logo

Find AuSM on Facebook  twitterbird YouTubeSubscribe to our RSS feed 

  • Minnesota's First Autism Resource (TM)

    Autism Society of Minnesota
  • Home

Jun
14

Advocacy update from ASA June 2014

The House Energy & Commerce Committee approved the Combating Autism Act (CAA) on June 10 by a unanimous vote. The bill largely extends the research, surveillance, public awareness and professional training activities under the Combating Autism Act for an additional five years.

Continue Reading

Jun
03

2013 legislative session brings some good outcomes for autism community

The 2013 legislative session had some good outcomes for the ASD community. The Health and Human Services Omnibus bill included $12 million in new funding for services for children with autism; initiatives to improve the early screening, diagnosis, and treatment of children with ASD in managed care programs; and requirements for large group health plans to cover autism therapies. 

Parental fees under the TEFRA medical assistance option were eliminated for families under 275 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, and fees for those above were rolled back to 2010 levels. 

In the area of special education, laws and rules were tightened regarding the use of prone restraint and restrictive procedures, and more training is required on positive behavioral strategies. 

The AuSM advocacy committee will meet this summer to discuss the 2013 session and prepare for 2014. If you would like to participate in the discussion, contact Jean Bender, AuSM’s Public Policy Committee Chair.

Jun
30

Save $100 on your AuSM golf foursome for Aug. 7

troyburnesignToday is the last day to save $100 on your foursome registration for the 22nd Annual AuSM Golf Classic at Troy Burne Golf Club in Hudson, Wis. on Monday, Aug. 7, 2017. Take a break from the humdrum of a regular Monday and have fun hitting the links in support of AuSM's mission of enhancing the lives of individuals touched by autism in Minnesota. Click here to register at the best rate!

Jun
03

AuSM Advocacy: Update at a Glance May 20, 2013

Special Education

  • Several attempts this session to repeal MN laws & rules that exceed federal
  • Task force will be created to work with MDE & make recommendations
  • Prone Restraint (eliminated in 2 years) & Restrictive Procedures
  • Safe Schools bill did not pass so will need to be reintroduced next session

Autism Services Insurance Bill

  • Passed HHS Conference Committee

Governor’s $12 million Proposal for Autism Services

  • Passed HHS Conference Committee

Community First Services & Supports (CFSS)

  • Effective date delayed--April 2014?
  • Replaces county services such as PCA & Family Support Grant
  • Many details TBD—DHS placeholder language

Parental Fees for TEFRA

  • No fee for 275% of federal poverty level (previously 100%) 
  • Reduce back to 2010 rates

Self-Directed Services Workforce Council (with Child Care Workers)

  • Allows independent workers to form union
  • Council sets guidelines re: wages, training, etc.--eliminated in current version?

COLA

  • 1% for disabilities (ARRM & other advocates talking about possiblility of higher but doubtful)
  • 5% for nursing homes

The Minnesota Department of Human Services website has a page dedicated to 2013 Legislative Session Fact Sheets related to human services. Click here. 

Jun
26

"Escape Space" popular place to relax at Twin Cities Pride

EscapeSpaceweb2017AuSM was pleased to offer the "Escape Space" during the 2017 Pride Festival last weekend. The quiet, cool tent offered a place for individuals with sensory needs to unwind, self-regulate, and visit with AuSM staff and volunteers during the festival. AuSM supports all in the pride community, with and without autism, as acceptance and inclusion makes our communities better places for all.

Jun
03

Recent reports relevant to ASD issues

Click on the links for additional information.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Task Force Strategic Plan Report

Report to the MN Commissioner of Human Services by the Health Services Advisory Council

A Report on Early Intervention Services for Minnesota’s Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
(Available soon on the Department of Human Services website)

Study on Housing with Supports for Children with Severe Autism

Office of the Legislative Auditor Report on Special Education

The Use of Prone Restraint in Minnesota Schools

Jun
15

Women on the spectrum find a comfort place together

thumbnail Surene and LauraFor some adults on the spectrum, a challenge can be finding like-minded people who want to socialize.

For Surene Henderson and Laura Dettloff, that challenge is made even more difficult by the fact that, as women on the spectrum, they often feel out of place in groups dominated by men.

“Autism presents really differently in women than in men,” Henderson explains. “The way autism is talked about in the media is so guy-centric and kid-centric that adult women get lost. It’s so different to be diagnosed as an adult woman.”

Continue Reading

Jun
03

Disability services - What do they do for you?

Share your story and win a prize

In collaboration with The Arc Minnesota and to start preparing early for the 2014 legislative session, Jean Bender is collecting stories about how disability services benefit you and how disability policies affect you. If you are willing to share your story with AuSM and The Arc Minnesota, e-mail it to Jean Bender by June 15 and be entered into a prize drawing.Prizes provided by The Arc Minnesota include iTunes gift cards and a trip to attend The Arc Minnesota state conference. To help you write your story,click here for the Partners in Policymaking Telling Your Story App. Tips for using the app are posted on The Arc Minnesota website.

Jun
08

Taking on the summer bike riding challenge with a smile

bikeskillshopwebA great and determined group of kids and their caregivers converged on the AuSM parking lot Tuesday night as they received bike riding tips and strategies from expert cyclist Alex Uhler. Uhler shared a number of tips for successful bike riding including purchasing the correct equipment, making bike adjustments, breaking down riding into smaller steps, clothing protection, practice makes perfect pedaling, staying positive and patient, and working toward the sense of independence and accomplishment that your child will experience when learning to ride his or her own bike. Click here for a bike riding tip resource.

Jun
27

Cam's Ride 2016 full of smiles, fun, and AuSM support

camride2016webAuSM was proud to be a part of the 10th annual CAM's Ride 2016 on June 25. The weather was melting hot, but that didn't stop the huge crowd from having a great time and raising money in support of the Minnesota autism community. Thank you to everyone who organized and participated in this awesome ride!

Jun
19

Happy Father's Day 2016

dad2016Quiet calm in times of distress. Words of encouragement in times of challenge. A hand to hold in times of uncertainty. Silly jokes in times when smiles are needed. Gentle hugs in times when love is shared. Dads. Grandpas. Uncles. Brothers. Friends. Thank you for all you do to make our lives fun, full, and amazing.

Jun
06

Register your child for Wahode day camp in July

ausm camp logo WEBThis July, make sure your son or daughter has an exciting summer camp experience. Both sessions of AuSM's day camp, Camp Wahode, open to youth ages 6-12 with autism, run Monday through Friday and offer many ways to discover, grow, and have fun. Campers will experience outdoor activities including swimming in an outdoor pool, horseback riding, use of a ropes course and climbing tower, group games, hiking, sensory crafts and gross motor activities led by a registered occupational therapist, music groups led by a board-certified music therapist, boating, and sports. Click here for more information and to get registered.

Jun
20

Conference Call for Papers Open Now Through Nov. 14

16-03-28-MN-Autism-Conf-v4The Call for Papers for the 22nd Annual Minnesota Autism Conference is open now through Nov. 14, 2016. AuSM is opening the Call for Papers process earlier than usual to allow more time for submissions. The deadline also has been moved up to November instead of January so the conference schedule can be made available in early 2017. Submit your proposal to present during this largest annual educational event for the Minnesota autism community. The Minnesota Autism Conference Education Committee will evaluate proposals and contact those who submit proposals by Dec. 20, 2016. Click here to download, complete, and submit the Call for Papers 2017 proposal form.

Jun
20

2017 Conference Keynote Speakers Announcement

The 22nd Annual Minnesota Autism Conference will take place April 26-29, 2017. In addition to opening the Call for Papers 2017, AuSM's events team is working on securing keynote presenters for this educational event of the year for the Minnesota autism community. Keynote speakers in 2017 will include autism community icon, Temple Grandin, PhD (photo courtesy Rosalie Winard); Steve Silberman, best-selling author of Neurotribes (photo courtesy Keith Karraker); and Kerry Magro, award-winning disability advocate. More details and speakers will be announced soon and registration will be open in February 2017.

RWTempleweb  SteveSilbermanKKweb  KerryMagroweb

Jun
29

Tips for making the Fourth of July more enjoyable

fireworkThe Fourth of July brings fireworks, barbecues, patriotic band music and lots of flag-waving crowds. For families of some individuals with autism or sensory processing difficulties, this holiday "fun" can be a challenge. Click here to read The Washington Post article that includes tips for making the upcoming holiday more enjoyable.

In observance of Independence Day, the general AuSM office will be closed on Friday, July 3. Mental Health Service appointments scheduled for that day will take place as planned.

Jun
29

Cruisin' for Autism in Minnesota - a great Cam's Ride

motorcyclewebA huge thank you to HalfBreed Motorcycles, Sadie Llama deSigns, and all organizers and volunteers for the 9th Annual Cam's Ride that took place on June 27. The sun was bright as participants went kick stands up for autism in Minnesota. Participants enjoyed a great ride, food and giveaways at each stop. Proceeds raised will benefit AuSM's programs and services for the Minnesota autism community.

Jun
18

TED Talk: autism history

TEDautismhistoryDecades ago, few pediatricians had heard of autism. In 1975, 1 in 5,000 kids was estimated to have it. Today, 1 in 68 is on the autism spectrum. What caused this steep rise? In this TED Talk, Steve Silberman points to “a perfect storm of autism awareness” — a pair of psychologists with an accepting view, an unexpected pop culture moment and a new clinical test. But to really understand, we have to go back further to an Austrian doctor by the name of Hans Asperger, who published a pioneering paper in 1944. Because it was buried in time, autism has been shrouded in misunderstanding ever since. To listen to this informative TED Talk, click here.

Jun
10

New York pig roast raises dollars for AuSM

JohnColpoysSignwebAuSM thanks Kim Burridge, the Patriot Guard Riders, and all of those who helped plan and organize a New York pig roast fundraiser in memory of Msgt. John Colpoys Jr. on Memorial Day. The event included drinks, food, games, and an auction. Organizers raised more than $6,600, an impressive amount that will be shared between the Patriot Guard Riders and AuSM.

Jun
03

In honor of autism community grads

WendyCottermanwebAuSM is pleased to share this message sent in by a proud mom in our community:

"This is Wendy, my daughter. She has autism. Wendy graduated with honors on Saturday from East Ridge High School in Woodbury. She plans to attend the Next-Step program next year and hopes to go to art school and live either on her own or in a group home. Graduation was an awesome thing, and the fact that she graduated with honors is absolutely awesome! I'm very proud of my daughter and very thankful for the awesome special education teachers who have worked with Wendy throughout the years."

Congratulations, Wendy! Your future is bright!

Jun
30

Are you connected?

Have you registered to receive AuSM Connections, the free, twice-per-month e-newsletter packed with the latest AuSM information? If not, click here to be the first to receive the latest news about events, education and opportunities. Click here to read the July 1 issue of AuSM Connections.

Jun
30

Thanks, Cam's Ride!

CamwebSpecial thanks to the organizers, volunteers and riders who came out for Cam's Ride, the 8th Annual Cruisin' for Autism on Saturday, June 28. The day included an awesome ride, raffle and silent auction. Proceeds benefit AuSM's programs and services for the Minnesota autism community. Thanks for revving up for AuSM!

Jun
24

Cargill Ag Horizons learns about autism, gifts AuSM

AgHorizCargillwebThe Northern River Region of Cargill Ag Horizons recently invited AuSM to present to its sales team to create empathy for people with autism and their families.

"One goal was to encourage this team to be open to developing relationships with people with disabilities," Jim Nelson, Personal Marketing Manager said. "In our small group we have two families that have family members with autism." 

Continue Reading

Jun
23

History Center play test fun for families affected by autism

HistoryCenter2014webFamilies touched by autism visited the Minnesota History Center today to participate in a play test in the Then, Now, Wow galleries. Participants had some hands-on fun in the Minnesota-focused exhibits, enjoyed lunch and offered suggestions on making the experience autism-friendly.

Jun
18

Stimulate attention, foster calm and have fun

autismactivities2014Summer is the perfect season to explore explore color, shape, and sensory experiences through crafts. Projects can stimulate attention, foster calm, and create loads of fun! Click here to access 10 parent and teacher recommended activities.

Jun
14

July 1 deadline for Steps of Hope Support Grant apps

SOHNoDateTMwebIn April, AuSM awarded five 2014 Minnesota Autism Conference registrations to applicants through the Steps of Hope Support Grant program. Maarie Gayther, a conference grant winner, was a very happy recipient. "I want to thank you very much for giving me this 2014 Steps of Hope Support Grant so that I could attend the annual Minnesota Autism Conference this year," Gayther said. "With the sudden and unexpected loss of my job, by receiving this grant, I was able to go again. The keynote speakers talking about HOW people with ASD need to be taught to understand was very helpful as I have been working with my son's college teachers on this issue for years. This provided a lot of important backup for me to use when we ask for accommodations."  

For the second opportunity for Steps of Hope Support Grants, AuSM is accepting applications for proposals that maximize collaboration and partnerships with other organizations supporting people with ASD. A Steps of Hope Support Grant must benefit children or adults with ASD who live in our membership area. Grant applications are due July 1. Click here to learn more and to access the grant application.

Jun
14

Police take the plunge

SartellDunk2webThank you to the Sartell Police Department officers, and the Sartell mayor, who took the plunge for autism last night during the Sartell Summerfest. They'll be back at it today (weather permitting), daring you do dunk them in support AuSM's Emergency Preparedness programs.

Jun
07

Shrek participants all ears for friendly performance

ShrekCTCwebThank you to Children's Theatre Company for a wonderful sensory-friendly performance of Shrek the Musical this morning. Participants were enjoyed a fun theater experience. Special thanks to the AuSM-trained CTC staff and fantastic volunteers. Watch this site for more information on CTC's next sensory-friendly performance - The Cat in the Hat.

Jun
01

Great day at Valleyfair

SnoopywebThank you to everyone who chanced the weather today and joined us at Valleyfair for Autism Awareness Day. Even Snoopy showed his support of our great community! Visitors were given maps indicating gluten-free dining options and sensory-friendly places to relax. Overall consensus - let's do it again!

Jun
29

Great day for Cam's Ride

CamThank you to the organizers, sponsors and supporters who came out for the 7th annual Cruisn' for Autism in Minnesota, CAM’s Ride for individuals with autism today! It was a beautiful day to cruise the roads, get warmed by the sun and show support for the Minnesota autism community.