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 May  2015
Volume 7, Issue 5

In This Issue...

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


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ASCEND Group Inc.
610-449-6776 via email


Message from ASCEND's President



Maleita Olson
ASCEND President


ASCEND News & Events


 Train the Trainer - Autism and Sexuality with Isabelle Henault
Two-day session: Friday, 6/26/15  and Saturday, 6/27/15
More details coming soon!


Save the Date for ASCEND’s Annual Fall Conference!
Friday, 11/6/15
Williamson Caterers
500 Blair Mill Rd, Horsham, PA
More details coming soon!


New Professional Members




Professional Member
News & Events

To Our 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.


 Professional Member Support Groups,
Social Groups & Workshops

Professional Member Summer Programs & Camps 


Other ASD Events

Phila Autism Project presents 2-part film:
“Autism for African‐American Families”
Sat, 5/30, 1-2pm
Widener Library, 2808 W Lehigh Ave, Phila, PA
6/13/15, 1-2pm
Blackwell West Library, 125 S 52nd St, Phila, PA
This brave two‐part film shares the experiences and wisdom of five families who confront stigmas and myths about autism. This video will reveal the personal and unique journeys of everyday African American families as they struggle to understand, accept, and meet the challenges of their child's diagnosis.
More info: or 877‐231‐4244
View trailer:

Get on Board Skateboarding Workshop Get On Board
Sunday, 5/31, 9am-3pm
Ambler Skate Park, S Main St & Bannockburn Ave, Ambler, PA
Sign up for a 1:1, 30-minute skateboarding lesson. Get on Board will supply the skateboard, helmets and pads. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment to sign in and get the necessary equipment.
More info: Karen Salomon at or 215-499-5981

Elwyn Seedlings presentsElwyn Logo
“Autism and Behaviors in the Community”
Wednesday, 6/10, 6-8pm
3300 Henry Ave, Phila, PA
Is it hard to find childcare for your child with Autism? Is it hard to manage your child’s behaviors in the community or school setting? Learn what to look for and how to help. Presented by Annemarie Clarke, PhD,  SPIN Behavioral and Developmental Services. ACT 48 credits available for those who register in advance. Attendees who do not need credits do not need to register.
More info: or 215-460-7725


DHS’s Bureau of Autism Services presents
PA Autism Training Conference
Wed-Thurs, 6/10-11
Eden Resort Inn & Suites, 222 Eden Rd, Lancaster, PA
This conference is designed to provide professionals with the tools to support individuals with ASD. It will focus on addressing real-life situations by those who work directly with individuals with autism, with an emphasis on supporting transition-age individuals and adults. The presenters will share strategies that exemplify the best and most current practices developed in PA and by nationally recognized autism experts. Each session will offer practical strategies and solutions that can improve the quality of life for individuals with ASD and their families.

UPenn is Seeking Adults with ASD for Study on Improving Social Functioning

The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine is offering an opportunity to participate in a study to test the effectiveness of a new treatment program to improve social functioning in adults (18+) with ASD who are not intellectually disabled. Participants will be asked to participate in interviews and fill out questionnaires to assess autism symptoms, social understanding, and social skills. In addition, participants will attend weekly meetings for approximately 6 months. Click here for a flyer with more info.
More info: Ashley Pallathra, Research Assistant, 215-573-8342 or
Click here for flyer:



In the Media


How These 4 Major Companies Are Tackling the Autism Unemployment RateMICROSOFT HEADQUARTERS
Huffington Post, 5/7/15
From the article: “For adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, employment prospects are often 
disappointingly few and far between. According to a 2013 report published in the Journal of the American Academy of  Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, the underemployment 
starts early.”

Unseen agony: Dismantling autism's house of pain                   
SFARI News, 5/21/15
From the article: “As a child, Noah hated when his mother vacuumed the house. ‘She would put the vacuum on the wood floor, not the carpet,’ he remembers. ‘And that’s really loud, so it would really freak me out.’ … Now  in his early 30s, he counsels other men with autism and teaches psychology in Boston. But as a child, he didn’t realize his sensory world was different from other people’s experiences.”

China’s Uncounted Children with Autism
Wall Street Journal, 5/18/15On the last day of the session, parents and teachers work together on a simple sketch of the children in the class, to be hung with other class sketches on the walls of the center.
From the article: “When her son still wasn’t speaking at 26 months old, Li Li Juan brought him to a local hospital near their home in China’s Henan province. She was told he had mild autism. Ms. Li,
a middle-school teacher, couldn’t find an autism specialist in their hometown, Ningling Xian, or a school that could handle his special needs, so she received training to teach kindergarten in order for her son to attend her class.”

Why Autism Is Different in the Brains of Girls than in Boys
TIME, 5/12/15
From the article: “Autism, already a mysterious disorder, is even more puzzling when it comes to gender differences. For every girl diagnosed with autism, four boys are diagnosed, a disparity researchers don’t yet fully understand. In a new study published in the journal Molecular Autism, researchers from the UC Davis MIND Institute tried to figure out a reason why.”

Diagnosed With Autism at 21—and OK with It
Wall Street Journal, 5/12/15
From the article: “It took 21 years for Lydia Wayman to understand why she was different. At 2, she was discussing the life cycles of insects with her mother. At 4, she was reading chapter books… When her parents consulted doctors and psychologists, they were told their daughter suffered from anxiety and would outgrow her food aversions. Teachers said she was bright but self-centered.”

Young Children May Lose Autism Label, but Learning Challenges Continue
Special Education Week, 4/29/15
From the article: “A small percentage of children who had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder as toddlers no longer showed symptoms of the disorder four years later, but most continued to have emotional or learning disorders, according to a study that was presented at a recent meeting of researchers in child health.”

D.L. Hughley chokes up while sharing sweet story about son with Asperger's
NBC Today, 4/28/15
From the article: “Parents whose children are diagnosed on the autism spectrum understand that they often have to recalibrate their expectations for their children's accomplishments. Yes, those kids can do wonderful things, but often on their own schedules. Comedian D.L. Hughley is one such parent.”


Things We Like

New Research on Animals Easing Anxiety in Children with ASD
A recent posting on WebMD’s Tools & Resources shares what many of already know. “Being around animals may help reduce social anxiety in children with autism.” But now there’s research to prove it! “The findings could lead to new treatment approaches that use pets such as dogs, cats and guinea pigs to help children with autism improve their social skills and interactions with other people, the researchers said.”


“Go Team Kate” Blog Picture
This blog from the life of a Canadian family is described as follows: “Stories about a mom, a dad, a little ninja girl, her sweet big sister and the autism service dog that keeps us going. (Oh, and a cat that thinks he owns us all.)” We especially like Kate’s photos and the “Diary of a Dad.”


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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.

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The official registration and financial information of ASCEND Group Inc. may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

ASCEND Group Inc. P.O. Box 2097
Media, PA 19063