This season, find some fun, autism-friendly holiday gifts at the AuSM Bookstore! Shop the wide selection of fidgets, toys, and other sensory-friendly items at AuSM’s office at 2380 Wycliff St., St. Paul, MN 55114. The AuSM Bookstore is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. through Dec. 20.
Join us for the 20th annual Steps for Autism in Minnesota, a community fundraiser featuring the state’s largest annual autism resource fair and the AuSM Flash Dash. Steps for Autism will be held at Southdale Center from 8:30-11 a.m. on Sunday, March 1, 2020.
The 4th Annual AuSM Flash Dash powered by Accra, will be a quick walk, stroll, or roll around the first floor to kick off Steps for Autism 2020. All ages and abilities are welcome to participate. Registered Flash Dash finishers will receive medals from Accra, our generous sponsor, and bragging rights. The cost is $5 to participate.
In addition to the AuSM Flash Dash powered by Accra, the 20th Anniversary of this event will feature "Steps of Possibilities," a highlight of success stories from adults with autism. Stories and photos will be displayed on posters during Steps for Autism.
Steps for Autism in Minnesota 2020 fundraising incentive prizes include an AuSM Camper Mug, an AuSM Scarf, an AuSM Cribbage Board, and Faribault Woolen Mill Winter Mittens. 100% of dollars raised through Steps for Autism are tax deductible, stay local, and support programs and services that allow people affected by autism in Minnesota to grow and thrive.
Plan now to participate in this exciting event for our local autism community on March 1. The event will culminate in an awesome dance party led by AuSM summer camp staff, princesses, and other costumed characters.
Registration is required. Click here to register for Steps for Autism 2020 and the AuSM Flash Dash.
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.
On the heels of the successful first publication of AuSM’s Guide to Sensory-Friendly Minnesota, AuSM has started work on the second, 2020 edition. The guide, created to be a reference tool for families and individuals with autism and other sensory sensitivities, will include articles about the importance of community inclusion and how sensory-friendly accommodations lead to welcoming environments. It also will contain a calendar guide of sensory-friendly community events and activities offered throughout Minnesota in the coming year.
AuSM currently is accepting event and activity listings for the second edition. If you know of a business or organization that offers sensory-friendly events or activities, please encourage them to complete the 2020 listing form. Click here to access the online listing form. Listing submissions for the 2020 guide are due Nov. 25, 2019. A paper form can be accessed here. Advertising space, which includes enhanced listings, also is available.
The second edition of AuSM's Guide to Sensory-Friendly Minnesota will be available in January 2020.