4:00 PM. We look forward to seeing you all then! All participants are required to be vaccinated, and masks are required indoors for everyone.

Chips, Chocolate and Chat is a group of adults on the autism spectrum (ages 18+), 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.  

Parents/caregivers meet in a separate room to discuss various issues and provide support to one another. 

Free Webinar with Mike Fogel:
Three Strategies to Turn Negative-Depressive Thinking Positive, to Feel Better and Succeed

The pessimist always prepares for the worst, and that may protect you from disappointment. Good, right? But there is a downside to negative thinking. Anticipating that things will not work out (“I’m not going to try that; it’ll probably stink.”) or that you are not worthy of love or friendship can make you avoid opportunities.

Negative thought cycles can cause depression and release cortisol into the body, which causes myriad health problems and shortens lives. You’re stressed out! Negative thinking can hold you back from the good life you deserve and lead to depression. But how do we transform negative thoughts when things can be challenging and life is extra complicated during COVID?

Learn three doable strategies inspired by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that can reframe your daily perspective and habits. Promote your mental and physical health and success by “getting in the now,” shifting to realistic and grateful thoughts, letting go of toxic thoughts and experiences, and relaxation.

Tuesday, November 9 at 7:00 PM


This webinar will be recorded, and the recording will be available to registrants after the live session.


Teen MeetUp this Sunday!

Fun and Striking up Friendships!
Sunday, October 31 from 3:00 to 5:00 PM
Earl Bowl Lanes, Quakertown

Is bowling is up your alley? Then join Jenna and Ryan Morrison for a fun afternoon of bowling at Earl Bowl Lanes for teens 14 to 18 years old. Participants will pay for their own bowling expenses. RSVP/join MeetUp here.



Margot Stein Virtual Support Group for Parents/Caregivers of Teens 

Third Tuesday of the month (November 16)

7:00 - 8:30 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.

The Philadelphia Autism Project funded this program. To learn more, visit


Happy birthday
Celebrating a birthday this fall?

Support the ASCEND Group by hosting a Facebook Fundraiser!
It's easy to set up and doesn't cost anything!

We greatly appreciate your support!


Professional Member
Sessions & Events




Special Needs Workshop:

Some topics of discussion:

-SECURE Act and it's tax-planning ramifications
Roth Conversions - why to not let COVID create a diversion on a potentially timely conversion!
-Estate Planning in a virtual world - yes you can!
-What will insurance planning look like on the other side of Coronavirus?
-Let 2020 be a learning lesson on how to navigate this again when it matters - IN retirement.
-Grandparents - the do's the don'ts to -Multigenerational Legacy Planning
-Plus more!


Tuesday November 2 at 7:00 PM
Zoom link. Password: 11111
Hosted by: Carousel Connections


Wednesday November 3 at 2:00 PM
Email Pat for details!
Host: American College of Financial Services








1) Next Steps for Families 

Evidence Based Interventions

This workshop is geared towards parents/caregivers of toddlers through elementary school-aged children who have recently been diagnosed with ASD. Topics will include an overview of Applied Behavioral Analysis, Speech and Language Therapy interventions and Occupational Therapy interventions. Presentations will be followed by an “Ask the Expert Panel” and discussion.

Wednesday, November 17 from 1:00 - 3:00 PM


2) REACH for College Program

This program is for high school students with chronic illness who are planning to go to college. This session will focus on diagnoses like autism spectrum disorder. Students, ages 15 to 19, and their parents/ caregivers will learn about available resources and discuss how to create a healthcare plan.

Wednesday, November 10 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Location: Virtual

This workshop includes:
Discussions about developing self-care and self-advocacy skills
A presentation from healthcare providers who work with teens and young adults
Youth and caregiver specific sessions

This program encourages open, free speech from parents/ caregivers and children. It is requested that teens and parents each participate on their own device. Two $100 gift cards will be raffled! Register for a chance to win!

RSVP by Halloween, Oct. 31 to [email protected] or 267-426-5569. When responding, please include:
-You are attending REACH for College
-The name of the youth and parent(s)/ caregiver(s) planning to participate
-The best email/ phone number to contact for information.




The Growth Opportunity Center in Southampton and Huntingdon Valley

New groups starting September!

We are running in-person social groups: children and teen groups for ages 5 to 18, creating a positive and fun, welcoming climate. We are also putting together a young adult group, focusing on the challenges of transitioning from high school to higher education or the work world, as well as navigating relationships of all kinds.





 Free Webinar


Social-Emotional Guidebook Part 2:
Transform Nonfunctional/Unacceptable Behavior to Positive Coping & Cooperation with Strategic Rewards, Limits & Consequences

Did you know that effective and strategic use of rewards and consequences can get your child unstuck and accelerate social, emotional and behavioral improvement? This presentation debunks incorrect myths and assumptions about behavior, then teaches a range of reward-consequence programs for mild to challenging behavior at home or school. The emphasis is on lovingly teaching children and teens to decrease disruptive, ineffective, or unkind behaviors, and replace them with positive replacement behaviors.

November 11
Contact Mike for Zoom link. 





  Coffee Lovers and Employees Needed!

Local nonprofit New Avenue Foundation has opened its second business in Newtown Square. It is called Our Community Cup Coffee where they roast coffee with kindness. Stop by for your coffee needs. They also are looking for employees with disabilities. Reach out directly to Jim Wurster about openings. 

There also will be a re-opening of Our Community Cup Coffeehouse on Friday nights. It has been a great place for more than six and a half years for families and caregivers and people with disabilities and the entire community.


Philadelphia Family Voices (PFV) is hiring for an ASD Family Peer Navigator!

PFV is Philadelphia’s first and only family-legacy organization. As a family legacy organization, the mission of Philadelphia Family Voices is families helping families navigate and improve child-serving systems by creating opportunities for education, empowerment and support. Learn more about this position here! 



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 brochure 

AECOM "How To Apply Online Guide"  



Have you or someone in your family attended a free webinar or program that ASCEND offered this year?

If so, please consider making a donation to the ASCEND Group!

All contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extend of the law. 

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

If you would like to share our ASCEND Group enewsletter, please use this link.






 Philadelphia Autism Project Conference

We are excited to announce that the 2021 Annual Philadelphia Autism Project Conference: Rethinking, Reimagining, Resilience will be held virtually from Wednesday, November 17 - Friday, November 19. We are excited to bring together Philadelphia community members to share information, resources, and community initiatives while highlighting the lived experiences of autistic individuals and their family members. 

Register here.

IEP Training Series for Parents

Every Tuesday at 7:00 PM through November 16 (no training on November 2). Free training with topics including: understanding educational records, measurable goals and objectives, evaluations for education and more! Register here or contact Lisa Johnson at [email protected] or 215-229-4550, ext. 130.

Platt Student Performing Arts House


November 4 - 20
We're on a mission to help students and community members see more PAC shows!

It's quick and easy to request a seat! Here are a few tips!
Ticket requests are accepted until noon on the Monday of the week of the the offered performance. (The performance will disappear from the possible show selections.) Read more at above link.



MADE (Movement, Access, Dance, Enrichment)

This free class is designed specifically for students ages 10-16 with developmental disabilities and offered by the Philadelphia Ballet. The class will be held on Saturdays from 1:00 - 2:00 PM through December 18 at the School of the Philadelphia Ballet Studio, 323 North Broad St. in Philadelphia. There is no cost associated with this class. For more information, contact Jourdan Cooper at [email protected] or register here.

Special Olympics Young Athletes

This FREE early childhood play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities, ages 2 to 7 years old, introduces basic sport skills like running, kicking and throwing. Young Athletes offers families, teachers, caregivers and people from the community the chance to share the joy of sports with all children. Families can register for the Philadelphia Young Athletes program and join our mailing list here. A virtual Young Athletes Festival hosted by Villanova University’s Fall Fest Committee will be held on Sunday, November 7 at 10:00 a.m. Register here. 



Families CCAN hosts a free virtual cooking class on Tuesdays from 4:30 to 5:30 PM. Recipe & supplies list will be sent once you register. 




SNUGS is a non-profit, national organization, with a student group chapter of the organization at the University of Pennsylvania. Our group's core mission will focus on decreasing the number of drownings among children with special needs, which is the number one cause of death for children with intellectual disabilities. By providing free swim instruction, we believe we can make a huge difference.

Many university campuses, such as the University of Pennsylvania, are situated near low-income communities, where specialized swimming lessons are too expensive for financially-burdened parents with disabled children. Special Needs Undergraduate Swim Lessons (SNUGS) brings free, one-on-one, personalized water safety and technique clinics to these areas. SNUGS is also currently active at Yale University, University of California-Davis, Amherst College, Cornell University, Georgetown University, Rutgers University, MIT and Wagner College and is still expanding.

See flyer for more details. 



The High School Youth Preparation for Higher Education Program (HYPE)

The Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Southeastern Pennsylvania Autism Resource Center (SPARC) and Devereux Pennsylvania Community Adult Autism Partnership Program (CAAPP) programs have partnered with West Chester University to create a specialized program for high school students with
autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

The goal of our High School Youth Preparation for Higher Education (HYPE) program is to provide students with ASD meaningful educational activities and supports, enabling them to maximize their independence and help them become
prepared for university life.

For more information and how to contact us, please click this link.

Fathers' Autism Support Group 

The AJ Drexel Autism Institute is excited to offer a free support group for fathers with children on the autism spectrum in partnership with Dr. Robert Naseef and Dr. Michael Hannon. The group meets virtually at 11:00 AM on the third Saturday of every month. Email [email protected] for more information. Learn more about upcoming meeting dates here.




              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 on Thursdays from 12:00 - 12:30 PM. Email for accommodations.. 

Free ASERT Workshops
Download the Trajectory and the Integrated Support.


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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.

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