Our mission is to elevate the spectrum by empowering people, inspiring lives and shattering expectations.
Ascendigo was founded on the belief that individuals on the autism spectrum should have access to a full and rich life experience, including the activities and experiences that their neurotypical peers enjoy. Exposure to natural environments and recreation in the outdoors have enormous benefits for those with autism. In 2004, Sallie Bernard, our founder and mom to an autistic son began Extreme Sports Camp, later known as Ascendigo, a 501(c)3 nonprofit in Colorado’s beautiful Roaring Fork Valley.
Meeting a Growing Need
As the prevalence of autism continues to grow (1 in 44 children according to the latest CDC estimates), so has the need for services. Since our start, Ascendigo has expanded to provide children and adults with holistic supports including recreational therapy, applied behavior analysis, speech and language, at-home and in-school services, life skills, employment coaching, and more. Today, Ascendigo serves over 225 individuals with autism annually and provides resources and service to families throughout the country. By focusing on person-centered care, we recognize the unique interests, strengths and challenges of each individual.
Ascendigo’s goal is to integrate people with autism into community life recreationally and socially, whether through adventure sports, development of life skills, compatible employment, and community engagement. With our proprietary Ascendigo Way curriculum, the organization educates service providers, caregivers, and community members about autism and autism supports.