AuSM Skillshops

Based 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.

Upon request, AuSM Skillshop participants may receive a certificate of attendance to submit to licensing boards for Continuing Education Unit (CEU) consideration.

AuSM Members receive a certificate for a FREE AuSM Skillshop and save $10 on each AuSM Skillshop registration.

Cost Per AuSM Skillshop/Per Individual Registration
AuSM Member: $15
Non-Member: $25
Autistic individual or Current Student: $10

Best Care logo purple, pink, orange, yellow gradient colors

2022 AuSM Skillshops are generously sponsored by Best Care, an AuSM Premier Partner.




Dec. 13, 2022
Autistic Friendly Holidays and Traditions

Presenter: Zephyr James (any pronouns)
Date: Tuesday, Dec. 13 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: Virtual

Many families rely on holidays and traditions to create connections, feel a tie to history, and share values. But often family traditions and expectations can exclude autistics, whether because of sensory needs, disrupted routines, or confusing expectations. This session will help you explore how your autistic family member (or you yourself) can be a powerful force towards creating ritual and tradition that meets the needs of your family. It will include strategies for managing the overwhelm that often comes around the holidays, interactive practice for brainstorming traditions that work for your family, and tips for meeting everyone’s needs.

Zephyr James is an autistic adult and the Community Engagement Manager at the Autism Society of Minnesota. With over seven years of experience in the autism field, they spend their time talking to autistic community members to create resources that meet the needs of the community where they are. James has completed the Partners in Policymaking disability advocacy program and was a Minnesota LEND Fellow.


Jan. 10, 2023
How to Change the World: An Introduction to Public Policy and Disability

Presenter: Jillian Nelson (Pronouns: she/her)
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 10 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: Virtual

Have you ever wondered how to change the laws, or how disability policies are decided? Join AuSM’s Policy advocate and advocacy committee for an overview of the process to change laws, what are the nuances to disability advocacy, and how you can get involved and use your own voice. This session will be presentation, panel discussion and hands on learning opportunity. The committee will also offer a detailed overview of the coming sessions policy agenda.

Jillian Nelson, Community Resource and Policy Advocate for the Autism Society of Minnesota, 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. She also has worked in employment services, helping others with autism secure and retain appropriate, successful employment.


Jan. 24, 2023
Surviving Autistic Burnout

Presenter: Dayna Nelson (Pronouns: she/her)
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 24 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: Virtual

This session will discuss what autistic burnout is, how to recognize it, and what common causes are. After you understand burnout, you’ll get some hacks that will help you survive burnout plus narratives and resources around asking for help and support. This isn’t your guide on solving burn-out, it’s your guide to recognizing, taking care of and being kinder to yourself when you’re burnt out. This is a class for autistics, caregivers, educators and professionals who are surviving burnout.

Dayna Nelson is the Education Specialist with the Autism Society of Minnesota. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a heavy emphasis of Family Social Sciences from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Dayna is dedicated to community-based outreach and providing evidence-based practices within the community to celebrate neurodiversity. She has several years of experience working with autistic individuals, individuals with motor and physical disabilities, and individuals with severe mental diagnoses. Additionally, Dayna has extensive experience working in education, museum and homeless shelter programming. In this role, Dayna navigates and strives for a deeper understanding in the development of expansive trainings, implementing social skills and collaborating with organizations for sensory friendly and inclusive spaces.