Aspire - No tag line
August 2017                                                                                                                            
The Aspire Wire
What's Happening at Aspire:

Application deadline is 9/8/17

Application deadline is 9/15/17

Need more information about our programs? Get in touch

A Garden Party at Aspire

By Scott McLeod, PhD
We had an addition to our summer programs at Hale Reservation this year: a new vegetable garden! Frequent readers of the Aspire Wire will have already seen some amazing photographs of the garden.  The photo above is just a small sample of the harvest. From the start of camp this summer, our campers watered, weeded and learned about the growth of vegetables. Read more to learn how it turned out. 
That's a wrap on summer camp! 

As our summer activities draw to a close this month, we are preparing for fall programs with a couple of new options available! Before you know it, the leaves will start to turn, football season will be here and we'll kick off fall groups. Check out the fall schedule here and download the application for new applicants here

How You Can Help MGH Aspire 
Your donation to MGH Aspire helps us continue our work with individuals with high cognitive autism spectrum disorder and related social profiles. With your support, we can expand the capacity of our programs to allow more participants, offer greater financial aid opportunities to those who may be unable to afford the program tuition and more. 

We are honored and humbled to have your support and want you to know your willingness to help has made a difference in the lives of numerous families. 

Click below to donate today: 
A Fond Farewell
This month we sadly say our farewells to Dot Lucci, MEd, CAGS, our Program Director and Manager of Consultation and Professional Development Services. 

Dear Aspire Family, 
(and I mean that in the broadest sense possible)

After many years at Aspire, it is with mixed emotions that I have decided to move on to become the Program Director at the Partners Program at EDCO Collaborative.  This is a middle and high school for students diagnosed with ASD and NLD.  I will bring my passion, knowledge and creativity to this new position just like I did when I joined YouthCare so many years ago.  Obviously, I've been here a while as our name changed to Aspire during that time!
My years at Aspire have been very rewarding both professionally and personally. I've worked with many wonderful colleagues and it has been a pleasure working with such an amazing team.  Getting to know each one of you and growing Aspire together has been one of the highlights of my professional career. 
In my tenure at Aspire we have accomplished so much together.  We've developed new programs, published and presented at international conferences, expanded our age range through adulthood, pioneered the use of technology and consulted to many school districts.  We have positively impacted many individuals' lives through our groups, summer camp programs, school consultations, and internships.  My life has been enriched immeasurably by doing this work. Over the years I have crossed paths with so many parents and families and have watched some of those children become young adults!  Watching our participants grow up to become more independent and successful is a lasting memory of my time at Aspire that I will cherish. I hope I have touched each of your lives in some lasting and meaningful way as you have mine; as that was my goal. It has been a pleasure working with individuals with ASD, training professionals and parents, and consulting to schools so they can do their best in educating our "quirky kids".  I will miss being an integral part of the Aspire Family.
I want to thank everyone for an amazing and wonderful thirteen years at Aspire.  I am grateful to Scott for welcoming me into the Aspire Family so long ago and allowing me to be such an integral part of its growth and development.
To all in the Aspire Family, I'm hoping our paths will continue to cross and please don't hesitate to reach out.  
In gratitude,
Dot Lucci, MEd, CAGS
Research Opportunities
Lurie Center for Autism
The Lurie Center for Autism at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children is looking for participants for their currently enrolling studies. For additional information about study requirements and study procedures, please contact Dr. Christopher McDougle's or  Dr. Ann Neumeyer's  study staff at 781-860-1711 or

Have a look at the research opportunities we currently have available: 
  • Children's Autism Metabolome Project (CAMP) The Lurie Center is enrolling children ages 18 to 48 months who are in the process of getting evaluated for an autism spectrum disorder or developmental disorder, as well as typically developing children. This research study is being conducted to find out if a specific blood test is effective in the early detection of autism spectrum disorder. Participants are compensated for their time.
  • Investigation of Neuroinflammation in Autism Seeking men and women aged 18-40 years with and without autism to participate in an investigation of the structure and function of the brain of adults with and without autism using MR-PET scans. Participants are compensated for their time.
  • Sidekicks - Enrolling children ages 6 to 11 years with 6 months diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. This study will determine the success rate of Affinities Therapy, a therapy model using the Sidekicks mobile application for children with ASD. 
To learn more, please   visit   our website .  
The Bressler Clinical and Research Center
  • ASD Namenda Study Taking Place at MGHThis 12-week study seeks to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Namenda (memantine) for the treatment of core features of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children and adolescents. Deficits in social interaction are the central feature of ASD and often result in significant impairment for individuals with High Functioning-ASD. Available data from past treatment studies of Namenda demonstrates improvements in a range of impairments including attentional and social skills in individuals with ASD. Eligible subjects, children ages 8-17 with a DSM-V diagnosis of ASD, will be enrolled to receive either placebo or Namenda. Subjects also complete a pre- and post-treatment brain scan before and after treatment with Namenda. 
For more info, contact Abigail Belser: 781-724-7079 | 
Internship Program
The Aspire Internship program is accepting applications for the fall term.  

The Internship program provides on-going job support for the 12-week fall term. Interns are carefully matched with companies like:
  • Boston Public Market
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Safelite 
  • WGBH 

About Aspire


Aspire is dedicated to providing children, teens, and adults with a high cognitive autism spectrum disorder or a related profile with the knowledge and skills necessary to make social connections and develop independence leading to successful and fulfilling lives.

MGH Aspire  
1 Maguire Road
Lexington, MA 02421 
f: 781-860-1920  

Like us on Facebook

View on Instagram

Follow us on Twitter

View our profile on LinkedIn