Explore Our Programs
Aspire, a MassGeneral Hospital Program, specializes in helping children, teens and adults on the autism spectrum achieve success. Our programming is uniquely designed to help participants with Asperger profiles develop positive self-awareness, stress management and social competency skills so they can succeed at home, school, work and in community settings.
We are dedicated to understanding and serving this population of exceptional individuals and their support network. For parents and caregivers, Aspire offers programming that provides education, support, and a sense of community for the families of individuals who identify with an ASD, Asperger’s or similar social profile. Our parent programs are designed to be inclusive: We help those new to the ASD diagnosis, those looking to understand the nuances of their child’s cognitive profile, and those in need of support with specific parenting challenges. We welcome the opportunity for parents and caregivers to come together to learn from us and share with each other.
Aspire’s year-round parent programming includes weekly parent groups, facilitated workshops, customized parent group presentations, and private parent coaching sessions. To view our current parent programming schedule, click here.
Parent Groups and Workshops
Aspire parent groups are held during the fall, spring, and summer sessions. Participants do not need to have a child currently enrolled in an Aspire program to participate in a parent group. Each parent group, organized as a series of weekly 60 minutes meetings, includes presentations, interactive exercises, and opportunities to share. Aspire groups offer a comfortable, non-judgmental environment where parents feel safe sharing similar experiences and concerns. Examples of parent group topics include Building Your ASD Parenting Guide and Transition Planning.
Aspire parent workshops are offered virtually throughout the year. Workshops are typically 60 minutes long and include a presentation that includes time for sharing experiences and facilitated conversation. Participants do not need to have a child currently enrolled in an Aspire program to participate in a parent workshop. Examples of parent workshop topics include Sleep Hygiene, Understanding and Managing Meltdowns, Disclosure – Talking About an ASD Diagnosis, Planning for the Holidays, and Sexuality.
Parent Group Presentations
As an organization dedicated to serving autistic individuals, Aspire recognizes the importance of educating and empowering parents and caregivers. We offer customized presentations and facilitated workshops to parents, SEPAC groups, community-based groups, and parent-teacher organizations. A sampling of our presentation topics is below.
Workshops and Trainings:
- Neurodiversity and Autism: A Strength Based Approach
- Supports for Neurodiverse Teens and Adult Through the Transition Years
- Introduction to Neurodiversity in the Classroom
- Executive Functioning: Spotting It and Supporting It
- Parent Communication: Balancing Efficacy with Empathy
- Disclosure: Process Not Product
- Teaching Social Competency for Special Education Students
- Autism and Social Competency
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Anxiety: Beyond Behaviorism
- The Biology of Stress
- Stress Management in Adolescence
- Special Education: Breaking Down Inclusion, Building up Students
- Promoting Self-Awareness and Self-Advocacy
- Managing Behavior for Teens on the Autism Spectrum
- Teaching Writing for Reluctant and Resistant Writers
- Autism and Self Disclosure
If you are interested in learning more about our Parent Group Presentations, email us at MGHAspire@partners.org.
Parent Coaching Services
Aspire supports the diverse needs of our participants and families by offering private and personalized parent coaching sessions. Parent coaching services are available to parents of children of all ages, including teens and adults. These sessions provide an opportunity for parents and caregivers to collaborate with Aspire specialists about their child’s specific needs at home or in the community. Our goal is to provide parents with support and strategies to help their child build skills, make progress and achieve success. Examples of common parent coaching goals are:
- To improve the structure of routines (mornings, homework, bedtime)
- To better understand a child’s cognitive profile
- To learn about disclosure; how to speak with a child about their diagnosis and identity
- To help a child generalize their social skills at home or in the community
- To better support a child’s stress management at home and in school
- To develop and practice independence at home or in the community
- To increase the effectiveness of parent-teacher communication and collaboration
- To develop self-care strategies and routines
Parent Coaching is offered as 50-minute private sessions (in person, or virtual). Additional follow-up sessions are available as needed. To learn more about Parent Coaching Services, follow this link.