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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.
  • People First! Planning from the Perspective of the Person with Autism

    Kick off your MEA weekend with an AuSM workshop presented by Glenis Benson, PhD on Wednesday, Oct. 18 from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at enVision Hotel in South St. Paul. During this workshop, educators, caregivers, parents, and service providers will learn what it means to put an individual on the spectrum’s own perspective first.

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  • 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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Twin Cities Autism Foundation offers scholarship opportunities

TwinCitiesAutismFndtnlogoAuSM is pleased to partner with Twin Cities Autism Foundation, Inc., an organization that provides financial aid to help families affected by autism gain access to resources. As part of the partnership, Twin Cities Autism Foundation, Inc. will offer scholarships to families and individuals who apply for financial support for AuSM’s education programming, including social skills classes and AuSM summer camps.

“Twin Cities Autism Foundation, Inc. is a natural partner for AuSM and will provide great opportunities for our autism community,” Dawn Brasch, AuSM's Senior Director of Finance and Operations, said. “The foundation is a strong advocate for organizations that help families and individuals with autism, and we appreciate their dedication to providing funding that makes resources available to those who may not otherwise have access."

Inspired by their son with autism and motivated to ensure that all families and individuals have resources needed for growth, Laura and Kent Olson established Twin Cities Autism Foundation, Inc. in 2015. Click here to learn more about this organization. Click here to learn more about the new scholarship opportunities.

Are you interested in running? Participate in Twin Cities Autism Foundation, Inc.'s upcoming Oct. 7 5K, the TCA 5K Fun Run at Oak Grove Park in Brooklyn Park. Dollars raised by the run will support the scholarship fund for families and individuals affected by autism.


Vitals App launches with St. Paul Police Department

VITALSbeaconWEBVitals, a new technology service with two apps, is 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.

The St. Paul Police Department is the first to partner with Vitals and is in the process of training its officers on how and when to use the app. Other metro and Greater Minnesota police departments are planning to implement Vitals in the coming weeks as usage of the new app is expected to spread quickly across the region and country over the next several months.

The Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM), a founding partner in the development of Vitals, believes Vitals will help law enforcement interact with the autistic community in a way that is safer for individuals and families.

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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.


Help Texas autism families recovering from Hurricane Harvey

texasHarvey2017Category 4 Hurricane Harvey blew through Texas last week and dumped more than 50 inches of rain over the span of just a few days. Families are facing severe damage to their homes, and many are displaced in the wake of the catastrophic event. The Autism Society of Minnesota would like to help by sending Visa Gift Cards, small sensory items, and cards or drawings of encouragement to the Autism Society of Texas for distribution to their members. Imagine having to explain the destruction, figuring out replacement of favorite sensory items, finding a place to stay, working through the massive reconstruction process. Minnesotans have generous hearts, and we encourage you to help AuSM provide some love and care from Autism Society of Minnesota families to Autism Society of Texas families. Please bring or mail Visa Gift Cards, small sensory items, and cards of encouragement to AuSM's office, 2380 Wycliff St. #102, St. Paul, MN 55114 by Friday, Sept. 22. We will package all donations and send them to the Autism Society of Texas on Sept. 25. Thank you for your generosity!


Become a member of AuSM, get a bonus Bookstore coupon

MemberBrochureCvr2016Our members tell us that they love what AuSM provides: community, resources, events, and information. Member benefits include: Member-only rates on AuSM Social Skills classes, AuSM Skillshops, workshops, and other programming; discount registration for the annual Minnesota Autism Conference; AuSM Summer Camps exclusively for members only; one complimentary AuSM Skillshop per year – $40 value; access to AuSM Lending Library; AuSM Connections, twice per month e-mail newsletter; advocacy updates and alerts; and more.  

Join AuSM now through Oct. 15 and you will receive all of the AuSM Member benefits and a bonus 10% off coupon for the AuSM Bookstore. We can't wait for you to join our AuSM community!


New class teaches about bodies, boundaries, and relationships

TeenGroupLaughwebAdults with autism are invited to participate in Bodies, Boundaries, and Healthy Relationships to learn how to better understand privacy, boundaries, public versus private, levels of relationships, consent, different types of contraception, and being safe. During the six-session class beginning Sept. 27, instructors will tackle the nuances of complex issues by building upon more simple, concrete concepts. Click here for more information and to register.


Kick off your MEA weekend with an AuSM workshop

AdultGroupWEBAuSM invites you to kick off your MEA weekend with an AuSM workshop presented by Glenis Benson, PhD on Wednesday, Oct. 18 from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at enVision Hotel in South St. Paul. During "People First! Planning From the Perspective of the Person with Autism", educators, caregivers, parents, service providers, and individuals with autism will learn what it means to put an individual on the spectrum’s own perspective first. Obtain in-the-moment practices that will help you understand the behaviors of individuals on the spectrum. Explore the concepts of executive functioning, sensory challenges, and other underlying reasons for seemingly confusing behaviors. Space is limited. Click here for more information and to register today.


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!


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.

Suggested topics include but are not limited to positive behavior supports; siblings; strategies for parents; strategies for educators; managing behaviors; transition; sex; gender identity; early intervention; mental health (including anxiety, co-occurring diagnoses, PTSD and trauma, drug and alcohol addiction, etc.); employment; current research; Individual Education Plans (IEPs); emotion regulation; sensory integration; and social skills.

The Minnesota Autism Conference Education Committee will evaluate proposals and those submitting proposals will be contacted by Dec. 22, 2017 regarding the status of proposals. The deadline for proposal submission is Nov. 17, 2017. Click here for more information and to download the Call for Papers form (Word Document).


Great Lakes Aquarium hosts Sept. 26 autism training for educators

GLAscreenshotlogoOn Tuesday, Sept. 26 from 4:30-7 p.m., the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth will partner with AuSM to offer "Supporting Students with Autism", a training for educators to learn more about serving students with autism. By learning more about the neurodiversity of individuals with autism, educators can take proactive steps towards support, acceptance, and inclusion. After AuSM's presentation of Autism 101 and Best Practices, participants will head out onto the aquarium’s exhibit floor to focus on applying positive behavior support in a field trip setting.The evening will include a light dinner at 4:15 p.m., and participants will receive 2.5 CEUs. The training event is free, but advanced registration is required. Click here for more information and to register.

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