Foundational Workshop 2024

A long view of a breakout session room at the 2023 Minnesota Autism Conference, with attendees sitting at circular tablesDisability, Neurodivergence, and Autism Spectrum Disorder

For the second time, our conference will open with a Foundational Workshop held on April 17 from 12:30-4:30 p.m. This is ideal for those just beginning their autism journey or experienced participants who want to review essential information. CE credits are available for the Foundational Workshop. NEW in 2024, we will also include an overview of trending topics in the autism community to help prepare you for sessions you may hear during the conference.

Members: $95
Non-Members: $125
Autistic Adults: $75

Online registration is now closed, but walk ins are welcome!

About the Foundational Workshop

Kicking off our Foundational Workshop, we’ll have two options for you to choose from.

Option 1
We’ll begin the workshop with an overview of basic information about autism. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex condition. Understanding ASD as a form of neurodiversity helps shift your mind to think of ASD as a difference, rather than a disorder. Although no two individuals on the spectrum are alike, it is likely that you will interact with an individual who is on the spectrum at one time or another. This introductory workshop will help you to understand the experience of autistic individuals, and expand your idea of what ASD is. In this session we will talk about what ASD is (as isn’t), different ways that ASD can impact how someone thinks, behaves, and interacts, and strategies to promote success across environments.

Option 2
Held concurrently, we will also be offering a Conference Orientation for autistic individuals who want support knowing what to expect in the upcoming days. Think of this time as an in-person social narrative: we’ll talk about where you can find sessions and resources, who is around to help during the conference, what’s on the schedule, and other important information to know. There will be time to ask questions and get a sense of the social norms you can expect at the Minnesota Autism Conference.

The second section of the Foundational Workshop will bring us back together and dive into current hot topics, with insights from AuSM staff experts. This year’s topics will include the Double Empathy Problem, a deep dive into Spoon Theory (and some variations), and a discussion of intersectionality.

The final hour will be spent broken into smaller groups to discuss what you’ve learned for the day and to brainstorm support strategies relevant to your life. Whether you’re a new educator, family member of someone with a new diagnosis, or an autistic just entering the community, this workshop is the place to build your foundational understanding of ASD to help you get the most out of the conference.

Foundational Workshop Schedule

  • 12:30-2: Autism 101, Conference Orientation (held concurrently)
  • 2-3:30: Hot Topics in the Autism Community
  • 3:30-4:30: Small group discussions

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