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  • AuSM Mission

    Established in 1971, the Autism Society of Minnesota is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to education, advocacy and support designed to enhance the lives of those affected by autism from birth through retirement.
  • AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services

    The AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services team works in partnership with you to develop a plan based on your needs.

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  • Social Skills Classes

    AuSM social skills classes foster confidence and self-esteem while participants learn how to make friends and have fun.

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  • Training Tailored for Organizations and Businesses

    AuSM provides a variety of continuing education options for parents, caregivers, educators, direct support staff, business professionals, organizations, individuals with autism, and the community. Experienced educators present on topics that align with your interests and serve to enhance your life.

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  • Uniting the Community Events

    In partnership with area businesses and organizations, AuSM is pleased to offer monthly opportunities for families and individuals with autism to come together and enjoy fun activities in supportive, welcoming environments.

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Benson workshop teaches putting individual perspective first

Glenis2017WkshpWEBThank you to the service providers, caregivers, educators, and individuals on the spectrum who attended the "People First! Planning from the Perspective of the Person with Autism" workshop at enVision Hotel today. Glenis Benson, PhD, shared strategies for putting an individual on the spectrum’s own perspective first and explored the concepts of executive functioning, sensory challenges, and other underlying reasons for seemingly confusing behaviors.

Join us for AuSM's upcoming workshops, "Caring for You: Practical Self-Care Tips to Nurture Well-Being" on Nov. 2 and "Practical Solutions for Autistic Living" on Dec. 7. Click on the links for more information and to register today.

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AuSM and SPARK Fall Autism Festival Nov. 11

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Please join AuSM and SPARK Research organizers for a fun fall event on Saturday, Nov. 11 from 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. The Fall Autism Festival will take place at AuSM's office in St. Paul and will feature a free parent/caregiver support group, a SPARK research sign up opportunity, and exciting games and prizes for kids.

The event begins with AuSM's Caregivers of Kids with Autism Support Group from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Childcare will be provided during this free group designed for parents and caregivers of school-age kids with autism ages 4-21. Please let us know the ages of the children who will need childcare. RSVP with AuSM at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call AuSM at 651.647.1083.

Following the support group, families will have the opportunity to participate in the SPARK Research project. Participation takes approximately one hour and supervised games and activities will be available for children while parents and caregivers complete the study information. Click here to RSVP for your SPARK appointment during the event or call 612.624.0116. 

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Learn about the Vitals app at AuSM's office

VitalsLogoBlueVitals is a new technology service with two apps, designed to create safer interactions between law enforcement and people with behavioral, mental health, and developmental disorders. A first of its kind, the Vitals first responder app is a non-intrusive, real-time service developed as a way to enhance policing, give families of vulnerable individuals more peace of mind, and improve the quality of life for people living with "invisible" disabilities. In October, the Vitals team will be available at AuSM's office to meet members of the community, share information about Vitals, and assist in registering for the service. You are welcome to stop by AuSM's office, meet the Vitals team, and learn more on these dates from 2-4 p.m.: Tuesday, Oct. 3; Thursday, Oct. 5; Tuesday, Oct. 10; Thursday, Oct. 12; Tuesday, Oct. 17; Thursday, Oct. 19; Monday, Oct. 23; and Thursday, Oct. 26.

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Polar bear event for adults with autism at Como Zoo

comopolarbearsWEBAdults with autism, ages 18+, are invited to join us on Dec. 9 from 8:30-10 a.m. at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory for a Polar Bear Enrichment event. Participants will meet a polar bear zookeeper to learn how they train these white giants, prepare and observe polar bear enrichment, and explore the award-winning Polar Bear Odyssey exhibit without the crowds. As a bonus, the Como Zoo polar bears Buzz and Neil are celebrating their 22nd birthdays on Dec. 9! Class participants are able to enjoy the zoo after the class. This class is designed for individuals who do not need direct service professional supports or supervision. The cost is $5 for residents of ramsey and Dakota Counties and $15 for residents of all other counties. The discount fee is made possible for residents of Ramsey and Dakota County though the Dakota and Ramsey County Autism Grant. Space is limited. Click here for more information and to register.

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AuSM workshops offered in November and December

GroupSelfieWEBAuSM is pleased to offer November and December workshops for the Minnesota autism community. 

AuSM's Nov. 2 workshop at Royal Cliff Banquet & Conference Center in Eagan, "Caring for You: Practical Self-Care Tools to Nurture Well-Being", will be a half-day session from 1:30-4:30 p.m. on caring for the caregiver. Speaker Ricka Robb Kohnstamm will teach about compassionate communication and helping caregivers increase feelings of well-being.

On Dec. 7, Judy Endow, MSW, LCSW, will present "Practical Solutions for Autistic Living", a workshop where she will share personal stories highlighting three challenge areas related to her own autism: 1. sensory differences; 2. not always understanding the hidden curriculum in social situations; 3. when others think of her as “less than” because they do not understand autism. This workshop will be held at enVision Hotel in South St. Paul.

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2018 state autism conference keynote speakers announced

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The 23rd Annual Minnesota State Autism Conference will take place April 25-28, 2018 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Minneapolis Park Place. This event is designed to bring our community together to learn, network, and gather resources that can make a difference in the lives of those with autism. We are pleased to announce our 2018 keynote speakers for this important event: Wednesday, April 25 from 7-9 p.m., Frank Campagna (Autism Daddy), "Things No One Ever Told Me After My Son Was Diagnosed With Autism". Thursday, April 26, from 8-10 a.m. and continued session during breakouts, Jed Baker, PhD, title to be announced. Thursday, April 26 from 7-9 p.m., Stephen Shore, PhD, sponsored by Minnesota Life College, "Developing an Understanding of the Hidden Curriculum for Learners on the Autism Spectrum: A Lifespan Approach". Friday April 27 from 8-10 a.m., Leah Kuypers sponsored by St. David’s Center for Child and Family Development, "Zones of Regulation". Click here for more details about the conference and the keynote speakers.

 

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New free support group for parents and caregivers

therapyfamilyAuSM is hosting a new, free, monthly support group for parents and caregivers of school-aged kids with autism (ages 4-21). This group may be a good fit for you if you are dealing with a new ASD diagnosis or family crisis and want to hear from others who have blazed the trail before you; are navigating recurring or unchartered challenges and would like a safe space to vent and let go of your stress; are looking to develop and build meaningful relationships with other people who "get it”; or, all of the above! Regardless of your reason for wanting to connect with other parents and caregivers, we invite you to attend AuSM’s Caregivers of Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder Support Group. The group will be facilitated by AuSM's Counseling and Consulting Services therapist, Jennifer Reinke, PhD, LAMFT, CFLE. Participation is free, but registration is required. Childcare will not be provided. Click here for more information.

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2017-2018 AuSM Education Catalog packed with awesome programs

17 18CatalogCoverNewThe 2017-2018 AuSM Education Catalog is being printed by AuSM partner, Allegra Downtown St. Paul, and will arrive in mailboxes soon. Registration for all fall, winter, and spring programming is open.

AuSM’s education offerings include special interest-focused social skills classes that engage youth and adults to interact socially while raising self-awareness and self-esteem; AuSM Skillshops that focus on positive strategies and problemsolving; and specialized training tailored for organizations and businesses, including the Life with Autism series and the Autism Direct Support Certification program. Understanding the increasing need for opportunities for adults with autism, AuSM developed programs, classes, and adventures to fit the needs of people ages 18+.

All of these great programs and more are outlined in the catalog. Click here to view a pdf of the complete catalog. We look forward to seeing you for a class, activity, event, or program soon!

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Call for Papers open for 2018 state autism conference

2018ConfLogowebThe call for presentation proposals is open for the Autism Society of Minnesota’s 23rd Annual Minnesota Autism Conference, an event that will take place April 25-28, 2018. Be a part of this event of the year for the local autism community by submitting a topic for presentation.

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