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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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Jan
24

Participate in community conversations to improve transition services

pensivegirlwebThis spring, join us for community conversations focused on improving employment and post-secondary education opportunities for students with disabilities. Share your thoughts about current resources and challenges. Explore ideas for improving transition services for students with disabilities. These community dialogs, organized by AuSM, are provided through a Community Innovation Grant from the Bush Foundation. Click here for more information.

Jan
25

Town Hall Meeting on reducing MA/TEFRA fees Jan. 28

advocacylogowebThe AuSM Advocacy Committee invites you to join us for a Town Hall Meeting sponsored by the Coalition to Reduce MA/TEFRA Fees on Saturday, Jan. 28 from 3-4:30 p.m. at the Minnesota Department of Education, 1500 Commerce St., Conference Center A, Roseville, MN 55113. We will provide fact sheets and volunteers will be available to help you tell your story. Invite your legislators to attend so they can learn why this issue is important to you. If your legislator has indicated that he or she is attending, please let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jan
25

VITALS pilot program application extended to Feb. 3

VITALSbeaconWEBAuSM is partnering with Aware Services, LLC and the St. Paul Police Department to offer a free pilot project that uses mobile technology to help individuals with autism and other “invisible disabilities” live more independently and securely in the community.

Many conditions like autism, traumatic brain injury, mental health challenges, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, epilepsy, and others are referred to as “invisible” disabilities, because there are no physical indicators that others can see that might inform them of the disability. The invisibility of these disabilities can put the individuals at risk, because they often exhibit behaviors and traits that emergency responders can misinterpret as being intoxicated, uncooperative, or evasive.

A new technology-based project called the “Vulnerable Individuals Technology Assisted Location Service” – or VITALS – helps make the invisible visible. VITALS uses a transmitter, or beacon, and a mobile app that allow individuals with an “invisible” disability to voluntarily disclose their diagnosis to emergency responders within a 30-50 foot radius.

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Jan
18

Plan your AuSM summer adventure; catalog sneak peek

NewSummer2017CvrSummer activities abound – swimming, canoeing, arts and crafts, exploring nature, geocaching, science, filmmaking, horseback riding, music, yoga, theater, bonfires, and more. Everyone deserves the chance to take advantage of all summer has to offer. AuSM Social Skills classes and AuSM Camps provide these opportunities – each one tailored to give youth and adults with autism a fun, safe, and exciting experience while they increase self-esteem, expand knowledge, and build friendships that last a lifetime. AuSM also welcomes individuals with other learning differences who can benefit from skills including sensory integration, executive functioning, theory of mind, selfregulation, and emotional regulation. Explore the 2017 AuSM Summer Activities catalog and discover ideas for summer adventure. Registration for AuSM Camps and AuSM Social Skills classes opens Jan. 30.

Jan
15

Technology pilot program to increase safety and independence

VITALSbeaconWEBAuSM is partnering with Aware Services, LLC and the St. Paul Police Department to offer a free pilot project that uses mobile technology to help individuals with autism and other “invisible disabilities” live more independently and securely in the community.

Many conditions like autism, traumatic brain injury, mental health challenges, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, epilepsy, and others are referred to as “invisible” disabilities, because there are no physical indicators that others can see that might inform them of the disability. The invisibility of these disabilities can put the individuals at risk, because they often exhibit behaviors and traits that emergency responders can misinterpret as being intoxicated, uncooperative, or evasive.

A new technology-based project called the “Vulnerable Individuals Technology Assisted Location Service” – or VITALS – helps make the invisible visible. VITALS uses a transmitter, or beacon, and a mobile app that allow individuals with an “invisible” disability to voluntarily disclose their diagnosis to emergency responders within a 30-50 foot radius.

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Jan
10

Autism Day at the Minnesota capitol is Jan. 17

Minnesota Capitol BuildingThe The Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and AuSM are partnering to offer Autism Day at the Minnesota capitol from 9:30-11 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17. This is your opportunity to meet with legislators and policy-makers, and provide them with information about issues that impact the lives of Minnesota’s autism community. The event will take place in the MN Department of Transportation cafeteria at 395 John Ireland Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155. For planning purposes, please RSVP to the MN CCD office:  952.818.8719, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Jan
10

Jan. 10 AuSM Skillshop Canceled

Due to inclement weather, tonight's AuSM Skillshop to be held at Merrick, Inc. from 7-9 p.m., "Keeping Aggresson in Check", has been canceled. For more information on upcoming AuSM Skillshops, including the Jan. 24 "Communication Breakdown: How to Resolve Conflicts",click here.

Jan
06

Join the Minnesota autism community for Steps of Hope 2017

SOH logo2017Steps of Hope for Autism in Minnesota, AuSM's 17th annual fundraising fun walk and the state's largest autism resource fair will take place at Southdale Center on March 5, 2017 from 8:30-11 a.m. Registration to participate in Steps of Hope 2017 (including the autism resource fair) is free.

2017FlashDashAccralogoWEBThe first ever AuSM Flash Dash presented by Accra will kick off Steps of Hope from 9-9:15 a.m. on the first floor of Southdale Center. Feel like a superhero as you power walk, skip, roll, or mosey your way from start to finish on the short, indoor course. All ages, abilities, and mobilities can join in on the fun and earn a medal and bragging rights. AuSM Flash Dash registration is $5 per person. All dollars support AuSM's programs and services for the local autism community. Register for the AuSM Flash Dash by Jan. 31, and your name will be entered into a drawing for a free one night stay (March 4) in a two room suite at the Residence Inn Minneapolis Edina. Prize includes a superhero breakfast on March 5!

SOH2017RegisterButton   SOH2017DonateButton

Jan
22

Vikings voice "PA" to emcee Steps of Hope 2016

PaulAllenwebAuSM is pleased to announce that KFAN FM 100.3's Paul Allen, the voice of Vikings football, will be the Steps of Hope for Autism in Minnesota 2016 emcee! 

Register today to join AuSM and PA on March 6 at Southdale Center for the state's most powerful walk for autism featuring a colossal autism resource fair. Recruit the family members and friends to join your team and fundraise for the Minnesota autism community. Teams and individuals can register through the Steps of Hope 2016 Crowdrise page, AuSM's new, easy, and fun way to join in this event of the year for our community.

 

SOH16RegisterButton  SOH16DonateButton

Jan
21

Learn communication and future prep in February

iStock 000014432495SmallOn Tuesday, Feb. 2, AuSM therapist Beth Pitchford, MA, will present "Focus on Unspoken Communication" from 7-9 p.m. at Lionsgate Academy in Crystal, Minn. Individuals with autism, parents, family members, caregivers, educators, and therapists are invited to learn about facial expressions, microexpressions, and larger body movements and how these unspoken forms of communication add meaning to spoken communication and deepen the value of interpersonal relationships.

On Tuesday, Feb. 16, join us at AuSM's office in St. Paul from 7-9 p.m. when Jason Schellack, Esq. presents "Preparing for the Future: Guardianship and Supplemental Needs Trusts." Learn the process for establishing legal guardianship for adult children with disabilities and how to qualify for free legal assistance. Also learn about supplemental needs trusts and how they can help provide for your loved one with autism while still maintaining eligibility for government benefits.

Click here to learn more and to register for the February AuSM Skillshops.

Jan
15

Share your message with the MN autism community

MN-Autism-conference logo w date v1AuSM invites you to make an impact at the Autism Society of Minnesota’s 21st Annual Minnesota Autism Conference. The conference, held April 27-30, 2016 at the Doubletree by Hilton Park Place Hotel in St. Louis Park, Minn., is the ideal platform to share your organization’s story, products and services with our community. When you participate as an exhibitor, sponsor or advertiser, you can expect to reach hundreds of parents; special education teachers; speech, physical and occupational therapists; mental health professionals; program managers; direct support professionals, and individuals with autism. 

Reserving your sponsorship, advertising and exhibit space by April 5, 2016 will secure your inclusion in the conference program. Click here for more information.

Jan
11

Photographer with autism Artist of the Month at Affinity

stpaulskylinewebAffinity Plus Federal Credit Union in Minneapolis has named photographer Larry Mack Artist of the Month. Mack has selected 14 of his photography images to share through a display at the Affinity Plus branch in January.

Mack, who has been interested in photography since he was 14, said his images are inspired by “whatever comes up”, and his display includes prints of trains, cityscapes, and nature.  Mack also believes his photography skill is enhanced by the autism diagnosis he received in 2012.

“I am not an autistic artist; I’m an artist with high functioning autism,” Mack said. “I have a capability and see things a little differently.”

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Jan
05

AuSM in Health Partners insurance network

healthpartnerslogoAs of Jan. 1, 2016, the Autism Society of Minnesota is in the Health Partners Open Access Network. The Open Access Network is Health Partners' broadest network and includes Medical Assistance and Minnesota Care. Contact Health Partners Behavioral Health Navigators at 952.883.5811 to confirm that AuSM is in your network plan.

Jan
04

Strike an AUTISM HERO pose for Steps of Hope 2016

SuperJonahwebcallingallwebAuSM's executive director, Jonah Weinberg, invites you to unlock your inner autism hero! Flex your hero muscles and show us what a true AUTISM HERO looks like. Pose in civilian clothes, or go all out with a cape or costume! E-mail your photo to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or post your photo to share with your networks on Facebook or Twitter with the tag #autismhero.

Register today for the state's most powerful walk for autism featuring a colossal autism resource fair. Recruit the family members and friends to join your team and fundraise for the Minnesota autism community. Teams and individuals can register through the Steps of Hope 2016 Crowdrise page, AuSM's new, easy, and fun way to join in this event of the year for our community.

SOH16RegisterButton  SOH16DonateButton

Jan
30

Understanding the Anxiety Curve on Feb. 3 at Fraser

iStock 000014432495SmallJoin us for the next AuSM Skillshop, Understanding the Anxiety Curve, instructed by Mitzi Curtis, MA, on Tuesday, Feb. 3 from 7-9 p.m. at Fraser in Eden Prairie. Learn how to use the Anxiety Curve to assist individuals with autism in understanding and managing their emotional responses. Click here for more information. Online registration is closed. Walk in registrants are welcome, space permitting.

Jan
28

Steps of Hope - AuSM Walk

SOH grayscale 75-0-100-0 NoDate RIt's time to build your team!
Calling all sponsors, individuals, families, teams and volunteers! We look forward to walking with you in 2015 at Southdale Center in Edina! Team up to raise money for autism programs and services in our community, visit with sponsors, gather information at the state's largest autism resource fair, and have FUN. Register today, fundraise, and join us for this great event with the Minnesota autism community!

SOHRegister15   SOHDonate15

Jan
28

Make Monkey Mind Pirates a part of your family

ZPuppetsGuywebZ Puppets Rosenschnoz and AuSM invite families affected by autism to participate in the FREE Monkey Mind Pirate workshops in the Twin Cities, Duluth and Rochester this spring and summer. Monkey Mind Pirates is the world's only puppet, rock yoga adventure, combining arts and mindfulness to give families creative tools to find calm. Each city's workshop is for youth living with autism, siblings ages 7+ and accompanying adults. Space is limited; register today! Click here for more information and to register for the workshop near you.

Workshops will culminate with participants performing alongside Z Puppets as the Sailor Chorus in a public performance of the award-winning, nationally touring musical. Click here to order tickets for the show near you.

Jan
25

Summer camp and social skills registration opens Jan. 26

summercvr2015webAre you ready to plan your exciting summer adventures? Registration for AuSM Summer Camps including Hand in Hand, Wahode and Discovery, and registration for AuSM Summer Social Skills classes including AuSM Como Zoo Skills, AuSM On the Town and Eastman Outdoor Adventure Camp open tomorrow. Registration for AuSM's camps with the Minnesota Zoo will open on Feb. 15. Click here to read through the catalog and choose the activity that will get your summer set for fun! Camps and classes will fill quickly!

Jan
25

Star Tribune article features AuSM's autism cards

childhasautismStar Tribune lifestyle writer Gail Rosenblum interviewed AuSM's Dawn Brasch about the value of "I Have Autism" and "This Child Has Autism" cards created to assist parents and individuals affected by autism. Click here to read the complete article.

If you are interested in getting an "I Have Autism" or a "This Child Has Autism" card, please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 651.647.1083.

Jan
25

One piece at a time

puzzleteamwebAuSM's awesome puzzle making team had a great time working on their 1,500 piece puzzle during the Saint Paul Winter Carnival Jigsaw Puzzle Contest at the Landmark Center this morning. Way to go, team!

Jan
23

Coach Dave gives exercise tips and strategies

CoachDavewebMore than 60 educators, parents, coaches and other professionals are learning how to implement effective exercise for individuals with autism during today's AuSM Workshop: "Exercise is the Gateway to Build Fitness, Self-Esteem and Relationships". Coach Dave Geslak is sharing tools and tips, and is ready to get participants up and moving. Thank you to Coach Dave, participants and workshop sponsors, Landscape Structures and Flagship Recreation for making this educational workshop possible.

Jan
22

Coach Dave's exercise workshop is tomorrow

CoachDaveweb2015Learn how to implement effective exercise into your routine during Friday's AuSM Workshop: "Exercise is the Gateway to Build Fitness, Self-Esteem and Relationships". Be ready to move and you will leave with the tools to transform the lives of those affected by autism! This workshop is sponsored by Landscape Structures/Flagship Recreation. Online registration is closed, but walk-in registrants are welcome. Click here for more information.

Jan
21

Final day to register online for exercise workshop

CoachDaveweb2015Learn how to implement effective exercise into your routine during Friday's AuSM Workshop: "Exercise is the Gateway to Build Fitness, Self-Esteem and Relationships". Be ready to move and you will leave with the tools to transform the lives of those affected by autism! This workshop is sponsored by Landscape Structures/Flagship Recreation. Online registration will close at the end of the day today. Walk-in registrants are welcome, space permitting. Click here for more information and to register today.

Jan
20

Ice cream for AuSM

IzzyicecreamAuSM is partnering with Izzy's Ice Cream for their 13 Days of Giving program. On Feb. 2, 2015, Izzy's Ice Cream will donate $2 to AuSM for every purchase of ice cream in a cake cone, a sugar cone or in a bowl. Please visit one of the two Izzy's Ice Cream Twin Cities locations on Feb. 2 and support AuSM's mission of enhancing the lives of of those in our local autism community! Click here for more information.

Jan
14

Steps of Hope 2015 registration is open!

SOH grayscale 75-0-100-0 NoDate RIt's time to build your team!
Calling all sponsors, individuals, families, teams and volunteers! We look forward to walking with you in 2015 at Southdale Center in Edina! Team up to raise money for autism programs and services in our community, visit with sponsors, gather information at the state's largest autism resource fair, and have FUN. Register today, fundraise, and join us for this great event with the Minnesota autism community!

SOHRegister15   SOHDonate15

Jan
09

Bring mindfulness and calm into your family's life

ZPuppetsGuywebZ Puppets Rosenschnoz and AuSM invite families affected by autism to participate in the FREE Monkey Mind Pirate workshops this February and March. Monkey Mind Pirates is the world's only puppet, rock yoga adventure, combining arts and mindfulness to give families creative tools to find calm. Session 2 is full, but Session 1 still has a few openings for youth living with autism, siblings ages 7+ and accompanying adults. Space is limited; register today! Click here for more information and to register.

Jan
09

Add exercise to your routine in the new year

CoachDaveweb2015Autism parents, caregivers, educators and fitness professionals: Learn how to implement effective exercise into your routine. Coach Dave Geslak will present "Exercise is the Gateway to Build Fitness, Self-Esteem and Relationships" on Friday, Jan. 23 at Ties in St. Paul. Be ready to move and you will leave with the tools to transform the lives of those affected by autism! This workshop is sponsored by Landscape Structures/Flagship Recreation. Click here for more information and to register today.

Jan
09

Conference Call for Papers applications due Thursday

2015conflogowebShare your insights with the Minnesota autism community! AuSM is seeking proposals for breakout session presentations during the 20th Annual Minnesota Autism Conference. If you are interested in submitting a presentation proposal, please click here to download the Call for Papers application form. Proposals are due Thursday, January 15, 2015.

Jan
07

Sensory Storytime at Northtown Library in Anoka

bln-northtownJoin our friends at the Northtown Library in Blaine to participate in a free four-week Sensory Storytime class beginning Jan. 10. The sessions will be structured for children with diverse special education needs who may have difficulty engaging with books in the conventional way. Sensory Storytimes will combine books, songs, movement, and activities to stimulate the senses and promote learning. Click here for more information and to register.

Jan
05

5 ways to participate with AuSM in the new year

  1. Participate in a special interest-focused AuSM Social Skills class. Classes are open for registration in winter, spring, summer and fall, and are a great opportunity to make friends, fit into a group, take part in conversations and have fun.
  2. Join the Minnesota autism community for Steps of Hope 2015, AuSM's annual fundraiser and the state's largest autism resource fair. The family fun event will take place on March 1 at Southdale Center in Edina. Registration will open soon.
  3. Visit an AuSM Support Group. Free to the community, AuSM Support Groups offer those affected by autism the opportunity to share problems, solutions, joy, and sorrows with one another. Most groups meet monthly, and advance registration is required.
  4. Make plans to attend the 20th Annual Minnesota Autism Conference where we will join our voices as a passionate network to inspire hope and innovation. This year's event will take place April 29-May 2 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Minneapolis Park Place.
  5. Join AuSM's Advocacy Committee. As we find strength in numbers, let's work together to let the decision makers know that the Minnesota autism community is active, engaged and ready to speak out.
Jan
01

Happy New Year!

Happy-New-Years-Eve-2015-19May your moments in this new year be filled with love, patience, understanding, small victories, calm, smiles, acceptance, support, attention, empowerment, awareness, friendship, health, laughter, respite, and happiness. Happy New Year from AuSM!

Jan
27

It's cold outside, but we're ready for an AuSM summer!

summercover2014webRegistration for AuSM summer camps and social skills programs is open. Summer is the season for exciting opportunities, new experiences and confidence-building fun. Every young person deserves the chance to take advantage of all summer has to offer. AuSM Social Skills summer programs and AuSM Camps provide these opportunities – each one tailored to give youth with autism a fun, safe and exciting experience while they increase self-esteem, expand their knowledge and build friendships that last a lifetime. Space is limited in all programs. Register early - your AuSM adventure awaits!

Jan
27

"Steps of Hope" is granted trademark

AuSM is pleased to announce that we have been granted a trademark for the term "Steps of Hope", the name of our annual family-friendly fundraising walk. We would like to thank Michael Bondi and Dicke, Billig & Czaja, PLLC, patent, trademark and copyright attorneys of Minneapolis for donating their time and expertise on registering the trademark for Steps of Hope.

Steps of Hope 2014 will take place on March 2 at Ridgedale Center. Click here for more information and to register to walk with us!

Jan
24

Let's Talk About Transition community conversations

pensivegirlwebThis spring, join us for community conversations focused on improving employment and post-secondary education opportunities for students with disabilities. Share your thoughts about current resources and challenges. Explore ideas for improving transition services for students with disabilities. These community dialogs, organized by AuSM, are provided through a Community Innovation Grant from the Bush Foundation. Click here for more information.

Jan
11

Final chance to submit a proposal for conference

14conflogowebProposals for presentations at the 19th Annual Minnesota Autism Conference are due Jan. 15. Don't miss this opportunity to reach the Minnesota autism community. Click here to download the official Call for Papers document (MS Word).

Jan
11

Shop Amazon, support AuSM programs and services

AmazonSmileWe are happy to announce a new way to shop and support AuSM at the same time: Amazon Smile. Click here to choose AuSM as your preferred charity and shop as usual. A percentage of your purchases will be given to AuSM to support programs and services for the Minnesota autism community.

Jan
10

Party at Sky Zone when Steps of Hope goal is reached

SOH14TMwebSky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park, an AuSM Premier Partner, has offered to throw a huge party for the Minnesota autism community when we meet our Steps of Hope 2014 fundraising goal of $88,000.

Register to be a part of Steps of Hope, AuSM's largest annual fundraiser. Dollars raised during this important family-friendly walk support AuSM’s programs and services and also fund Steps of Hope Support Grants. Help us raise our 2014 goal of $88,000 and then get ready to party! Everyone's in - Team Up for Autism today!

Click here to learn more, register and follow our progress to our goal!

Jan
30

HSCF accepting applications for award

The HSC Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving access to services for individuals who face social and health care barriers due to disability, chronic illness, or other circumstances that present unique needs, is seeking the next generation of disability advocates. If you are a young leader with a disability or know of anyone who is, you are encouraged to apply for the 2013 Advocates in Disability Award (ADA). The deadline for applications is March 15. Click here for more details.

Jan
25

Is there really a cure for autism?

Several recent reports in national network news have again raised the issue of “curing” autism. The report cited an article in a research journal (Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry) that noted that a small group of young adults who had been diagnosed with autism as young children were able to function independently without special education support.

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