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January 2018                                                                                                                           
The Aspire Wire
What's Happening at Aspire:
  • A few spaces left! 
  • Summer 2018 registration is open:

Need more information about our programs? Get in touch

Stuck Inside: Simple Strategies That Can Help 

By Elise Wulff, MEd
A snow day can mean relief from academic pressures or exhausting socializing that comes with a school setting. Snow days can also bring increased anxiety with less predictability and structure. While there isn't the perfect solution yet to this predicament, we can provide some research-supported strategies that help young ones have fun, Aspire style!  
First Annual Winter Masquerade Ball

On January 6, 2018, Aspire hosted its First Annual Winter Masquerade Ball for our current teen and young adult participants. The evening included dancing to participant-chosen music selections, mini-dance classes to learn a few new moves, decorating your own masquerade mask, and an indulgent "Make Your Own Sundae" ice cream bar! 

Feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive, with one young Aspire participant calling it "lit", which we understand is what the young and hip call "I had a great time. When is the next one?" Follow us on Facebook to see more photos and stay tuned for more social and dance-oriented events in 2018! 

$50.00 Discount on Summer 2018 Programs 
There's still time to nab the summer discount! 
All applications  for our Summer 2018 programs received by February 1, 2018 will receive a $50.00 discount on summer tuition. 
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 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: 617-724-7079 |
  • Road Ahead Study at Boston University - Seeking parents or legal guardians and high school students with autism who are in their last year of high school and who will graduate with a regular high school diploma. Aiming to assess post-education outcomes, parents will complete online and mailed surveys and a brief phone interview at two time points separated by 18 months. Youth will complete separate online and mailed surveys. Participation should take 30-60 minutes at each time point. The surveys can be completed from home at a time convenient for you. Parents will receive a $25 gift card and youth will receive a $15 gift card at each time point.This research is funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES).
For more information please contact or (617) 353-2060.

About Aspire


MGH Aspire offers fall, spring and summer programs to help children, teens and adults with high cognitive autism spectrum disorder or a related social profile make social connections and develop independence leading to more successful and fulfilling lives.

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

For more information about how your donation will make a difference at Aspire: 

Internship Program

The Internship program provides on-going job support throughout the duration of the program. Interns are carefully matched with companies like:
  • Boston Public Market
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Safelite 
  • WGBH 

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