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

A Note from Jonah Weinberg, Executive Director
Summer is upon us, and the unpredictability of the summer months may be causing anxiety for kids, parents, and others who prefer to be on a more set schedule. Below are some AuSM tips for planning and schedule setting - things that will help reduce stress and make summer more fun for all. Special thanks to Emily Levine from the Autism Society of Milwaukee for contributing some of the following tips.
  1. Create a schedule for each day to help your child know what to expect. There are a variety of schedule apps available for the iPad, Kindle Fire, and phones. Many of them can incorporate photos, or provide the "First/Then" option for encouraging your child to tackle a tough activity, knowing that a preferred activity is coming. This also works with a plain paper schedule or calendar.
  2. Carry a backpack with you that has favored food, a change of clothes, and comfort objects. Don't forget a spare cable to recharge electronics, ear protection, bug spray, and sunscreen.
  3. Even fun things like a trip to the zoo can cause stress. Use photos and social narratives to help prepare for outings and reduce anxiety. If you have never written a social narrative, click here to learn more.
  4. Money to pay for activities can be a problem, especially if you don't know if you will be able to stay for more than 10 minutes. If your child receives support from your county, talk to your case manager about adding memberships for the zoo or museums to your child's plan. If this is not an option for you and money is tight, visit AuSM's Uniting the Community Events page on our website to learn about free and low cost local activities. Some public libraries also offer a limited number of "check out" passes to local museums.
  5. Remember to take things slow and follow your child's lead. Have a plan "B" and try not to be upset if you have to leave quickly. Watch your child for signs that things are going sideways and leave before behavior escalates out of control. Don't force a child to stay past their comfort level or you may end up dealing with a meltdown.
  6. Many individuals with autism are drawn to water. Summer is a good time to teach swimming and water safety. If your child is not experiencing success in a regular swim class, talk to the instructor about options. Some clubs and many YMCAs offer adaptive swim lessons.
  7. Doing things for the first time can provoke fear and anxiety. Plan for some new things, but also have familiar favorite activities planned throughout the schedule.
  8. Look for strengths and interests and nurture them.
  9. Learn about events and programmming offered at your local public library and school or parks and recreation programs. Offer to attend with your child or send a PCA along if they will need a higher level of support than the programs provide. 
  10. Register for an AuSM Summer Social Skills class. These classes are tailored for youth and adults with autism and offer safe, supportive environments for fun and spending time with peers. AuSM's classes are offered throughout the summer; find one that highlights your child's special interests.
If you're not sure where to start or want more information on what AuSM has to offer, give AuSM's Information and Resources team a call; we can help you navigate activities so you, too, can be involved in the most comfortable and fun way possible and enjoy these summer days!

Have an AuSM day!

AuSM Executive Director
Women on the spectrum find a comfort place together

For some adults on the spectrum, a challenge can be finding like-minded people who want to socialize.

For Surene Henderson and Laura Dettloff, that challenge is made even more difficult by the fact that, as women on the spectrum, they often feel out of place in groups dominated by men.

"Autism presents really differently in women than in men," Henderson explains. "The way autism is talked about in the media is so guy-centric and kid-centric that adult women get lost. It's so different to be diagnosed as an adult woman."

AuSM offers "Escape Zone" at Twin Cities Pride

June 24-25, 2017
Loring Park
1382 Willow Street
Minneapolis, MN 55403

AuSM is excited to be working with Twin Cities Pride to offer an "Escape Zone" during the 2017 Pride Festival on June 24 and 25. Individuals with sensory needs at the festival can stop by the tent for air conditioning, quiet, and fidgets. Cost: FREE.  Click here for more information about Twin Cities Pride.
Safe Summer Nights
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
5-7 p.m.
Bridgeview School
350 Colborne St. S.
St. Paul, MN

Please join the St. Paul Police Department, Saint Paul Public Schools, and Saint Paul Parks and Recreation for a special edition of Safe Summer Nights, "St. Paul 4 Kids". The event will include a picnic-style barbecue cookout for children with special needs and their families and caregivers, face painting, a jump house, the K9 unit, mounted patrol, motors unit, and more. Cost: FREE. For more information, contact the St. Paul Police Community Engagement Unit at 651.266.5485.
AuSM, Toneworks, and Mia offer free summer class on July 27

Youth and young adults ages 11-20 with autism, intellectual, or other disabilities are invited to participate in a free day of fun on July 27 at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia). "A Musical Day with Mia" will run from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and will include a tour of Mia, including the 
Migrations  and  Now Where Were We?  exhibits. Participants also will play music games with Toneworks Music Therapy and make their own art creation with a Mia instructor. This class is funded in part by a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. Space is limited. 

SUMMER  Social Skills Classes 
AuSM Social Skills classes provide  youth and adults with autism a fun, safe, and exciting experience while they increase self-esteem,  expand knowledge, and build friendships that last a lifetime. AuSM also welcomes individuals with other learning  differences who can benefit from skills including sensory integration, executive functioning, theory of mind, self-regulation,  and emotional regulation.

Summer work opportunities available: AuSM summer camps need YOU! 
AuSM is looking for camp counselors interested in getting direct support experience, learning and practicing strategies, and gaining awareness of the unique challenges that individuals with autism experience each day. If you are interested in a career in the healthcare field, in education, or in working with individuals on the spectrum (e.g. nursing, education, special ed., speech therapy, music therapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, and more), this is a great opportunity for you.

Counselors are needed for the following sessions:
  • Session 1: June 25-30, 2017 (Males 19-21, Females 18+) *Training June 23-24
  • Session 3: Aug. 6-11, 2017 (Males 22+) *Training Aug. 4-5
Register for the 22nd Annual AuSM Golf Classic by June 30 and save $100
Participate in the 22nd Annual AuSM Golf Classic at Troy Burne Golf Club in Hudson, Wis. on Monday, Aug. 7, 2017. Take a break from the humdrum of a regular Monday and have fun hitting the links in support of AuSM's mission of enhancing the lives of individuals touched by autism in Minnesota. Golfing foursomes will enjoy 18 holes of golf on the pristine Troy Burne course; a complimentary cart (one per two golfers); entry into contests and games; lunch; and an awards dinner. Save $100 per registering foursome when you register by June 30. Prices go up in July, so reserve your foursome slot today! Click here for more information and to register today.

Become a Sponsor
AuSM is looking for businesses interested in promoting their support of the Minnesota autism community. Share your business message with our 130+ golfers who want to make a difference in the lives of individuals with autism. Sponsorships range from $200 to $5000+. We're also seeking silent auction item donations.  Click here for more information on how to become a part of this fun event.
9th Annual Ride for Hope 
The 9th Annual Ride for Hope will take place on Saturday, July 29, 2017 and will begin at 8 a.m. at the American Legion in Zimmerman, Minn. Ride for Hope is an annual motorcycle ride started by Chris & Marna Bame, owners of Lube-Tech, Inc., and Robin and Ray Baker, Lube-Tech employees. 100% of funds raised go to the Autism Society of Minnesota. Activities throughout the ride include a silent auction, mystery bags, and scavenger hunt. Rider registration and breakfast from 8-9:15 a.m.; kick stands up at 9:30 a.m. Cost: $35 per bike/vehicle, and $15 per passenger. Click here for more information and to register.
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.


The 2017-2018 AuSM Skillshop schedule will be announced in August.
FALL Autism Direct Support Certification registration open
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

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   info@ausm.org .

Information and Resources
Uniting the Community Events
Autism Society of Minnesota | 651.647.1083 | info@ausm.org |   www.ausm.org

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