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. Due to the pandemic, AuSM Skillshops will be held virtually in the fall and early winter. Sessions will be available in real-time only and will not be accessible after the AuSM Skillshop has taken place.

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 Skillshop/Individual Registration
AuSM Member: $15
Non-Member: $25
AuSM Member with ASD/Current Student: $10

2020-2021 AuSM Skillshops are generously sponsored by GT Independence.

Mental Health from a Distance
Presenter: Olivia James (Uses all pronouns)
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: VIRTUAL

2020 was a challenging year. For autistics who have historically relied on certain structures, people, and resources, social distancing has drastically changed how we can care for our mental health. This session will offer suggestions, strategies, and resources for self-care and mental health management when you are limited to your own home. Find ways to help build structure, meet your sensory needs, and socialize during a time of social distancing.

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


Presenter: Jason Schellack, JD (Pronouns: he/his)
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: VIRTUAL

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 individuals 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.


Disclosure and Accommodations in Post-Secondary and Employment Settings
Presenter: Eric Ringgenberg (Pronouns: he/his)
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: VIRTUAL

Disability disclosure and accommodations are important for success in post-secondary and employment settings. As a form of self-advocacy, disclosure requires self-awareness of needs and solutions, as well as the systems and processes involved. Increased understanding in these areas can assist in promoting self-determination and achieving desired outcomes.

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.