May 2018


ASCEND Events 

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., 5/6 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

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., 5/6 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 Adult Meet Up

  • When: Sun., 5/20 at 4:00 PM
  • Where: Food Court at the Willow Grove Mall
  • What: Have lunch together at your own cost at the Food Court (many different options) followed by window shopping
  • Who: Adults with ASD (recommended age, 18+)

Highlight on an ASCEND Professional:

Fick Educational ServicesFick Educational Services

Fick Educational Services, LLC offers tutoring - specializing in functional reading and math skills, social skills groups, executive functioning skills courses, and advocacy services. Services are provided in any of our three offices: West Chester, Downingtown, and Media. All services are offered as individual or group sessions. Our staff of certified teachers individualizes each session tailored to the client's needs and goals. Fick Educational Services, LLC specializes in serving both young children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The main office is at 17 Turner Lane, West Chester, PA 19380 with newly opened satellite offices in Media and Downingtown. Check out our website at or call us at 610-457-2199 for more information. 


The ASCEND Group is happy to welcome three new board members: 

Sandy Shacklady-White, M.Ed, has been employed since May 2017 as an educational consultant with the Pennsylvania Department of Education: Bureau of Special Education's Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) based out of the PaTTAN-East office. Sandy is currently on state special education initiatives for Autism, Leadership, Procedural Safeguards & Behavior. Additionally, she is a on the statewide team for Pennsylvania's ESSA implementation, especially section 4 of the PA plan for school accountability and improvement efforts.

Prior to working PaTTAN, Sandy was a special education supervisor for nearly 12 years, working with all grades in public schools. Sandy also was a special education teacher for almost 18 years in a public middle school and an approved private school. In addition, she was an adjunct faculty member at West Chester University for seven years in the undergraduate special education program. Sandy is a member of CHADD, ASCD, PASCD, PA CTESP, Penn ABA, Chester County Reading Association, CEC, and a board member at large for PA CEC.  She is currently in the dissertation phase for her doctorate degree via Arcadia University. Sandy is passionate about all things special ed! She lives in Coatesville with her husband of 29 years and two furry children (cats). 

Susan Paul

Susan Paul is an ASHA-certified speech/language pathologist with over 30 years of experience. She attended the University of Maryland and received her B.A. and M.A. from Temple University in addition to earning her teaching certificate from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.As a private practitioner, Susan has consulted with child growth and development centers, schools, and early intervention programs, and has provided individual and group therapy, including social communication groups.

In her private practice, Communication Imaging, LLC, she and her associates pride themselves in fostering effective and functional communication techniques by utilizing a team approach while drawing upon individuals' strengths. Susan is an expert in the field of autism and was featured on Friendly Neighborhoods, a cable television program produced by La Salle University. Susan has presented workshops to both professionals and laypeople on the topic of autism/social communication and early language, learning and literacy development.

Andrea Kirshenbaum

Andrea M. Kirshenbaum is the Chair of Post & Schell, P.C.'s Wage and Hour Practice Group, a Principal in its Employment & Employee Relations Practice Group. She defends employers nationally in federal and state court litigation involving all major employment statutes, represents them in related government investigations, and counsels them proactively on compliance with these statutes. She is a member of the Forum of Executive Women and serves on the Boards of the ASCEND Group Inc. and OROT.


ASCEND Professional Members'
Summer Camps & Sessions

Autism Spectrum Diagnostics & Consulting | Autism Spectrum Diagnostics & Consulting, Dr. Mary Cohen
200 S. Clinton St. Suite 201, Doylestown, PA 18901

Lego-based Social Skills Group Summer Session in Doylestown, PA - Openings for Children Ages 6-7, 8-9, 10-12, and 13-15 Lego-Based Therapy, or Lego-Club as it called by group members, is an evidenced-based treatment where children develop skills through collaboration on group projects through the use of Lego. Group members collaborate on building sets, free style projects, and creating and producing short stop-action films. Groups are developed based on the child's age, language abilities, and goals for the group.
Contact Number: 215-230-3616
Email: [email protected]

Camp Akeela, Debbie and Eric Sasson, Directors
1 Thoreau Way, Thetford Center, VT. 05075

Camp Akeela is a co-ed, overnight sleepaway camp with locations in Vermont and Wisconsin. Within a well-rounded, traditional camp program, Akeela is a small, supportive community that helps campers improve their social skills. Our campers are bright, creative boys and girls ages 9 - 18 who have difficulty connecting with their peers. Many, but not all, of our campers have been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome or a non verbal learning disability. We offer top-notch instruction in dozens of activities, from swimming and boating to outdoor adventure, farm & garden, community service, athletics and an extensive arts program. Campers take comfort in the structure and predictability of the program, but also thrive when given a chance to pick their own activities. Akeela is an intentional community that values and celebrates each child and staff member. Campers make lifelong friends, develop self-confidence, achieve independence, feel pride in their accomplishments, and leave camp with lasting memories filled with fun and spirit. Camp Akeela: where quirky campers thrive!
Vermont: Two sessions of 3.5 weeks each. Wisconsin: Two sessions of two weeks each.
Contact Number: 866-680-4744
Email: [email protected]


Image result for camp pegasusCamp Pegasus/Art of Friendship Social Skills Program
Michael Fogel, Founder/Director
Office: 600 Haverford Rd. Ste G-101, Haverford, PA 19041

The Art of Friendship Social Skills Program (AoF) provides social-coping skills groups for children & teens ages 4-19. Mike Fogel's AoF curriculum (also used at Camp Pegasus) offers clear and memorable social-coping skills lessons. Participants and campers experience modeling & role play, conversation practice, team-building activities, free play or group projects, depending on the age and development level of the group. Great attention and care is given to ensure that children are placed with appropriate peers, ensuring maximum success. During the school year, girls groups & boys groups are available in Ardmore, Paoli, Plymouth Meeting & Center City. In summertime, Camp Pegasus provides a magical, transformational social experience.
Contact Number: 610-649-1080, ext. 4
Email: [email protected]


Image result for carousel connectionsCarousel Connections
Amy McCann, Program Director
P.O. Box 36665, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Carousel Connections provides community experiences and training for teenagers and young adults focusing on next steps and building independence in the home, on the job, and on the go! At Carousel Connections, opportunities are provided to learn, maintain, and improve skills through participation in vocational training, independent living mentoring, and recreational activities. Programs include a six week residential summer experience based on the campus of Haverford College, adventure weekends to the Pocono mountains, and family and individual consulting to share resources related to the transition process and supporting program goals within the home. This fall, Carousel Connections launched community crews and volunteer day experiences to further develop vocational skills, build independence and self confidence, nurture relationships with organizations and community partners in the area, and foster inclusive living-learning experiences. 

Using creative and positive techniques, Carousel Connections offers varied opportunities for individuals to learn. Program goals include: Opportunities that provide life skills training to further support independence and build self confidence, Opportunities that provide vocational training experiences that may be used in employment, Authentic and inclusive living/learning experiences and activities, Coordination with families and individuals during the transition process that connects individuals to community resources, An experience with community living on a college campus
Contact Number: 215-948-2527
Email: [email protected]


Fick Educational Services Fick Educational Services, LLC
Cris Fick, owner
The main office is at 17 Turner Lane, West Chester, PA 19380 with newly-opened satellite offices in Media and Downingtown. 

Don't want your kids sitting around all summer long? Hoping your child doesn't lose his desire to learn over the next few months? Want to continue addressing some of those IEP goals throughout the summer in a relaxed setting? Check out our summer camps and courses to see which one works best for your child. Fick Educational Services (FES) offers themed half day camps for kids ages 4-14. This year's themes include: Space Exploration, Minecraft and Modding; Little Picasso and Mini Monet, and Lego Camp, among others! In addition to our half-day themed camps, we also offer a Study Skills camp, an SAT/ACT prep course, and a Math Refresher course. 
With over 20 years of experience, we continiue to provide support for children with all learning styles and needs. Our staff can work on specific IEP goals and incorporate them into camp activities upon request. 
Phone: 610-457-2199
Email: [email protected]

Image result for hill top preparatory schoolHill Top Preparatory School
Meredith R. Fitzpatrick, Director of
Enrollment Management

737 South Ithan Avenue, Rosemont, PA 19010

Hill Top Summer Camp is a traditional day camp and travel program for campers entering grades 2nd through 9th who may have one or more of the following diagnoses: ADD/ADHD, NVLD, high-functioning Asperger's Syndrome and social skill needs.
Contact Number: 610-527-3230
Email: [email protected]

Kesselman Clinical Associates

Paul Kesselman, Clinical Psychologist
237 W Lancaster Ave, Devon, PA 19333

Teen Group: A group where teens learn and practice social skills while processing their own social emotional experiences in their day to day lives. The focus of the group is in empowering teens to increase their social competence and confidence. This is a social skills group that helps to empower children and teach them how to increase their social skills and abilities. Specific skills focus on self-esteem building, problem solving, dealing with special issues such as bullying and teasing, and stress coping. Role playing is used in group to help children learn and practice skills. Each child receives a binder with useful materials theirs to keep. The Back to school group helps children transition back to school.

Expressive Arts Therapy Group for children 8-10 and 10-13 years old. Children will have the opportunity to use the creative arts to express their inner emotions. Children will use drawing, writing, and other forms of creativity to improve communication, increase social skills and enhance their self-esteem. Each child is given a binder of wonderful resources to Social skills group (8 week summer group) This is a social skills group that helps to empower children and teach them how to increase their social skills and abilities. Specific skills focus on self-esteem building, problem solving, dealing with special issues such as bullying and teasing, and stress coping. Each child receives a binder of therapeutic materials.
Contact Number: 610-687-8200
Email: [email protected]


Social Enrichment Center
Elizabeth Roberts, Director
542 Wesley Road, Springfield, PA 19064

Summer Programs available all summer June to September. Half Day and Full Day Options. Back to School Readiness for ages 2-18. Flexible Scheduling Available. Choose from 2, 3 or 4 mornings. We offer hourly sessions throughout the summer to work on goals specific to each individual child or adolescent. Sessions can meet weekly for one hour or more depending on availability.
Contact Number: 610-853-2898
Email: [email protected]


Spectra Support Services
Maleita Olson, Co-Founder, Executive Director
475 Lawrence Rd, Broomall, PA 19008

Our children's supports begin at diagnosis and focus on familiarizing the family with the diagnosis and complimenting early intervention, wrap-around, community and school-based services. We help prepare for increasing academic, emotional, and social demands. We educate the about the interplay between adolescence and other challenges they face and assist in building a bridge to adult supports. We partner with adults and their families to develop a plan toward independence. We offer sibling-specific programs and seminars for siblings age 6 to adult. For caregivers, we offer parenting resources, support groups, seminars and tips to help you support and attend to the needs of each member of the family. 
Contact Number: 484-450-6476
Email: [email protected]


Image result for the Summit Camp & Travel paSummit Camp & Travel
Gene Bell, Senior Director
322 Route 46 West, Suite 210, Parsippany, NJ. 07054

Summit Camp serves campers ages 8-19 who have issues of ASD, Asperger's Syndrome, and/or HFA. Based on a traditional camp program, campers find program success ,social skills improvement and emotional growth in a supportive environment that is fun and exciting. Our school year Weekender program offers regional youth group like weekends that also foster social skills and friendships. 

Camp provides a summer sleep away camp experience for boys and girls, ages 8-19, who have issues of attention. These may include Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD and/or ADHD), ASD, Asperger's syndrome, awkward social skills, High Functioning Autism, verbal or non-verbal learning disabilities (NVLD), and/or mild social or emotional concerns. Summit Travel works with older children, ages 15-19, who have similar issues. At the same time offers more directed interpersonal social skills, transition and life skills and an appreciation of group touring and adventure travel. The Weekender Program offers school year weekends, day events, and vacation programs designed to foster peer relationships and enhance social skills.
Contact Number: 973-732-3226
Email: [email protected]


Image result for the pathway schoolThe Pathway School
Diana Phifer, Director of Admissions & Marketing
162 Egypt Road, Jeffersonville, PA 19403

The Pathway School provides a six-week Extended School Year program allowing students to enjoy time with their existing friends and make new ones while developing skills that will increase their independence academically, socially and emotionally. Themed learning promotes creative thinking, flexibility and problem solving through hands-on learning and community integration.
Contact Number: 610-277-0660, ext. 289
Email: [email protected]

Image result for the quaker school at horshamThe Quaker School at Horsham
Alex Brosowsky, Head of School
250 Meetinghouse Rd, Horsam, PA 19044

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. Each child will receive individualized enrichment and reinforcement taught in very small groups. Our program is designed with academic enrichment in the mornings and recreational activities in the afternoons, including swimming, art, drama, music, wood shop, technology and weekly field trips.
Contact Number: 215-674-2875
Email: [email protected]

Valley Forge Educational Services logoValley Forge Educational Services and Adult Employment Services
Juliann Jaffe, Director of Marketing
and Communications
1777 North Valley Road, Malvern, PA 19355

Summer Matters offers educational and recreational programming for young people, 5-21 years of age, with learning challenges and special needs. Programs include Summer L.I.F.E., three ESY programs, respite and recreation programs and a Vocational Immersion Program, all of which build on participant's interests to help them succeed, learn and grow.

Contact Number: 610-296-6725, ext. 116
Email: [email protected]

 ASCEND Professional MemberEvents

Sibshops at Spectra

Join other kids ages 6-12 who have the shared experience of being the sibling of an individual with a disability for an afternoon of fun and conversation. In honor of Autism Awareness month, this month is Free!
Fri., 4/27, from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM 
Spectra Support Services, LLC, 475 Lawrence Rd., Broomall, PA 19008

Valley Forge Educational Services logo Valley Forge Community Day
A sensory-friendly event with activities for the whole family. Free!
Sat., 4/28 from 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Valley Forge Educational Services Activities Center, 1777 North Valley Rd., Malvern, PA 19355

Life on the Spectrum
A discussion with Dina Bruno, star of the movie "Dina" and a panel of self-advocates will address a variety of topics that affect adults on the autism spectrum.
Sun., 5/6 from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM 
Ruttenberg Autism Center
1740 Walton Road, 1st Floor, Blue Bell, PA 19422
Attendance is free, but please RSVP to [email protected].

 Fick Educational ServicesFick Educational Services

We are excited to inform you that we will be starting a new  Study  Skills and Executive Function class. The class is being offered at two different times.  We have a 10-week class beginning on Monday, 5/7 at 6 PM as well as a Thursday evening class beginning on Thursday, May 10 at 6 PM. 
Our  study  skills course takes place over a 10-week period with a different topic covered each week. The cost for the course is $650 per student. Siblings are half price ($325). Course size is limited to eight students. This is an excellent course for students who need organizational help, reading strategies, goal planning, time management, among many other  study  skills and executive functional strategies.  
The targeted age group for this course includes students in 5th grade through high school. This class benefits all types of learners and strategies can be applied to all  studies in school and homework time. The price includes a binder with all the information that is covered in the course. Your child will be able to bring this binder home and keep it as a convenient reference tool for  studying and strategies to be used throughout each school year.
Please call the office at  610-457-2199 with any questions.

  Next Steps into Adolescence
Join CHOP experts and a panel of parents on  Tuesday, May 22 for a daylong workshop for families of pre-teens on the autism spectrum as we tackle the social, physical, hormonal, and diagnostic changes that accompany puberty, and begin to consider ASD as a life-long diagnosis that requires a life-long plan.

Tues., 5/22 from 9 AM - 4 PM
Location:  Roberts Center for Pediatric Research 
2716 South Street
2nd Floor Conference Room 2-180
Philadelphia, PA 19146

Contact: Susannah Horner, LCSW, 267-426-4910

Next Steps Workshop for Professionals

This workshop is geared towards professionals who work with  toddlers through elementary school-aged children  who have recently been diagnosed with ASD. Parents/caregivers are also welcome to attend.

Wed., 5/30 from 9 AM - 4 PM
Location:  Roberts Center for Pediatric Research 
2716 South Street
,  2nd Floor Conference Room 2-180
Philadelphia, PA 19146

Contact: Susannah Horner, LCSW, 267-426-4910

Local ASD Events & News

Child Guidance Resource Center Wellness Event

An event to offer information about community resources for families. Vendors will be available. 
Mon., 4/30 from 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM at the Eastwick Library, 2851 Island Ave., Phila, PA 19153
For more information, contact Shari Sims: 267-713-4100, ext. 3522.

Annual Legislative Breakfast

The Arc of Chester County cordially invites you to attend our Annual Legislative Breakfast. Join us for an opportunity to meet and dialog about issues facing individuals with disabilities and their families. 

Fri., 5/4 from 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM at the Arc of Chester County, 900 Lawrence Dr., West Chester, PA 19380
Register today by calling Laura Fabiani 610-696-8090, ext. 216 or via email

Autism Sharing and Parenting (*ASP) Session:  The New Waiver System in PA: The changes, the process and what it means to you, presented by Philadelphia Intellectual Disability Services.
Wed., 5/16 from 6 PM - 8 PM at 
CBH, 801 Market,  7th Floor, Phila., PA 19107

ASP greatly appreciates your RSVP! 215-413-7106 or email. 
 *ASP is a volunteer run, 501 (c) 3, community-based network for children and young adults with a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Autism Society Greater Philadelphia and AMC: Sensory - Friendly Movies

AMC is proud to partner with the Autism Society to bring you unique movie showings where you can feel free to be you! We turn the lights up, and turn the sound down, so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing! 

4/28 Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero
5/5 & 5/12 Avengers: Infinity War
5/22 Deadpool
5/26 Showdogs

42nd Annual Philadelphia Regional Conference on Developmental Disabilities

The 42nd Annual Philadelphia Regional Conference on Developmental Disabilities is a forum to discuss areas of mutual concern, foster partnerships and keep abreast of current programs.

Things We Like

Sesame Place is the World's First Themepark to become Certified Autism Center
From by Christina Capatides

Sesame Place -- Pennsylvania's "Sesame Street"-themed amusement park -- has just become the world's first amusement park designated as a certified autism center. The park announced the news on Facebook this Monday, in honor of Autism Awareness Day, writing: "It's our goal to provide every family with an enjoyable and memorable visit, and we are proud to offer specialized services to guests with autism and other special needs."

The theme park partnered with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to ensure that all its staff members received autism sensitivity and awareness training in areas like sensory awareness, motor skills, program development, social skills, communication, environment and emotional awareness. All of its rides are now ranked on a special sensory guide from one to 10.

Wells Fargo becomes First PA Arena to Accommodate Sensory Issues

The Wells Fargo Center has partnered with the nationally recognized non-profit KultureCity to ensure an accommodating and positive experience for guests who may have sensory issues. The partnership is an effort to create an inclusive and welcoming experience for fans of the Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers.

Individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD or other similar conditions are often those that experience issues with sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation.

Local Teen with Autism Shares Experience Flying Alone for the First Time
From by Shawnette Wilson

 - Ben Hartranft-also known as the mayor of North Penn High School-happens to have autism, and he wants to shed light on what it means to be on the spectrum. The 19-year-old recently experienced a life "first" when he flew on a plane by himself. He lights up talking about his first time flying on a plane without his parents.


Attention ASCEND Members:

One of the benefits of being an ASCEND member is the ability to access recordings of our recent informative sessions regarding employment and individuals on the autism spectrum:

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

To view/listen to these recordings, login on our site at the top right corner which will take you to the Member Landing Page. If you have forgotten your username/password, please let us know.


In the Media

Royals Sign Player Believed to be First Professional Baseball Player with Autism
From royalsreview by Max Rieper

Typically the signing of a minor league player out of an obscure independent league would not make headlines. But Tarik El-Abour is not quite your ordinary minor league player. An outfielder who spent last season playing in the Empire League, El-Abour recently signed a deal with the Royals. Signing a contract with a Major League team requires surmounting incredible odds for most ballplayers. But for El-Abour, it means overcoming even more. He is believed to be the first professional ballplayer with autism.

More Colleges Create Support, Opportunity for Students with Autism
From disabilityscoop by Candace Ferrett

Sean Culkin was diagnosed with autism as a young boy. With support and help, he coped socially and emotionally through his childhood and teenage years - until he graduated from high school.

"When I hit college, my life changed. Structure couldn't be provided by my family and other groups I had known for years," said Culkin, 23, of Rockville Centre, N.Y. "I had to find it myself, and that's when everything went downhill for me."

This College Alternative Only Makes Money If You Make A Salary
From: by Ainsley Harris

Rather than saddle students with debt, MissionU charges grads 15% of their pre-tax income for three years.

Some college students are there for the keggers. Others want to live amid the library stacks in a state of academic bliss. But the majority of students? They are there because they want to find good jobs.


Research Studies

In the interest of promoting autism awareness, we feel it is important to help spread the word about autism spectrum research studies that are being conducted in our area. For the first time, we are giving individuals and organizations the opportunity to advertise their research studies in future ASCEND e-newsletters and on our website, for a nominal fee without first becoming ASCEND members. Use this Research Study Form to submit your study. 

Young Children's Knowledge About General Event Representations

Our research will allow us to better understand the way children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) think about routine social events, which may help to inform treatment options that help children to better recall their knowledge about the sequence of expected activities in everyday events. This knowledge can help them predict upcoming actions and thus to participate appropriately during these events. What are we doing? Studying the event knowledge of children with ASD, 6 to 12 years old, for a number of familiar routine, social events, as well as less familiar social events.
Your child will be given a small toy and your family will also be entered into a raffle to receive one of eight $25 Amazon gift-cards. For additional information, please click on the title link.
If you are interested in the study please contact the principal investigator, Stephanie Ruggiero, MA, at (516) 547-7897 or by email to schedule a time to participate in the study.

The Impact of Traits on Social Cognition Study
The goal of this Drexel University study is to learn how people understand moving shapes. This includes how thoughts, feelings, and experiences influence what people see. We are looking for adolescents and adults ages 16-35 years with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to help with this project. Participation is voluntary. You will answer questions, watch videos of moving shapes, and complete tasks on a computer. You can complete all study tasks at the AJ Drexel Autism Institute (AJDAI) in Philadelphia, PA. Alternatively, our study team may be able to come to your home to complete tasks.  All tasks will take about four hours with breaks. You can complete all tasks during one visit or two shorter visits. You will earn up to $20 for your time. Your contribution may improve our knowledge of how people understand and relate to each other. Contact Information: Lauren Bradstreet or call 215-571-4874.


Young Children's Knowledge About Categories of Foods
I am studying the ability of children, ages 7-12, with an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis to categorize food items. This study has relevance for discovering how we can help our children be more flexible thinkers in everyday life. If you are interested in participating, the following is asked of you and your child: 1. Your child will complete a short cognitive ability test (i.e., IQ test). 2. Your child will then complete a fun categorization task during which he or she will be shown pictures of a food item and asked which of two other food items are the same kind of food as the first item. 3. You will be asked to fill out a 3-part questionnaire (i.e., demographic information, 2 measures assessing autism symptoms). It should take no longer than 50 minutes for all parts to be completed. We can meet at a quiet and convenient location for you. Contact information: Lauren Steinbeck, M.A or call 732-947-6395.



Transportation Study
We are looking for people who are 18 years and older with developmental disabilities to complete a survey asking questions about transportation. Developmental disabilities: 1) start at birth or during childhood; 2) are expected to continue throughout the person's life; and 3) impact the person's ability to perform in major life activities. Please click on above link for more information. 
 Description: autismMatch is a research registry in which children and adults with or without ASD are asked to create a profile in order to be matched with currently enrolling research studies. The profile requests basic contact and background information. Participants will be contacted through email periodically when their profile matches the recruitment criteria for a new research study.

Infant Brain Imaging Study (IBIS)
In an attempt to learn about patterns of brain development in children, we are studying the differences in brain patterns between children with autism spectrum disorders and typically developing children. Infants between 3-6 months of age with an older sibling who is diagnosed with an ASD are invited to participate. At the end of the study, you will receive an ASD diagnostic assessment and recommendations from our clinician. Families are compensated for time and travel. Please click on title link above for more information.

Research on Autism and Developmental Disorders (ROADD)  
Because there is very little research about the early development of ASD in young children, this study will observe young children to learn more about the biological underpinnings of ASD. Children ages 3-5 with or without a diagnosis of ASD may be eligible to participate. A comprehensive evaluation and written feedback report with recommendations for treatment will be given. Families are compensated for time and travel. Please click on above title link for more information.

Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation (EARLI)
This ground-breaking study is looking at possible environmental and genetic links to autism. Mothers who have a biological child with ASD or who less than 28 weeks pregnant and who live in the tristate area are being invited to participate in this study. Mothers will be asked to complete questionnaires, do phone interviews and provide biological samples through pregnancy, at delivery and afterward. Two study visits, one in the clinic with your child with ASD for behavioral and developmental assessments and one at home are required. You will receive autism assessments from clinicians and compensation. Please click on title link for more information.

JAKE App Study
With the use of new mobile app technology, this study aims to develop a mobile app-based system to monitor clinical outcomes in children and adults with ASD vs. typically developing children and adults. Children and adults ages 6 and older with or without ASD may take part. The total time commitment for the study varies depending whether you are typically developing or have ASD. Please click on above title link for more information.

Facing Puberty: Understanding Menses in Females with ASD
The purpose of this study is to understand the onset, symptoms, and experience of menses for girls with ASD compared to typically developing peers. Girls with and without ASD and one of their parents are being asked to participate. The girls and their parents will be asked to complete several online surveys about their menstrual cycle, level of activity, food preferences and intake, and symptoms of anxiety.


Would you like the chance to talk about your experiences during birth?  Autistic Women are being sought for a study focusing on the childbirth experience. Autistic Women with who have given birth within the past 10 years in an acute care setting such as a hospital and had no complications in themselves or with their baby are invited to participate.  All participants will receive a $50.00 Amazon gift at the interview. For more information, please click on the title link above.


A Study of the Successes and Challenges of Same-Sex relationships for Men with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Eligibility:  Adults (18+) with ASD who identify as male and who have had at least one same-sex intimate-partner relationship. Participants should have a professional diagnosis of ASD, as well as at least a High School Diploma/GED, or international equivalent. There is no geographic limitation.
Compensation:  Each participant who successfully completes the interview will receive a $10.00 gift card in appreciation from the Principal Investigator. Participants may also receive the results of the study. For more information please click on the title link above.



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ASCEND members know that their annual subscription fees are being used responsibly and effectively to further the ASCEND mission.

ASCEND Group Inc.
Email: [email protected]

Legal Disclaimer: ASCEND maintains the Professional Services Resource Directory 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.