New Job Tool for the Neurodivergent!

At the next AASCEND Job Club, job coach Dan Middleton will present a new career tool that he and others at Catalight have developed, focused on individuals with autism. Every attendee will receive a free copy of this Compass Work Tool for continued support. Dan will be interviewed by Job Club facilitator Michael Bernick, and will discuss how this tool can assist with navigating job boards, attending job fairs, asking for accommodations,  managing job rejections, and a 100 day plan for when you land the job you want.

……….Dan Middleton

The Zoom meeting URL and password will be sent to people on our email list as the date approaches. If you are not on our email list, click here to sign up. No registration is necessary.

As usual at AASCEND meetings, attendees on the autism spectrum will offer their experience and perspectives throughout the program. 

Who: Adults on the autism spectrum, families, mentors and professionals all welcome. For more information, please contact: info@aascend.org
When: Sat Mar 2, 10am – 11am
Where: Online via Zoom. URL and password will be emailed.

Sensory Overload and Coping Strategies

==> !!! PLANNED SF MARINA WALK POSTPONED DUE TO RAIN !!! <==


Temporarily defeated by weather, we pivot! Join AASCEND February 17 for an informal roundtable discussion of sensory overload and how we cope with it. This time you will be the experts! Let’s share our experiences and also the many ways we cope in a world that for many of us is often too bright, too loud, too fast-moving, too scratchy, too hot or cold, and more. Here is a chance for your hard-won wisdom about sensory overload to benefit others. You might pick up a useful pointer or two yourself!

The Zoom meeting URL and password will be sent to people on our email list as the date approaches. If you are not on our email list, click here to sign up. No registration is necessary.

As usual at AASCEND meetings, attendees on the autism spectrum will offer their experience and perspectives throughout the program. 

Who: Adults on the autism spectrum, families, mentors and professionals all welcome. For more information, please contact: info@aascend.org
When: Sat Feb 17, 10am – 11am
Where: Online via Zoom. URL and password will be emailed.

Again! Again! Aquatic Park & Lagoon Walk

WALK POSTPONED DUE TO RAIN

Are you a job coach, employer, or family member of someone with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD)? See the important Stanford research project below.

ALSO Catalight.org is offering copies of its new Compass Work Tool, a self-paced career management tool for neurodivergent adults, free for evaluation to AASCEND folks. Click here to request your copy!


We faced down February weather last year, and we’re doing it again! AASCEND is reprising last year’s friendly, sociable walk from San Francisco’s Marina Green to Aquatic Park, this year with a side loop to the Palace of Fine Arts lagoon, exotic site of a thousand wedding photos.

Our route will take us through ever-interesting Fort Mason. We’ll meet at 11am on Saturday, February 17, at the Marina Green parking lot (X on the map), by the Phil’s Coffee truck, near the corner of Marina Blvd and Scott St. Click map for detail. There is usually plenty of parking in the Marina Green lot. NOTE: The walk is at 11am, not the usual 10am AASCEND meeting time. We plan to sit down together to eat along the way, so bring a lunch. It’s San Francisco, so dress accordingly! If weather threatens, check the AASCEND.org website to be sure it’s on, but if it’s just a little mist, heck, we’ll show are stuff and walk together anyway!

It will be fun to walk and talk together again. See you there!

Who: Adults on the spectrum, family, professionals and friends all welcome!

When: Saturday, Feb 17 2024 at 11:00 AM

Where: Marina Green, San Francisco, Meet at the Philz Coffee Truck (X on map above) near the corner of Marina Blvd. and Scott St.


STANFORD DIVERSE PROJECT

Developing Inclusive and Vocational Education and Resources for Success in Employment (DIVERSE)

Do you live in California and identify as at least one of the following?

  • Job coach
  • Present or prospective employer of adults with intellectual/developmental disability (IDD)
  • Family member of an adult with IDD

We are recruiting participants to join in a research study that includes free, self-paced, and asynchronous training on improving skills for working with adults with IDD in employment support settings!

If you are interested in participating, please complete the questionnaire.

See the flyer or visit our website for more information.

Please contact us at stanfordneurodiversityproject@stanford.edu if you have any questions.

The Job Coach

Are you a job coach, employer, or family member of someone with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD)? See the important Stanford research project below.

Here is a recording of the following Job Coach program.


Cartoon of female job coach sitting at a desk, looking professional

At the last AASCEND Job Club meeting,discussion centered on how to find and work with a Job Coach. On February 3 we will continue the discussion and be joined by two veteran job coaches: Lauren Fuentes and Lasalette Capote. Ms. Fuentes is a Program Coordinator and Job Coach for VistaBility, an agency serving adults with developmental differences in the East Bay. Ms. Capote is a Transition Specialist/Job Coach for the Castro Valley Adult and Career Education program. They will be interviewed by Job Club facilitator and AASCEND member Michael Bernick.The Job Coach is a valuable service for employment success, and is one that most clients of DOR and DDS are eligible for, as needed.

The Zoom meeting URL and password will be sent to people on our email list as the date approaches. If you are not on our email list, click here to sign up. No registration is necessary.

As usual at AASCEND meetings, attendees on the autism spectrum will offer their experience and perspectives throughout the program.

Who: Adults on the autism spectrum, families, mentors and professionals all welcome. For more information, please contact: info@aascend.org
When: Sat Feb 3, 10am – 11am (approx.)
Where: Online via Zoom. URL and password will be emailed.


STANFORD DIVERSE PROJECT

Developing Inclusive and Vocational Education and Resources for Success in Employment (DIVERSE)

Do you live in California and identify as at least one of the following?

  • Job coach
  • Present or prospective employer of adults with intellectual/developmental disability (IDD)
  • Family member of an adult with IDD

We are recruiting participants to join in a research study that includes free, self-paced, and asynchronous training on improving skills for working with adults with IDD in employment support settings!

If you are interested in participating, please complete the questionnaire.

See the flyer or visit our website for more information.

Please contact us at stanfordneurodiversityproject@stanford.edu if you have any questions.

Healing Loneliness in Autism

Here is a recording of the presentation. See also socialthinking.com

Lonely young man standing and staring out window at cityscape

Next up for AASCEND, Michelle Garcia Winner, Founder of the Social Thinking®  Methodology, will talk on a subject that is sadly relevant to many autistic people, loneliness. Together we will explore the impact of loneliness on both one’s physical and mental health. We will also look at strategies and tips for building social competencies such as unpacking friendship, how we communicate in person, language for conversation, and the “spirals of anxiety.”

……….Michelle Garcia Winner

The Zoom meeting URL and password will be sent to people on our email list as the date approaches. If you are not on our email list, click here to sign up. No registration is necessary.

Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP; CEO & Founder of the Social Thinking®  Methodology, is a prolific author, creative clinician, and internationally renowned speaker. She was honored to receive a Congressional Special Recognition Award in 2008, and a Lectureship Award (2019) from the Society of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatricians.

As usual at AASCEND meetings, attendees on the autism spectrum will offer their experience and perspectives throughout the program. 

Who: Adults on the autism spectrum, families, mentors and professionals all welcome. For more information, please contact: info@aascend.org
When: Sat Jan 20, 10am – 11am
Where: Online via Zoom. URL and password will be emailed.

Job Goals in 2024

Here is a video of the following presentation.


Clipart of Survey marked RESULTS

At the January 6 AASCEND Job Club, veteran job coaches Dan Middleton and Keith Halperin will present the results of their recent Employment Survey of AASCEND members. This Survey looked at current job situations and goals for 2024. Keith and Dan  will be interviewed by Job Club facilitator Michael Bernick, who will lead an interactive Q & A session with meeting attendees.

Dan Middleton & Keith Halperin

The Zoom meeting URL and password will be sent to people on our email list as the date approaches. If you are not on our email list, click here to sign up. No registration is necessary.

As usual at AASCEND meetings, attendees on the autism spectrum will offer their experience and perspectives throughout the program.

Who: Adults on the autism spectrum, families, mentors and professionals all welcome. For more information, please contact: info@aascend.org
When: Sat Jan 6, 10am – 11am (approx.)
Where: Online via Zoom. URL and password will be emailed.

Holiday Party at the Arc!!!

Here is a link to the recording of the December 9 Employment in Gaming session.
Here and here are links to the Powerpoint slides for the session.


Next up for AASCEND is the December 16 Holiday Potluck Party!  Live and at the Arc for the first time in years!!! Come join our community for food, conversation, music and good cheer. There will be Entertainment, Music, Games, did we mention food, and a low-sensory space available. It’s a potluck, so bring food to share if you can — but if you can’t, show up anyway!


It’ll be a blast to celebrate in person again!

When: Sat Dec 16,   1 – 4 pm (upstairs)
 
Party Setup:     12:00 – 1:00 
Party:                  1:00 – 4:00,   Food: 1:30 on
Cleanup:             4:00 – 4:30

Where: The Arc of SF   1500 Howard St. @ 11th St.    SF, CA 94103   map


Employment is the Gaming Industry

Scroll down for details about the AASCEND Holiday Party at the Arc on Dec 16!

Here is a video of the following presentation.


At the Dec 9 AASCEND Job Club, we will be joined by Pamela Cosman and Leanne Chukoskie, Professors at UC San Diego and Northeastern, who have been doing cutting edge research and testing on jobs for adults with autism in the gaming industry. They also have been testing the use of games and Virtual Reality to assist adults with autism to gain work skills and social skills. They will be interviewed by our Job Club facilitator, Michael Bernick.

The Zoom meeting URL and password will be sent to people on our email list as the date approaches. If you are not on our email list, click here to sign up. No registration is necessary.

Pamela Cosman
Leanne Chukoskie

Pamela Cosman is a Professor at UC San Diego in Computer Engineering and Leanne Chukoskie, is a Professor at Northeastern University. They have been working in recent years on employment for adults with autism in the gaming industry, and the use of games and VR to teach work skills.

As usual at AASCEND meetings, attendees on the autism spectrum will offer their experience and perspectives throughout the program. 

Who: Adults on the autism spectrum, families, mentors and professionals all welcome. For more information, please contact: info@aascend.org
When: Sat Dec 9, 10am – 11am (approx.)
Where: Online via Zoom. URL and password will be emailed.

Holiday Party at the Arc!!!

Next up for AASCEND is the December 16 Holiday Potluck Party!  Live and at the Arc for the first time in years!!! Come join our community for food, conversation, music and good cheer. There will be Entertainment, Music, Games, did we mention food, and a low-sensory space available. It’s a potluck, so bring food to share if you can — but if you can’t, show up anyway!


It’ll be a blast to celebrate in person again!

When: Sat Dec 16,   1 – 4 pm (upstairs)
Party Setup:     12:00 – 1:00 
Party:                  1:00 – 4:00,   Food: 1:30 on
Cleanup:             4:00 – 4:30

Where: The Arc of SF   1500 Howard St. @ 11th St.    SF, CA 94103   map


Autistic-Written and Directed Feature Filmmaking

On Nov 18 AASCEND hosts Peter Kangas and Josiah Polhemus, who are collaborating in making a full-length feature film from the perspective of a person on the spectrum, written by that person and directed by that person. The film has the potential to be a groundbreaking look inside the mind of a person on the autism spectrum, which has never been done before. They will share part of their pitch deck and discuss the process of getting an authentically inclusive film made. Come give your input on this fascinating project!

This meeting will be in-person only, at the SF Arc (address below). No registration is necessary.

__________________The filmmaking team

Peter Kangas is a filmmaker residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has extensive experience in both live action and set-based environments. Peter believes in meticulous attention to detail, good manners, and respect. He has won awards for his filmmaking. He now works through Spectrumotion Pictures, whose mission is to bring the disability community within the entertainment and film industry, tapping into this deep reservoir of talent and experience and no “help the neurodiverse world recognize how they can get past stereotypes and take action to fully realize their professional and artistic potential.”

As usual at AASCEND meetings, attendees on the autism spectrum will offer their experience and perspectives throughout the program. 

Who: Adults on the autism spectrum, families, mentors and professionals all welcome. For more information, please contact: info@aascend.org
When: Sat Nov 18, 10am – noon (approx.)
Where: The Arc of SF 1500 Howard St. @ 11th St. SF, CA 94103 map


There are ongoing afternoons of games and socializing (currently a weekly event) on Fridays from 3 to 5pm—at Victory Point Cafe in Berkeley. Young adults (ages 18-30) are especially welcome. Bring $20 to cover games and a small snack. Contact Clara via text at 510 882 4944 to join in.

        Picture of young adults playing board games in a cafe.

Address: Victory Point Cafe, 1797-A Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709
Date: Fridays 3-5pm
Website: https://www.victorypointcafe.com
Drink and Food Menu
Games Available at Victory Point Cafe