Ascendigo serves local, regional and national populations of youth and adults across the autism spectrum through experiential, community-based learning opportunities to enhance their health, personal growth and social engagement.
Ascendigo is a non-profit organization based in the Roaring Fork Valley near Aspen, Colorado that takes full advantage of the valley’s unmatched natural facilities and its charitable community and organizations to offer physical, experiential, and collaborative activities to persons on the autism spectrum.
Beginning in 2004 with our summer sports camp, Ascendigo has since expanded to include a winter ski/ snowboard camp, private ski/ snowboard lessons with specially-trained Aspen Ski Company professionals, skiing and snowboarding lessons in collaboration with Aspen’s renowned Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, a weekend program that offers recreational activities throughout the school year, and an adult work program.
We understand that many persons on the autism spectrum lack opportunities for social or athletic activities in their daily lives, and we believe the Roaring Fork Valley is an ideal environment for providing them with those opportunities. A close-knit and relaxed community, the valley is welcoming and soothing for people with autism and is happy to accommodate them in their various needs and abilities. We have established ourselves in the valley community by providing financial and other supports for locals on the autism spectrum, assisting in local charitable initiatives such as Light it Up Blue Aspen, integrating participants in local ski and snowboarding life through the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, and hosting an educational speaker series to raise awareness of autism. Our goal is to integrate people with autism into community life recreationally and socially, whether through extreme sports, assisting in basic life skills such as shopping or cooking, finding compatible employment in friendly companies, or simply going out to restaurants or concerts. We aim to establish ourselves as a local institution for autism support, and we’ve only just begun our efforts in that regard. Stay tuned!
Ascendigo initiatives cornerstone is our greater than 1:1 counselor to camper ratio. Our staff receives extensive training in the learning styles of persons with autism, and many have prior experience working with kids and adults on the autism spectrum. We believe in using only positive behavioral and communication supports, and we apply teaching theories that have been proven effective with autism to our activities. Many of our staff members also have expertise and certification in the sports activities that we undertake. We welcome campers ages 7 and up on the autism spectrum, including those with classic autism, PDD-NOS, Asperger’s Syndrome, and related diagnoses. We believe participants of any experiential ability can succeed, and we pride ourselves on ensuring that our campers achieve success in our activities while having lots of fun!
Core Values – What We Believe
Sports, recreational, and group programs can be accessible, enjoyable and achievable for an individual with autism. Collaborate and athletic activities are integral components of human life and everyone should be given the opportunity to participate. Through such activities, people with autism can more fully engage in everyday life after camp has ended. Every individual with autism has the right to attempt our activities and has the right to be taught in the way they learn and succeed. Using innovative methods that are designed with the person with autism in mind, our participants can be successful at challenging activities. Our participants develop a sense of teamwork, camaraderie, community and belonging. Personal growth and independence can emerge. Our approach can foster the long-term incorporation of recreational sports and active, productive habits into daily life. The personal gain of each participant can increase the health, happiness and sustained well-being for the entire family.
Throughout its programs, Ascendigo is committed to taking into account up-to-date research findings in the field of autism.
Ascendigo was incorporated in 2004 and operates as a non-profit 501c3 organization
EIN # 20-0940000