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A Message from the Allen Family

20 years ago Ascendigo’s humble beginnings all started with Extreme Sports Camp.  Camp provides clients, like Matt, with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in outdoor recreation that challenges their abilities and shatters their own expectations. Camp is filled with memorable moments and first experiences such as rock climbing, wakeboarding, rafting or horseback riding. But, for the Allen Family, it was the genuine connections and inclusion that Matt experienced at Camp that provided their son a chance to thrive.

“Matt began Extreme Sports Camp 16 years ago and at the time he was very unhappy at home and school. I don’t recall Matt ever looking forward to things. He had been isolated and lonely at school. When we found what is now Ascendigo, we could barely believe what the staff got him to do. The staff befriended him, and he felt like he had true friends. He felt successful. He loved camp: hiking, white water rafting, wakeboarding, and even riding horses. Once he learned to stand up on the board behind the ski boat and was very proud and would tell people about it during the year. I think he understood that some of the sports were challenging even for a fourteen-year-old without a disability. Ascendigo truly changed his life. He had something to look forward to and talked about it for 365 days a year. He was so proud of himself for all the accomplishments he learned and experienced. Matt had a very hard childhood and camp was the first thing that made him really happy yet challenged him at the same time.”

Tom & Karen – Parents of Matt

Ascendigo provides opportunities for growth and independence for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder of all ages and support needs. Since 2004 Ascendigo has steadily increased services and presence for local families over the years and has expanded to offer year-round recreational opportunities, including winter sports, a comprehensive life skills program for adults, and crucial early intervention/behavioral therapies for children. In addition, Ascendigo trains school personnel, local families and caregivers, community members, other autism service providers, law enforcement agencies, and recently launched Ascendigo Academy, an online curriculum. Ascendigo’s vision is to integrate people with autism into community life recreationally and socially through adventure sports, developmental life skills, compatible employment, and community engagement.

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