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AuSM Skillshops

19 20EduCatalogCvrWEBBased on topics suggested by the Minnesota autism community, AuSM Skillshops are mini-workshops designed for individuals with autism, parents, caregivers, family members, support staff, educators, therapists, and other professionals who work with individuals with autism. AuSM Skillshops are held at the AuSM office in St. Paul and at partnering locations. Listings in RED indicate AuSM Skillshops tailored for adults on the spectrum, but all are welcome to register.

Cost Per AuSM Skillshop/Per Individual Registration (attend session in-person) 
AuSM Member: $25
Non-Member: $40
AuSM Member with ASD or Current Student: $10

computerscreenclipartNEW! Watch AuSM Skillshops online!
AuSM is pleased to announce that select 2019-2020 AuSM Skillshops will be available through a live-stream Internet broadcast. AuSM Skillshops noted with a computer icon are available for purchase for live-stream viewing. Sessions purchased for live-stream viewing will be available in real time only and will not be accessible after the AuSM Skillshop has taken place.

Available Live-Stream AuSM Skillshops
Nov. 12, 2019: Let’s Talk About It: Disclosure
Jan. 14, 2020: Alderian Psychology and ASD
Feb. 18, 2020: Preventing & Recovering from Burnout
March 31, 2020: Understanding SPED
May 19, 2020: How To Find the Right Therapist for You

Live-Stream AuSM Skillshops
Individual Session Registration AuSM Member: $15
Non-Member: $25
AuSM Member with ASD or Current Student: $10

Click on the green button to register to attend an AuSM Skillshop in person. Click on the black button to register to live-stream an AuSM Skillshop.

Click here for Scholarships & Waiver information.


March 10, 2020
Supplemental Needs Trust Planning
Presenter: Rachel Schromen, JD
Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2020 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: Minnesota Independence College & Community, 7501 Logan Ave. S. #2A, Richfield, MN 55423

Learn about best estate planning practices to protect and provide for those you love with autism. Obtain knowledge on estate planning basics, planning for guardianship of minors, and how to use Supplemental and Special Needs Trusts. With proper preparation and the appropriate legal documents, families can best plan for the protection and security of their loved ones, as well as plan for extending the longevity of their assets in providing such care.

Rachel Schromen is an estate planning and elder law attorney, and owner of Schromen Law, LLC located in St. Paul. Schromen works with families to plan for the security and protection of their children, providing guidance and expertise with Supplemental Needs and Special Needs Trusts.

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computerscreenclipartMarch 31, 2020 INTERNET LIVE-STREAM AVAILABLE
Understanding Special Education (SPED) 
Presenter: Eric Ringgenberg
Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2020 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: Autism Society of Minnesota, 2380 Wycliff St. #102, St. Paul, MN 55114

Navigating special education can be confusing due to unfamiliar words and acronyms and a complex process of requirements and criteria. Further, competing rights and needs can make it a challenge to collaborate effectively as a team. This AuSM Skillshop will help parents, guardians, and other stakeholders to gain a better understanding of special education, including the special education process, categories and criteria for qualification, common words and acronyms, and due process rights.

Eric Ringgenberg, AuSM’s Education Director, has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities and a master’s degree in Special Education - Autism Spectrum Disorders from the University of St. Thomas.

clicktoregister    ClicktoRegisterLiveStream


May 2, 2020
Nature—Hippotherapy—Horticulture: Three Powerful Catalysts for Autism Support
Presenter: Becky Payne, MATCCC/SLP/HPCS
Date: Saturday, May 2, 2020; time to be announced
Location: St. David’s Center, 3395 Plymouth Rd., Minnetonka, MN 55305

Nature is the perfect stimulating environment for both sensory seekers and sensory avoiders to assist in achieving ideal regulation for optimal functioning. Hippotherapy is the purposeful manipulation of equine movement to engage sensory, neuromotor, and cognitive systems to achieve functional outcomes. Horticulture therapy is the involvement of a person in garden- or plant-based activities to target social, educational, psychological, emotional, and physical outcomes. Led by an occupational and speech therapist, this presentation will provide insights and techniques for support using nature, hippotherapy, and horticulture therapy to encourage development and to address difficult behaviors that inhibit growth in independence.

Becky Payne has been a Speech Language Pathologist for 26 years. She founded Nature’s Edge Therapy Center, Inc. in 2001, a unique, non-profit rehabilitation center providing intensive speech, occupational and physical therapy on a ranch and using hippotherapy, animal-assisted therapy, and horticulture therapy as support strategies.

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computerscreenclipartMay 19, 2020 INTERNET LIVE-STREAM AVAILABLE
How to Find the Right Therapist for You
Presenter: Barb Luskin, PhD, and Olivia James
Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2020 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: Autism Society of Minnesota, 2380 Wycliff St. #102, St. Paul, MN 55114

Therapy can be a wonderful option for individuals with ASD looking for assessment and ongoing mental health support, but finding the right therapist can be tricky. Dr. Barbara Luskin and Olivia James, an adult on the spectrum, will discuss common difficulties and misunderstandings in the process. Learn how to find a provider who is a good fit, how to work with a therapist to have a positive therapy experience, and common challenges that clients face.

Dr. Luskin is a licensed psychologist who has worked closely with children and adults with ASD for more than 30 years in professional and home settings. She specializes in providing both assessments and counseling to individuals with ASD and those who support them.

Olivia James is the Marketing and Communications Specialist at AuSM, a MN LEND Fellow, and an autistic woman diagnosed at 25. With the unique position of working at an autism organization, James has the ability to balance her professional life with her personal accommodations and share those lessons with other adults on the spectrum.

clicktoregister    ClicktoRegisterLiveStream


JUNE 9, 2020
Helping Your Child with ASD Learn to Ride a Bike
Presenter: Alex Uhler
Date: Tuesday, June 9, 2020 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: Autism Society of Minnesota, 2380 Wycliff St. #102, St. Paul, MN 55114

This AuSM Skillshop is sold out. To be added to the waiting list, please contact AuSM's Education team at 651.647.1083 ext. 26 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Challenges with body awareness, balance and motor control, and hand-eye coordination can make riding a bike difficult. Learn a number of tips for successful bike riding including purchasing 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.

Alex Uhler is an outdoor enthusiast with more than 40 years of bicycling experience.

Note: This AuSM Skillshop is limited to nine children, ages 5-12. Support adult and child attend together. Child should bring a bike and helmet.


Cancellation Policy

Notification of Cancellation: If an AuSM Skillshop is cancelled or postponed, AuSM will attempt to notify you via phone, using the phone number provided with your registration. We also will post notice of cancellations and postponements on www.ausm.org.

Cancellation by Registrant: Refunds less a $10 processing fee will be given for cancellations received in writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. seven business days prior to the AuSM Skillshop. Following this date, no refunds will be given. Requests for transfers of registration to another individual will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Cancellation by Skillshop Organizer: AuSM reserves the right to cancel a Skillshop due to low registrations or other circumstances that make the Skillshop non-viable. If AuSM cancels an AuSM Skillshop, registrants will be offered a full refund. If the event is postponed, registrants will have the option to either receive a full refund or transfer registration to the same AuSM Skillshop at the new, future date.