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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. Purchase an individual session or all Internet streaming sessions that cover a wide variety of topics. 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
Oct. 1, 2019: Guardianship: Do We Need It
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

Live-Stream AuSM Skillshops 5-Session Package Registration
Purchase the 5-Session Package and get the 6th for FREE!
AuSM Member: $75
Non-Member: $125
AuSM Member with ASD or Current Student: $50

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 or to purchase the live-stream AuSM Skillshop package.

Click here for Scholarships & Waiver information.


 

computerscreenclipartOct. 1, 2019 INTERNET LIVE-STREAM AVAILABLE
Guardianship: Do We Need It?
Presenter: Jason Schellack, JD
Date: Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: Autism Society of Minnesota, 2380 Wycliff St. #102, St. Paul, MN 55114

At age 18, a child is legally considered an adult. Some youth, however, aren’t yet ready for all of the responsibilities of adulthood. Many children with ASD will continue to need assistance with their IEPs, transition services, making medical decisions, and applying for government benefits. To have legal authority to assist their adult children in these important areas, many parents and caregivers choose to establish legal guardianship. Learn about the legal process for obtaining guardianship and how you can qualify for free legal assistance. Understand the powers and responsibilities guardians have under Minnesota law, and how successor guardians are chosen and appointed.

Jason Schellack is an attorney and the Executive Director of Autism Advocacy & Law Center, LLC, a law firm dedicated to serving individuals with disabilities and their families. Schellack has worked with individuals with autism throughout his career as a camp counselor, personal care attendant, public defender, and legal advocate. He practices primarily in the areas of guardianship, estate planning, family law, and special education law. Schellack also is a qualified neutral under Rule 114, allowing him to serve as a mediator in family law disputes.

clicktoregister    ClicktoRegisterLiveStream


Oct. 22, 2019
Technology as Support
Presenters: Rem5, Kinuu, Joshin
Date: Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: Lindamood-Bell, 3300 Edinborough Way #206, Edina, MN 55435

Technology is constantly evolving, and new technology allows for new possibilities. In addition to being fun and engaging, technology can be used to provide support and build new skills for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other neurodiversities. In this AuSM Skillshop, hear from three different businesses, Joshin, Kinuu, and Rem5 VR Lab, who have used technology in innovative ways.

The Joshin team is committed to providing high quality disability care and believe fun is an important part of the care equation.

Kinuu is the creator of Brainyact, a video game that combines proven clinical therapies and leading-edge neuroscience to provide effective and affordable brain training exercises.

Rem5 VR Lab has a passion for knocking down the existing accessibility barriers and allowing everyone a chance to play, explore, learn, and create in virtual reality.

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computerscreenclipartNov. 12, 2019 INTERNET LIVE-STREAM AVAILABLE
Let’s Talk About It: What Everyone Should Know About Disclosure
Presenter: Jillian Nelson
Date: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: Autism Society of Minnesota, 2380 Wycliff St. #102, St. Paul, MN 55114

After every autism diagnosis, whether in childhood or later in life, comes the decision of when and how to tell people about it. Learn about why disclosing can be helpful, legal rights and protections related to disclosing a disability, the benefits and risks of disclosing in different situations, and tools to craft the most effective disclosure techniques for a variety of contexts.

Jillian Nelson, Community Resource and Policy Advocate at AuSM, was diagnosed with autism as a young adult. With a degree in human services and a background in self-advocacy, she has dedicated her career to helping others with autism achieve their goals, advocating for system change, and spreading a message of education and autism acceptance. Nelson currently sits on the Governor’s Council for Developmental Disabilities and has worked in employment services helping others with autism secure and retain appropriate, successful employment.

clicktoregister    ClicktoRegisterLiveStream


Dec. 3, 2019
Promoting Independence and Self-Determination
Presenters: Abbie Wells-Herzog and Eric Ringgenberg
Date: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: Lionsgate Academy, 2342 Helen St. N., North St. Paul, MN 55109

Achieving independence in adulthood is a life-long journey for every individual. For some individuals with autism, additional support is needed to reach desired outcomes related to employment, post-secondary education, independent living, and recreation and leisure. Vocational Rehabilitation services can help support individuals who are transition-aged and older. There also are steps that families, caregivers, and providers can take at an earlier age to promote independence and self-determination skills.

Abbie Wells-Herzog has served as the Autism Specialist for Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) for 7 years, where she trains, consults, and supports VRS field staff state-wide, to improve supports and services for job-seekers within the autism community. Wells-Herzog is a member of the Minnesota Interagency Committee and the state Autism Council.

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.

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computerscreenclipartJan. 14, 2020 INTERNET LIVE-STREAM AVAILABLE
Alderian Psychology and ASD
Presenter: Sara Lahti, MA
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: Autism Society of Minnesota, 2380 Wycliff St. #102, St. Paul, MN 55114  

There is a common myth that people on the spectrum are not socially interested. The truth is, many are socially interested but may not know where to begin. In this session, address this myth and learn a process on developing social interest, a key concept in Adlerian theory.

Sara Lahti is an AuSM therapist who has a passion for working with adults on the spectrum. She uses Adlerian and person-centered therapeutic techniques to help clients better understand themselves and their strengths. She works with clients on thought patterns and how they affect daily living and as well as helps clients develop social interest within themselves and their communities.

clicktoregister    ClicktoRegisterLiveStream


Jan. 28, 2020
Suicidality and ASD
Presenter: Joe Timmons
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: Lionsgate Academy, 599 Cardigan Rd., Shoreview, MN 55126

Organizations that support people with autism know that mental health issues can be difficult to diagnose and treat. Because of social isolation or limited communication skills, some individuals may be unable or unwilling to seek help when depression or anxiety becomes overwhelming. Learn about risk factors for suicide and examine ways to practice suicide prevention using community-based resources. This session fulfills the CEU requirement for educators.

Joe Timmons is a social worker and teacher who has worked with adults and adolescents with disabilities for more than 35 years. He supports strength-based approaches to helping others discover ways to find valued roles in their community.

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computerscreenclipartFeb. 18, 2020 INTERNET LIVE-STREAM AVAILABLE
Preventing & Recovering from Burnout: Real World Self-Care
Presenter: Olivia James
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: Autism Society of Minnesota, 2380 Wycliff St. #102, St. Paul, MN 55114

Self-care is all the rage these days, but for most autistics, getting a manicure and taking a bubble bath isn’t going to cut it. Almost every autistic adult experiences burnout at some point in their lives. Learn how to incorporate preventative self-care that goes deeper than a bar of chocolate, and find out what you can do once you’ve already hit the point of burnout. There’s no magic wand, but there are tools that can help.

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


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 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

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.

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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.