August 15, 2017        Connecting you with the Minnesota autism community.

A Note from Dawn Brasch, Interim Executive Director
Summer is winding down quickly, and big box stores and online shopping carts are full of supplies needed for the upcoming school year. Pens, pencils, folders, scissors, and glue sticks - all of the essentials needed to be prepared.

AuSM presents you with another fall essential - the 2017-2018 AuSM Education Catalog. This publication, AuSM's largest and most opportunity-packed booklet of the year, is going to the printer this week and will be delivered to mailboxes soon. 

This issue of AuSM Connections features a sneak peek of the catalog contents, and includes links to all of AuSM's new offerings:  social skills classes for youth and young adults, AuSM Skillshops, AuSM Direct Support Certification, the Life with Autism series, Uniting the Community eventsAutism 101 and the Value of RespiteAutism 101 and Positive Supports, and much more.

We also realize that many services end as individuals with autism reach their early 20s. The new catalog and our website have pages dedicated to activities for adults, providing opportunities that will help adults with autism connect with peers, education, and resources.

Click through the links to learn more about how AuSM's programs and services will help you be prepared for the coming months.

Have an AuSM day!

AuSM Interim Executive Director
2017-2018 AuSM Education Catalog
The catalog is nearly ready for the printer and is full of exciting educational opportunities for everyone in the Minnesota autism community. Registration for all programs will be open this Friday. Visit the links below to learn more about AuSM's upcoming fall, winter, and spring programs.

AuSM Social Skills Classes 
for Youth and Young Adults

AuSM On the Town (ages 14-26)
Como Zoo Skills Teens (ages 13-18)
Full Spectrum Ceili - Irish Dance (ages 14+)
ComedySportz Improv (ages 14-26)

Como Zoo Skills Elementary (ages 8-12)
ComedySportz Improv (ages 14-26)

AuSM On the Town (ages 14-26)
ComedySportz Improv (ages 14-26)
Toneworks Creative Arts (ages 8-12)

AuSM Activities for Adults


Life with Autism Series

Other Classes/Events

AuSM Open House and farewell to Jonah
AuSM opened its doors on Aug. 10 to welcome our community with appetizers, desserts, beverages, and tours of AuSM's newly remodeled spaces. AuSM board members, the AuSM staff, and many friends and supporters of AuSM filed through the front doors on Wycliff Street to enjoy the festive atmosphere and to connect in person.

The evening was bittersweet as the celebration also included a farewell to Jonah Weinberg, AuSM's former executive director, who will be moving to California this month to be closer to his family. In his four years at AuSM, Weinberg helped grow the organization and touched many lives within the community, building relationships and advancing messages of autism awareness and inclusion.

Thank you for participating in AuSM's open house. We look forward to continued growth and service to this amazing Minnesota autism community.
A fun day on the greens in support of AuSM
The sun shone brightly as more than 100 golfers tested their skills and luck on a scramble round during the AuSM Golf Classic 2017 at Troy Burne Golf Club on Aug. 7. 

Golfers enjoyed a Chipotle catered lunch, silent auction, and many fun games throughout the course. Special thanks to our many donors and sponsors including Eagle Sponsors: Allegra Downtown St. Paul; Mike and Pat Esterly with Edina Realty; Family Innovations, Inc.; and McNellis & Asato, Ltd.; volunteers; and awesome golfers. It was a beautiful day in support of programs and services for our local autism community.
AuSM Adults with ASD at the Minnesota Zoo
AuSM is pleased to partner with the Minnesota Zoo to offer the last in a series of classes for adults with autism who live in Dakota and Ramsey Counties. These classes are made possible in part by the Dakota and Ramsey County Autism Grant.  Classes are designed for individuals who do not need direct service professional supports or supervision. The class size maximum is 20 participants.

Climate Change and Minnesota's Wildlife: Sunday, Sept. 17 from 1-3 p.m.
Cost: $5 per person
Climate change is already affecting Minnesota's plants and animals. Meet some Minnesota animals and learn all about our native ecosystems, ongoing research, how to get involved, and what scientists already are learning about how climate change will affect our natural heritage.
Minnesota Department of Human Services invites you to be a VIP
The Disability Linkage Line is becoming Disability Hub MN. As part of the transformation, DHS is putting together the Virtual Insight Panel (VIP), a wide-ranging group of Minnesotans who will volunteer to shape and inform communications and programs for people with disabilities. 
VIP members will have opportunities to provide feedback online, on the phone, or in person. Participation likely will be  one to two times a month, and possibly as few as one  to two times a year. Activities may include: focus groups; one-on-one interviews; online surveys; and/or polls.  In exchange for input, participants will be first to know about and give feedback on policy and programmatic changes affecting people with disabilities and, for some opportunities, will receive gift cards as a thank you for their time.
If you are interested in learning more or would like to apply, click here to complete an application. If you have questions, e-mail
AuSM offers new Book Clubs in Ramsey and Dakota Counties
AuSM is pleased to partner with the Ramsey County Library in Shoreview and the Dakota County Library in Eagan to offer AuSM Book Clubs for individuals with autism, other disabilities, and neurotypical individuals ages 14-35 who live in Dakota and Ramsey Counties. The AuSM Book Clubs are made possible in part by the Dakota and Ramsey Counties Autism Grant.

Share the joy of reading with others by joining this book club. During the first meetings of the groups, the groups will develop the guidelines and choose the first book. The cost to participate is free, but registration is required. Click on the following links for more info and to register.

AuSM Book Club at the Ramsey County Library in Shoreview
AuSM Skillshops

Sept. 19, 2017
7-9 p.m.
Law & Order: ASD
Presenter: Barb Luskin, PhD, LP
Location: AuSM in St. Paul

Studies show that people with autism are seven to 12 times more likely to interface with law enforcement and the criminal justice system than their neurotypical peers. Social and communication challenges can lead to misunderstandings. Whether it's a misunderstanding or not, having positive response strategies is imperative. Learn about common scenarios involving individuals with autism and how to advocate and support them through the legal process.


Sept. 26, 2017
7-9 p.m.
My Child Has Autism: Do I?
Presenter: Beth Pitchford, MA
Location: AuSM in St. Paul

Your child was diagnosed with autism, and you recognize some of his or her traits reflected in yourself. Do you wonder if you, too, could be on the autism spectrum? Is it important to get a formal diagnosis? :earn about the heritabilty of autism, adult diagnosis, parent with autism, and the importance of understanding your needs as a parent.


Me mbership Bonus:   
AuSM Members save $15 per AuSM Skillshop and receive a certificate to attend one AuSM Skillshop for FREE!
Fall, winter, spring, and summer 
AuSM's Autism Direct Support Certification Program is designed for professionals who work with individuals with autism or who want to better provide service to those with autism spectrum disorder. This in-depth, 15-hour course will give practical solutions for working with people on the spectrum. 

Who should participate?
  • Job Coaches
  • Support Staff
  • Personal Care Attendants (PCAs)
  • EIDBI Tier 3 Providers
  • Educational Aides
  • Direct Support Personnel
  • Group Home Staff
  • Day Training and Habilitation Professionals
  • Anyone who works directly with individuals with autism
Fall 2017 Session
Fridays from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Sept. 15, 22, 29, and Oct. 6, 13, 2017

Winter 2018 Session
Jan. 20, 27, 2018 from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
and Feb. 3, 2018 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Spring 2018 Session
March 5, 12, 19, 26; April 2, 2018 6-9 p.m.

Summer 2018 Session
June 11-15, 2018 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Ask the Therapist monthly e-mail from AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services
AuSM sends out a monthly "Ask the Therapist" e-mail where AuSM's therapists answer questions submitted by the Minnesota autism community.   Click here   to read the "Ask the Therapist" archive. To submit a question, e-mail .

AuSM Job Openings
AuSM is growing and is searching for people who are passionate about helping the Minnesota autism community thrive. Click on the below links to learn more about the positions for which we currently are hiring:

Information and Resources
Uniting the Community Events
In partnership with area businesses and organizations, AuSM is pleased to offer monthly opportunities for families and individuals with autism to come together and enjoy fun activities in supportive, welcoming environments. 

Autism Society of Minnesota | 651.647.1083 | |

Established in 1971, the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to education, advocacy and support designed to enhance the lives of those affected by autism from birth through retirement. AuSM does not sell or share the contact information of our members, volunteers, donors or supporters.

Autism Society of Minnesota, 2380 Wycliff St. #102,  St. Paul, MN 55114