It's Give to the Max Day, Minnesota's day of giving. We encourage you to consider donating to AuSM in support of programs and services that enhance the lives of those in the local autism community. 100% of all donations made to AuSM stay local, growing advocacy, education, support, collaboration, and community building. Donate today and your dollars will be doubled up to $18,078 by our Give to the Max Day match fund created by Pentair Foundation, Games by James, the AuSM Board of Directors, and other community supporters.
Also, enjoy a delicious meal or treat at Shake Shack locations near Southdale in Edina or inside the Mall of America today. 25% of all sales on Give to the Max Day will be donated to AuSM. And, join AuSM at Tin Whiskers in downtown St. Paul from 4-10 p.m. this evening. AuSM will be the Pints for a Purpose charity, and $1 from every pint, flight, and crowler served will support the local autism community.
Malls can be overwhelming with bright lights, loud music, and crowds. For those with sensory-sensitivities, these are places intentionally avoided. However, many local malls are realizing that with a few minor adjustments and some special quiet hours, families with autism and other sensory sensitivities can participate in a fun, welcoming holiday experience. Below is a list of a few malls offering sensory-friendly Santa hours in December. If these aren't near you, check your local mall's website for Santa information. They, too, may offer low-stress times for visiting Santa.
Southdale Mall, Caring Santa, Dec 1, 2019 from 9-11 a.m.
Burnsville Center, Santa Cares, Dec. 8, 2019 from 9-11 a.m.
Maplewood Mall, Sensitive Santa, Dec. 8, 2019 from 9-11 a.m.
Northtown Mall, Sensitive Santa, Dec. 8, 2019 from 9-11 a.m.
AuSM's Counseling and Consulting Services (ACCS) team is proud to announce the publication of Could it be ASD?, a book designed to help therapists and other professionals recognize and understand the unique characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Now available at through the AuSM Bookstore, Could It Be ASD? contains case studies of individuals with autism who may not present in the typical way. With a national ASD prevalence rate of 1 in 59 and an increased spotlight in the media, it’s more important than ever for therapists and providers to have an accurate understanding of the diagnosis.
Barbara Luskin, PhD, an ACCS psychologist, notes that it’s common for herself and her colleagues to diagnose individuals who were misdiagnosed or left undiagnosed due to misunderstandings about what autism is. Dr. Luskin, Amy Carrison, LADC, PsyD; and Beth Pitchford, MA, LPCC; AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services therapists who wrote and compiled the book, are part of AuSM’s clinic that strives to help individuals with autism understand their diagnosis and address both the challenges and gifts that it can bring.
The 25th Annual Minnesota Autism Conference will take place April 22-25, 2020 at the Minneapolis Marriott Southwest. AuSM Currently is seeking breakout session topics and speakers for this important event. Please consider submitting a proposal for presentation during the 25th anniversary year for the state autism conference. 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. Click here to download the Call for Submissions for the 2020 conference. Proposals are due Nov. 15, 2019.
In an effort to increase reach and to serve the southeastern portion of Minnesota, the AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services team is pleased to announce the addition of James Rechs, LICSW, a therapist who will serve the Rochester, Minn. area.
Rechs is the former executive director of the RT Autism Awareness Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting families and individuals affected by autism. He also has used his master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and an undergraduate degree from Grinnell College in Iowa, to serve the community as a therapist and advocate for more than 15 years.
“As we continuously strive to better serve the Greater Minnesota autism community, we hope that physical satellite office presence in Rochester can help us achieve better impact,” said Ellie Wilson, AuSM Executive Director. “We are especially thrilled to work with James, as we know he will continue to inspire collaboration with individuals, families, and organizations that seek to improve community living for those with autism in Southeastern Minnesota.”
In his new role with AuSM, Rechs will provide individual therapy for adults and teens as well as psychoeducation and support for parents, families, and caregivers.