November 15, 2016        Connecting you with the Minnesota autism community.

A Note from Jonah Weinberg, Executive Director
November days bring changes, and changes can be challenging for many of us. Lower temperatures require warmer wardrobes; shorter daylight hours require schedule adjustments; and seasonal events may mean dietary variations. While one change in routine may be tough, all of these changes occurring together often lead to heightened anxiety and stress.
There's a saying attributed to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus: "the only constant in life is change." That's why we at AuSM work very hard to be your constant source of information and connection. AuSM offers a place you always can turn to in order to feel comfortable and accepted as you access resources that help you through those times that are not so predictable.  

AuSM education programs, including workshops, AuSM Skillshops, social skills classes, the Life with Autism Series, AuSM's Autism Direct Support Certification, and other community trainings all are available to help guide your journey while reducing the anxiety that change can bring along the way. AuSM's Counseling and Consulting Services experts and our Information and Resources team also are here to lend listening ears and to ease working through change.  Participate with us and see how AuSM can help you learn and grow.

Just as you rely on AuSM to be your constant autism resource, AuSM relies on you to thrive. Thursday is Give to the Max Day in Minnesota, and we encourage you to donate to AuSM if you are able. No donation is too small, and 100 percent of every donation is tax deductible and benefits programs and services for our local autism community. Join us in person at Bruegger's Bagel Bakery in Gaviidae in Minneapolis from 8-11 a.m.; at the Tin Whiskers Brewery in St. Paul from 4-10 p.m.; or at 612Brew in Northeast Minneapolis from 4-10 p.m., or please donate online. Y ou can feel good knowing that your gift will benefit local Minnesota families and individuals affected by autism.

Thank you for supporting the Minnesota autism community!

AuSM Executive Director
Be AuSM to the Max on Nov. 17
Give to the Max Day, Minnesota's state-wide day of giving, is this Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. AuSM's goal is to raise $6,800 this year in honor of the 1 in 68 who is diagnosed with autism. Every dollar collected will be used support AuSM's programs and services for our AuSM community. 

The  Mud Rhythm Race Series has generously offered a $3,000 match donation for Give to the Max Day. Donate on Nov. 17, and your donation will be doubled by AuSM friends at the Mud Rhythm Race Series (up to $3,000)!

On Nov. 17, AuSM will be at the Gaviidae Common Bruegger's Bagels location (651 Nicollet Mall #139, Minneapolis, MN 55402) from 8:30-11 a.m. The first 25 people to donate $50 dollars to AuSM at that location on Nov. 17 will be given a FREE 2016 Bottomless Mug to be used for free refills until the end of the year. Bruegger's also is giving a free Bagel Bundle gift certificate to everyone donating $25 or more (online) to AuSM from 8-10 a.m. on Nov. 17.

Tin Whiskers Brewing Company ( 125 9th St. E., St. Paul, MN 55101) will donate $1 to AuSM for every pint sold between 4-10 p.m. on Give to the Max Day. Stop by Tin Whiskers and raise your glass in support of our community. AuSM will be there with resource materials, too; be sure to say hello!

612Brew ( 945 Broadway St. N.E., Minneapolis, MN 55413) will donate $1 to AuSM for every pint sold between 4-10 p.m. Hang out with AuSM at 612Brew and raise your glass in support of the Minnesota autism community. Bonus: It's trivia night!

Click here for more information and plan to give in support of the Minnesota autism community on Nov. 17. You also can schedule your donation through the GiveMN donations page at this link. Schedule today, and you'll be all set for the day of giving on Thursday! (Mud Rhythm will double scheduled donations, too!). Thank you!
Conference Call for Papers deadline extended through Nov. 23, 2016
The Call for Papers deadline for the 22nd Annual Minnesota Autism Conference has been extended through Nov. 23, 2016. Submit your proposal to present during this largest annual educational event for the Minnesota autism community.  Click here to download, complete, and submit the Call for Papers 2017 proposal form.
December 2, 2016 AuSM Workshop
Tech Tools and Apps for Students and Adults with Autism
iPads and tablets provide a wealth of possibilities for people with varying needs, including those with autism. With all of the apps available today, finding the good ones can be a challenge.  Join us for an AuSM workshop where tech guru, Mark Coppin, will teach us about awesome apps for youth and adults with autism and give us the opportunity to try apps that can help with communication, organization, planning, storytelling, reading, writing, and behavioral support.

About the Presenter
This workshop will be presented by Mark Coppin, MS, the  Director of Assistive Technology at the Anne Carlsen Center in Jamestown, ND. He has presented at state, regional, national, and international conferences on topics including technology and teaching, special education, assistive technology, mobile devices in education, and autism. 

Friday, Dec. 2, 2016

8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Royal Cliff Banquet & Conference Center
2280 Cliff Rd.
Eagan, MN 55122  

Cost (includes lunch)
AuSM Member: $75
Non-Member: $95
Individual with Autism: $55
(A group rate is available for 10 or more participants from the same organization. For the group rate, contact AuSM at 651.647.1083 ext. 19.)

*Register by Nov. 18 to ensure your spot!

Join the coalition to lower MA-TEFRA parental fees
AuSM is a member organization of the Coalition to Lower MA-TEFRA parental fees, and we invite you to join us in support of this initiative.

Many families of children with disabilities struggle to pay the parental fees associated with MA-TEFRA. These fees can cause undue financial hardship for families already facing the high cost of raising children with disabilities. In some cases, the fees are a barrier to insurance coverage for necessary treatments and supports. This legislative session, several individuals and organizations are joining together to form the Coalition to Lower Minnesota MA-TEFRA Parental Fees. The Coalition seeks to meaningfully lower MA-TEFRA parental fees, with the longer term goal of eliminating these fees altogether. While the 2017 legislative session may seem like a long way away, the time to get organized and act is NOW.

Couples class offered in early 2017
"We're In This Together," a class for neurodiverse couples, will be offered at AuSM from 6-8 p.m. on five Mondays, Jan. 9-Feb. 13, 2017. 

This class will guide neurodiverse couples through understanding autism, family rules, arguing, non-verbal communication, parenting, and executive function in regards to priorities and time awareness. Learn about diagnosis disclosure and who needs to know about autism. Classes will follow curriculum from The Asperger's Couples Workbook, and will be instructed by Beth Pitchford, MA, an AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services therapist. 

AuSM Social Skills Classes
Now is a great time to register for AuSM's winter social skills classes. Click on the links below for more information on or to register for a selected class. Registration for spring classes also is open.

Have you seen AuSM's newest education catalog? Click here to view the complete catalog.

WINTER Autism Direct Support Certification
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
Winter 2017 Session  
Jan. 21, 28, 2017 from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
and Feb. 4, 2017 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

AuSM Skillshops

Nov. 15, 2016 - TONIGHT!
Working with Autism: Four Helpful Hacks and One Golden Ticket
Presenter: Mitch Potter
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Location: Minnesota Life College

Undiagnosed people with autism have long enjoyed workplace success through trial-and-error adaptation. They have learned to be seen by employers as skilled problem-solvers rather than problems that need to be solved. In this session, a recently retired man with autism discusses his approach to managing four problematic behaviors so they did not negatively affect his employment. He also details a formula for using positive behaviors to provide unique value to employers. 


Dec. 8, 2016
Driven to Drive: Getting Behind the Wheel
Presenters: Kathy Woods, Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute; Emily Hageness, Minnesota licensed driver instructor
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Location: Lionsgate Academy, Minnetonka

Driving is looked at as a right of passage as we enter our mid  and late teens. This course will cover the critical skills needed for  driving and how autism characteristics may impact safe driving
behaviors. Assessment of driver readiness will be discussed along  with ideas for supports that can be initiated in the home or during  therapies to increase safe driver potential.

Jan. 10, 2017: Keeping Aggression in Check
Jan. 24, 2017: Communication Breakdown: How To Resolve Conflicts

Therapy and Support
With more than 80 years of combined experience with individuals with autism, AuSM's team of highly trained and licensed therapists wants you to feel comfortable and knowledgeable as we undertake this journey together, striving for positive, individual-focused goals. 

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

Information and Resources
Uniting the Community Events and Fundraisers
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