December 1, 2017        Minnesota's First Autism Resource.

A Note from Ellie Wilson, Executive Director
The weather is turning chilly and we're approaching the holiday season. I'd like to share some of the brightness we have seen at AuSM recently, as well as upcoming sources of joy.

A brilliant light we experienced at AuSM in November was Give to the Max Day. The $11,580 in matching fund dollars compiled from AuSM's Board of Directors; community donors; Associated Bank; the Minnesota Association of Financial Aid Planners; Design Pandemonium; the Outing Chamber of Commerce; and RSP Architects, Ltd., combined with the generosity of hundreds throughout our community, had us ending the day with more than $25,000 to support programs and services for local individuals affected by autism. We are so grateful for this record-shattering day of donations to AuSM! 

If you didn't have the opportunity to on Give to the Max Day, please think about selecting AuSM for your end of the year giving. 100% of donations to AuSM stay local to support this amazing community.

December brings a great opportunity for you to learn from an adult on the spectrum during our Dec. 7 AuSM Workshop. Adults with autism have rich knowledge to share that can help guide peers, younger generations, caregivers, and educators. Judy Endow, a woman with autism, mother of a child on the spectrum, and therapist for clients with autism, will share her insight and practical solutions for living with autism. Register today to be a part of this informative workshop.

I look forward to seeing you at some AuSM events in the coming weeks!

Ellie Wilson
AuSM Executive Director
Autism up close and personal, a December workshop

Practical Solutions for Autistic Living
FULL DAY, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017 from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Presented by Judy Endow, MSW, LCSW

enVision Hotel, South St. Paul

Parents, caregivers, educators, professionals, and individuals with autism are invited to join autism expert Judy Endow as she shares personal stories highlighting three challenge areas related to her own autism: 1. sensory differences; 2. not always understanding the hidden curriculum in social situations; 3. when others think of her as "less than" because they do not understand autism.  Learn from Endow's experiences and obtain practical strategies for supporting youth and adults with autism.

AuSM Swing Fling 2017 Fundraiser Event 

Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017
6-10:30 p.m.

Landmark Center
75 W 5th St.
St Paul, MN 55102

You're invited to join AuSM and the Minnesota swing dancing community for a night of music, drinks, food, and fun, all supporting the Minnesota autism community.  Kick up your heels with a dance lesson for dancers of all skill levels to the music of Midwest Sound, and watch a swing dancing demonstration by the University of Minnesota Ballroom Dance Club. Cut a rug to the sounds of Patty and the Buttons live and participate in the Follow the Leader competition, a fun event in which leads and follows are randomly paired for a social dancing extravaganza!

AuSM Member: $30 in advance, $35 at the door 
Non-Member: $35 in advance, $40 at the door 
Individual with ASD/Student: $25 in advance, $30 at the door

Individuals under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. All proceeds support AuSM's programs and services for our local autism community.

Cargill supports AuSM
Friends from Cargill recently stopped by AuSM's office to present a check for more than $2,500 in support of the Minnesota autism community. Members of the Cargill financial group had a week of exciting fundraising activities including a bean bags toss, a Nerf gun challenge, and a chili cook-off. Dollars raised during their team building week of fun were contributed to AuSM and helped us reach our amazing Give to the Max Day total. Thank you, Cargill!
AuSM Social Skills Classes 
for Youth and Young Adults
Led by autism experts, AuSM social skills classes foster confidence and self-esteem while participants learn how to make friends, interact with a group, practice socializing, and have fun - all while educators encourage participants to be themselves. Classes offer low-stress, accepting environments that promote learning and growth while celebrating neurodiversity.

AuSM adult opportunity at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

Polar Bear Enrichment
Ages 18+
December 9, 2017 from 8:30-10 a.m.

Polar bears can weigh 1,000 pounds or more. Meet a polar bear zookeeper to learn how they train these white giants, prepare and observe polar bear enrichment, and explore the award-winning Polar Bear Odyssey exhibit without the crowds. As a bonus, the Como Zoo polar bears Buzz and Neil are celebrating their 22nd birthdays on Dec. 9!  Class participants are able to enjoy the zoo after the class. This class is designed for individuals who do not need direct service professional supports or supervision. 

$5 for Residents of Ramsey and Dakota County 
$15 for Residents of all other counties
The discount fee is made possible for residents of Ramsey and Dakota County though the Dakota and Ramsey Counties Autism Grant.


Additional Opportunities for Adults with Autism

AuSM Book Club at Wescott Library (Now-December 2018)
AuSM 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 course will give practical solutions for working with people on the spectrum

Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2018
9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Mar. 5-Apr. 2, 2018
6-9 p.m.

June 11-15, 2018
9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Life With Autism Series
AuSM's Life with Autism Series offers information and strategies to parents, caregivers, family members, relatives, educators, and the community through engaging, age-focused classes led by autism experts and parent speakers. Participants also learn about available services and resources.

Dates: Jan. 13
Cost: $25 for members, $40 for non-members

Dates: Feb. 24
Cost for one or two participants: $50 for members, $75 for non-members

Dates: Feb. 10
Cost for one or two participants: $50 for members, $75 for non-members

Dates: Mar. 10
Cost for one or two participants: $50 for members, $75 for non-members

Click on this button to register for a Life with Autism Series class.

AuSM Skillshops

Dec. 12, 2017
7-9 p.m.
Make New Friends: How to Find and Keep Friends As An Adult with ASD
Presenter: Beth Pitchford, LPCC
Location: Autism Society of Minnesota

Making and keeping friends as an adult is different than making friends as a child. Learn strategies that will help you decode social interactions, find friends, and build relationships that will last.


Me mbership Bonus:   
AuSM Members save $15 per AuSM Skillshop and receive a certificate to attend one AuSM Skillshop for FREE!
NEW Caregiver Support Group
AuSM is excited to announce a new, free support group for caregivers of school-age kids offered on the second Saturday of each month. Meet fellow caregivers and parents, share problems, receive tips from others who can relate to you, and create community.

2017 Schedule: Dec. 9
2018 Schedule:  Jan. 27, Feb. 24, Mar. TBD, Apr. TBD, May TBD, Jun. 30, Jul. 28, Aug. 25, Sep. 29, Oct. 27, Nov. 17, Dec. 29
Cost: FREE
Location: AuSM Office. 

Coming Soon: 2018 AuSM Summer Activities Catalog!
Keep your eyes peeled on and watch your mailbox for AuSM's 2018 Summer Activities Catalog, which will be available in January 2018. This catalog will be full of social skills classes, AuSM Summer Camps, and more! Registration will open for all summer activities on Jan. 29, 2018. 
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