March 1, 2017        Connecting you with the Minnesota autism community.

A Note from Jonah Weinberg, Executive Director
The AuSM office is abuzz today as our staff prepares for the eagerly anticipated Steps of Hope for Autism in Minnesota 2017! 

This exciting event for our community will take place this Sunday, March 5 from 8:30-11 a.m. at Southdale Center in Edina and will feature the state's largest annual autism resource fair; the AuSM Flash Dash; activities; snacks; and AuSM merchandise (including the best and newest fidgets around)! 

Hundreds have registered to walk with us and this awesome community - we would love to have you there, too! Online registration will be open through noon on Friday, and walk-in registrants are welcome on Sunday, too. We look forward to meeting you at the walk and seeing how strong our community is when we are together! 

Have an AuSM day!

AuSM Executive Director
Autism Heroes, Steps of Hope for Autism in Minnesota 2017 is Sunday, March 5
AuSM will present Steps of Hope, its 17th annual fundraiser and the state's largest autism resource fair, at Southdale Center on March 5, 2017 from 8:30-11a.m.  Dollars raised by individuals and walk teams directly support local families and individuals living with autism, from birth through retirement. Those who pre-register (Steps of Hope registration, including the autism resource fair, is free) and raise $100 or more will receive a free Steps of Hope 2017 T-shirt. To learn more, visit .

Held from 9-9:15 a.m., the AuSM Flash Dash presented by Accra Care will make you feel like a superhero as you power walk, skip, roll, or mosey your way from start to finish on the short, indoor course. All ages, abilities, and mobilities can join in on the fun and earn a medal and bragging rights. Proudly let everyone know that you participated in a "race" for autism! 

Conference Registration is Open!

Click here for a detailed 22nd Annual Minnesota Autism 
Conference schedule. Click here to register!
AuSM Educator Challenge
Hey, Minnesota educators! AuSM and special education teacher Chris Ulmer invite you to tell us how you encourage and motivate your students. Positive words, an upbeat dance, a personalized high-five - we want to know how you inspire and support your students each day.

Five educators who enter will be given free tickets to attend Chris Ulmer's state autism conference keynote presentation from 8:30-10:30 a.m. on April 29 and will share their tips or strategies with the audience. The 22nd Annual Minnesota Autism Conference will take place April 26-29 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Minneapolis Park Place.

Click here for a special message from Chris Ulmer.

Click here to enter. Smartphone or other amateur videos are not required but are encouraged. Submissions are due March 15, and winners will be notified April 1, 2017.  For more information, click here.
2016 AuSM annual report available online
2016 was a year of innovation and growth for the Autism Society of Minnesota. New programs and services were offered while current programs were further developed to benefit individuals affected by autism in Minnesota.  Click here  to learn more about 2016 and what AuSM has in store for 2017. If you would like a printed copy of the 2016 AuSM Annual Report, please e-mail
Autism Awareness Day with the Minnesota Twins: April 23, 2017
Major League Baseball, the Minnesota Twins, and AuSM are teaming up to offer discounted tickets to Twins versus the Detroit Tigers game on April 23 at 1:10 p.m. Join us to cheer on the Twins with your family and friends. All ticket purchasers are invited to take part in a special pre-game parade (arrival by 12 p.m.) to increase awareness of autism in Twins Territory. Cost: U.S. Bank Home Run Porch View: $11 (normally $12); $3 per ticket will support Autism Awareness and AuSM. Click here to order your tickets.
Artists wanted for Autism Awareness Month display
The Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank is seeking artwork created by artists with autism to feature in its gallery during Autism Awareness Month in April. Artists are welcome to submit a variety of different media, including photography, paintings, drawings, sculpture, and others. If the artwork is intended to be displayed on the wall, it should be provided in a format that is ready to be hung. If you or someone you know would like to submit art for display, AuSM will accept submissions, on behalf of the bank, at its office in St. Paul through March 24. 

Artwork submitted for this display will be on display from April 3-26 and seen primarily by bank staff and visitors; because the bank is a secure facility, the general public will not have access to the gallery. However, artists whose work is being displayed will be invited to an optional special event at the bank on April 26 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Artists must make arrangements for their artwork to be picked up from the bank on April 26. For additional information, e-mail or call Jillian Nelson at AuSM at 651.647.1083.
Social opportunities for adults with autism survey
AuSM is interested in providing new social opportunities for adults on the spectrum, and has put together a brief survey to get feedback about your interests and availability. Please click on the below link to complete our survey. We look forward to presenting you with new activities and opportunities based on feedback from you and our awesome community! Responses are due by March 15. Click here to take the survey.
Expanded AuSM support group offerings survey
AuSM would like your feedback as we look to expand our support group options for the community. Please help us serve more Minnesotans affected by autism by sharing your thoughts on which support groups would be most valuable.  This survey specifically relates to a possible parent/caregiver support group and a possible addiction support group; however, the final question asks for other support group topic requests. We greatly appreciate your feedback and time. Survey responses are due by March 15. Click here to take the survey.
Experiences with health care professionals: sharing your story
Carrie Dickson, MS, APRN, CNM, CNE, a doctor of nursing practice student from Minnesota State University in Mankato, is working with AuSM to gather personal stories from people with autism on their experiences with health care professionals. From now through April 15, Dickson is seeking stories from self-advocates with autism, parents, caregivers, and direct support staff about positive and negative interactions within the general health care system, including, but not limited to, emergency room visits, clinics, dentist offices, paramedics, hospitals, ophthalmologist offices, etc.

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

Spring Break is the first week of April. Not sure what your student will do with an entire week of free time? AuSM and the Science Museum of Minnesota will offer two exciting classes, "Detective Science" for youth ages 8-12 and "Digital Flix" for teens ages 13-18. Dive into these exciting sessions that focus on learning new skills and spending time with peers! Space is limited; register today!

Social Skills Classes
Summer Camps (Day and Residential)
Summer activities abound - swimming, canoeing, arts and crafts, exploring nature, geocaching, science, filmmaking,  horseback riding, music, yoga, theater, bonfires, and more. Everyone deserves the chance to take advantage of  all summer has to offer. AuSM Social Skills classes and AuSM Camps provide these opportunities - each one  tailored to give 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.

Registration for classes and camps is open!


Twin Cities Summer Social Skills Classes

Life with Autism Series 
AuSM's Life with Autism Series offers information and strategies to parents, family members, relatives, caregivers of individuals with autism, educators, and the community through engaging, age-focused classes led by autism experts and parent speakers. Participants also learn about available services and resources. 

Intro to Autism
Develop an understanding of the basics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), resource options, and positive behavior supports. Learn how families, schools, and the medical community can work together to educate and support those with ASD. Get practical tips on helping individuals with ASD meet their potential.

One Session Class 
Thursday, April 20, 2017 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Cost Per Individual 
AuSM Member: $25; Non-Member: $40


Adolescence and Transition (ages 11-21)
Obtain information on topics including parent emotions, the impact of autism on adolescents, independence in daily living skills, public social skills, reciprocal relationships, sexuality, privacy and safety, transitions into adult living and workplace issues, self-determination skills, behavior management, and emotions.

One Session Class 
Saturday, March 18, 2017 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (bring own lunch)

Cost for Two Family Members/Caregivers 
AuSM Member: $50; Non-Member: $75

Adults (ages 18+)
Obtain information on topics such as impact of autism on adults, independence in daily living skills, social skills across settings including the workplace, reciprocal relationships, sexuality, privacy and safety, transitions into adult living, workplace issues, self-determination skills, behavior management, and emotions.

One Session Class 
Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (bring own lunch)

Cost for Two Family Members/Caregivers 
AuSM Member: $50; Non-Member: $75

AuSM Skillshops

March 23, 2017 from 7-9 p.m.
Electronic Addiction: How to Break Free From Battles Over Screens
Presenter: Barb Andrus, BS, CAPS
Location: St. David's Center

Have you ever tried to limit electronics but then given in because your child wouldn't stop badgering you? Do you feel guilty for sometimes giving in so your child is entertained rather than complaining? There is a real "addictive" quality to electronics and a proven, step-by-step protocol to restore health and harmony to families. Receive solutions from the Free Your Family From Electronic Addiction protocol that are key to having a calmer, more cooperative child with healthy boundaries around electronic usage.


April 13, 2017: Self-Regulation Through the Mind-Body Connection
May 9, 2017: Mindful Parenting: How to Stop the Fighting, Yelling, and Frustration

SPRING and SUMMER 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
Spring 2017 Session
Mondays from 6-9 p.m.
March 13, 20, 27 and April 3, 10, 2017

Summer 2017 Session
Mondays from 8:30-11:30 a.m.
June 12-16, 2017

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
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