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June 2017                                                                                                                            
The Aspire Wire
Now accepting applications for Aspire fall programs:

Neurodiversity: What it means  

By Andrew E. Harris, M.Ed.
April is traditionally national Autism Awareness month.  I met a young man last year that absolutely dreaded it.  He was bright, curious, easy to talk to, honest, hardworking and social.  He was also autistic.  For two years I have run a discussion group for adults at Aspire.  In this group, this young man shared that each year; April reminded him that he was "defective."  That was the word he used.  It resonated with the other young men in the room; they shared this young man's disdain for blue lights, puzzle-piece bumper stickers, and the month of April itself. Read more  
College Boot Camp
College Boot Camp is designed for high school juniors and seniors, students doing a gap year and students making a transition back to college.

In this  one-week summer program, participants learn about campus life, 
how to connect with peers, how to decode a syllabus, and access resources.  
Days: Monday - Friday
Dates: August 7 - Friday August 11
Time:   9:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Location: Lesley University

To learn more, 
New Garden at Hale Campsite  
We are delighted to announce our new garden located at the Hale campsite. Our campers at Hale will have the opportunity to experience and enjoy it this summer! 
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Find us at @mghaspire to keep up over the summer: 
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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
  • 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 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.
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 | 
 for the 
Internship Program
The Aspire Internship program is accepting applications for the fall cycle! 

The Internship program provides on-going job support for the 12-week fall cycle. Interns have been carefully matched with companies like:
  • Boston Public Market
  • Insurance Auto Auctions International
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Safelite 
  • WGBH 
Visit our website for more info on the Aspire Internship Program. 

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  

Aspire is a program of Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital for Children  

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