January 2016
Volume 8, Issue 1

In This Issue...

  1. Message from ASCEND's President
  2. New Professional Members
  3. Professional Member News & Events
  4. Other ASD Events
  5. In the Media
  6. Things we Like


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ASCEND Group Inc.
610-449-6776 via email www.ascendgroup.org




Message from ASCEND's President

To all: Happy New Year! I hope you all have dug yourselves out from the recent blizzard.

January is a great month for hibernation, especially when we have many inches of snowfall. Lucky for us, there are many new books worth reading and other entertainment to keep us busy while we hunker down. This enews is full of suggestions.

For example, check out "Autism in Love," a documentary that recently aired on PBS and is now available online for your viewing pleasure. A new book isfor consideration for your autism reading list. In a Different Key: The Story of Autism has received lots of media attention for its chronicling of the darker side of autism history. Or listen to family members sharing their perspectives on a diverse menu of topics on NPR, including processing a new ASD diagnosis and how different families experience autism.

As I mentioned in our last edition of enews, ASCEND's board members came together for a retreat recently. Soon we'll fill you in on our revised mission statement. Stay tuned! And stay warm.


Maleita Olson
ASCEND President 


New Professional Members

Therapy Bridges 
Contact:  Elizabeth Pfeiffer
5940 Hamilton Blvd, Ste B, Allentown, PA 18106
(610) 395-2880 or [email protected]
This provider offers private and school-based occupational, physical, and speech therapy services for both children and adults. Their mission is to provide services that are contextually focused and utilize best practices that are evidence-based. Assessment and intervention processes are implemented to support the individual, as well as family members and school personnel, to enhance quality of life and participation in meaningful daily activities and interactions. Therapists have advanced training in sensory Integration, neuro-development treatment, myofascial release, listening programs, vision therapy, yoga, feeding and social skills interventions.


Professional Member News & Events

Professional Member Social Groups,
Support Groups and Workshops


Professional Members' Research 



Professional Member Events:                                  



2 Be Social Learning Center
Navigating and Negotiating the Social World
Tues, 2/16

Center for Autism Research
Next Steps into Adolescence
Thu, 2/25


To Our ASEND Professional Members: Please be sure to submit listings for the enews by logging in to the ASCEND website and completing a "Submit Event" or "Submit Service" form. Please submit those events and services no later than the last day of the month prior to the next month's enews.


Other ASD News & Events

Kinney Center's Adult Skills Program
Mondays, 2/15-4/25
This program at St. Joe's University provides instruction and independent living skills.  


In the Media

Seeing the Spectrum: A new history of autism 
The New Yorker, 1/25/16
From the article: "The world has always been unpredictable and disorderly, and some people have always found its ways unbearable. But there hasn't always been autism or its related categories, Aspergers syndrome and (the current official term) autism-spectrum disorder."


In a Different Key: The Story of Autism (book review)
The Guardian, 1/17/16
From the article: "The authors delve into the dark era of institutionalisation, stories of rival American autism charities and their campaigns for schooling, rights and research. The often toxic infighting between charities, educationalists, researchers, parents and activists is examined at exhaustive length."

Moving Past the "Asperger Syndrome" Label
ADDitude, 1/15/16

From the article: "Having one term to describe all kinds of autism is a big step toward recognizing each childs individual strengths, and focusing attention on the kind of care that is most needed. Changing the debate about individual labels allows parents and providers to focus on the services needed by each child."

Documenting a Friends Daily Life With Aspergers Syndrome 
Slate, 1/4/16

From the article: "For the last two years, Christian Wilbur has
been photographing Kelsey, a high school friend he met when they were both in the viola section of the schools chamber orchestra."

After The Diagnosis: How Families Experience Autism 
NPRs Weekend Edition, 1/17/16 

From the broadcast: "Raising kids is rewarding and raising kids is hard. That work is compounded when you have a child with autism. And each of these families experiences the disorder differently.On Saturday, we heard four parents share the moment they learned their children had autism, and the signs that led them to seek a doctor's opinion. Now, we learn their experience following the diagnoses, the resources they found and help they still need."


The Mysterious Link Between Autism and Extraordinary Abilities
The Atlantic, 1/15/15

From the article: "Savant syndrome is a loose term that refers to people who have a combination of significant cognitive difficulties, often stemming from autism, and profound skillsislands of genius, in the words of Wisconsin-based psychiatrist Darold Treffert, an independent scholar who has studied savants for more than half a century."


Autism Speaks Names New President
Disability Scoop, 1/15/16

From the article: "The nations largest autism advocacy group is getting a new leader whos ripe with experience from some of the nonprofit sectors biggest names. Angela Timashenka Geiger will take over as president and CEO of Autism Speaks in February, the organization said this week."

History of Autism in America
Smithsonian Magazine, 1/16
From the article: "A surprising new historical analysis suggests that a pioneering doctor was examining people with autism before the Civil War."


Things We Like 

Recent NPR Podcasts on Autism
Several interesting stories on autism have been
broadcast on NPR this month. Click and search for "autism" to listen to stories about Hans Asperger, receiving the diagnosis, Hans Asperger and more.

Independent Lens: Autism in Love 
This moving PBS documentary filmed in a
highly personal style offers a warm and stereotype-shattering look at
four people as they pursue and manage romantic relationships.

New Sci-Fi for Middle Schoolers: Bounders #1
This first book in a sci-fi series features 12-year-old
Jasper and his neurodiverse group of friends. From Goodreads: "After being bullied back on Earth, Jasper is thrilled to have something new and different to do with other kids who are more like him. While learning all about the new technologies and taking classes in mobility otherwise known as flying with jet-packsJasper befriends the four other students in his pod and finally feels like he has found his place in the world."

Autism Speaks List of Films about Autism
Looking for a good film on autism? Check out this list of documentaries, comedies, dramas and more. Links will direct you to purchase films or watch them on websites like YouTube. Enjoy!



ASCEND Group Inc. P.O. Box 2097
Media, PA 19063
[email protected]