April 1, 2019 News for the Minnesota autism community.
AuSM Featured Articles
AuSM celebrates awareness, inclusion, and appreciation in April and every day
With a national prevalence rate of 1 in 59 and Minnesota's prevalence rate of 1 in 42, autism is the fastest growing developmental disability. Everyone knows someone who is touched by autism.  

Since 1971, the Autism Society of Minnesota has been committed to education, advocacy and support designed to enhance the lives of those affected by autism from birth through retirement.

April is National Autism Awareness Month, a special opportunity celebrate and show support for the local autism community. Thank you to these businesses and organizations who have signed on to celebrate with AuSM in April:

  • A-Town Tattoo ($10 from Autism Awareness-inspired tattoos purchased from 2-5 p.m. on April 2 and 3 will be donated to AuSM)
  • Accra
  • Allegra Downtown St. Paul
  • Anime Twin Cities
  • Associated Speech and Language Specialists, LLC: Maplewood, Plymouth, Shoreview, St. Paul 
  • Autism Advocacy & Law Center, LLC
  • The Bakken Museum
  • Fresh Thyme (St. Louis Park and Vadnais Heights locations donating $1 to AuSM for every giving bag sold through April)
  • Joshin
  • Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes
  • Lost at Home Shirts (Donating 20% of profits to AuSM from March 11-April 10) 
  • Minnesota Independence College & Community
  • Molly Fuller Design
  • North Shore Gymnastics Association
  • North Star Irish Dance
  • Run with Tracy
  • Saegerville Cedar (10% of all sales during April 2019 will be donated to AuSM)
  • Senator Jim Abeler (R) District 35 - Minnesota Senate
  • Senator John A. Hoffman (DFL) District 36 - Minnesota State Senate
  • Senator Jason Isaacson (DFL) District 42 - Minnesota State Senate
  • Senator Jerry Relph (R) District 14 - Minnesota State Senate
  • Sora Pediatric Therapy
  • St. David's Center for Child & Family Development
  • SWWC Service Cooperative
  • Vitals Aware Services

AuSM hosts Tuesdays at the Capitol on April 2, World Autism Awareness Day
Autism Society of Minnesota supporters and other members of Minnesota’s autism and disability community are encouraged to attend Tuesday at the Capitol, hosted by AuSM, on World Autism Awareness Day tomorrow, Tuesday, April 2 from 9:30-11 a.m. AuSM’s Tuesday at the Capitol will focus on the critical last phase of the legislative session. Learn about the legislation that impacts our community; plan in advance for a visit with your legislators after the meeting (AuSM can help with this!); and build relationships with community members and lawmakers. Click here to register to attend.
AuSM annual meeting features new officer election, annual report
Thank you to AuSM members, board, and staff who participated in last night's annual meeting. During the gathering, Executive Director Ellie Wilson shared a review of 2018, highlighting new programs and events that were offered. Participants also approved AuSM's new mission statement and purpose statements. Recognized and applauded for her years of service, AuSM Board President, Jean Bender, completed her term and members voted in new President, Paul D'Arco; Vice-President, Katie Knutson; and Secretary, Jenna Matteson-Laabs. Click here to access AuSM's 2018 Annual Report for more information about the AuSM community's 2018 accomplishments. We are pleased to continue our service to the Minnesota autism community into 2019!
Register for the state autism conference
Registration for the 24th Annual Minnesota Autism Conference is open. Held April 24-27 at a new venue , the Minneapolis Marriott Southwest , the conference is where we'll join our voices as a passionate network to connect and inspire innovation. Here, expert speakers, educators, professionals, caregivers, and individuals with autism have a platform to exchange knowledge and ideas with one another - all with the goal of enhancing the lives of those on the autism spectrum.

The 2019 event will feature 39 breakout sessions and four keynote speakers including Sue Swenson, MBA sponsored by LEND; Theresa M. Regan, PhD, CBIS, CAS; Patrick Schwarz, PhD sponsored by St. David's Center for Child & Family Development; and Jennifer O'Toole sponsored by Minnesota Independence College & Community.

Click here to view detailed conference schedule on AuSM's website.

Looking to participate in the conference at a reduced rate? Volunteer! Various volunteer shifts are available during the conference, and a discounted volunteer fee applies according to the day and number of shifts for which you volunteer. Click here for more info.

AuSM also has scholarships available for those encountering a financial barrier in attending. Click here for more info.

5th Annual AuSM Fun & Games Gala
April 26, 2019 at the Minneapolis Marriott Southwest

Join AuSM for an exciting evening bringing the community together for fantastic food, drinks, games, prizes, a silent auction, and a celebration of those serving as true inspirations to individuals affected by autism. All gala proceeds will benefit programs and services for the Minnesota autism community.

Tickets: $85/individual; $800/table of 10 
(tax-deductible amounts: $50/ticket and $450/table)

Now is a great time to become an AuSM member
For nearly half a century, AuSM has offered Minnesota a place to learn, access services, and develop skills. AuSM membership connects you to a common community that acts without judgment, nurtures potential, advances knowledge, and builds awareness. Join our supportive network to find programs, services, and resources. Become an AuSM Member now through April 10 and your name will be entered into a drawing for two tickets to the AuSM Fun & Games Gala on April 26. The gala will bring our community together for food, drinks, games, auctions, and a celebration of those serving as true inspirations to individuals on the spectrum. A $170 value!

Work at AuSM Summer Camp
Working at an AuSM Summer Camp is the perfect opportunity for students, para-professionals, teachers, and service providers. As an AuSM camp counselor, you have the chance to get valuable hands-on experience using structure, environmental supports, social stories, and individual communication systems. Apply to work any number of sessions you desire. As a camp counselor, you not only gain personal experience, you touch the lives of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder by providing a unique camp experience.

Support AuSM summer campers
AuSM's camp directors have created an AuSM Summer Camp Wish List on Amazon to help improve the camp experience and better serve campers during the 2019 AuSM Summer Camp season. Wish list items range from $6 and up and can be shipped directly to AuSM. If you would like a tax form for your purchased wish list item, please provide your e-mail address in the gift memo field when you are purchasing. Also, when shopping on Amazon (for wish list items or otherwise!), please be sure to select AuSM as your Amazon Smile charity, and Amazon will give a percentage of your purchase to support our local autism community. Your generosity means so much to us and this amazing community we serve. Thank you! 
AuSM Education
AuSM's spring social skills classes
AuSM has a full line up of social skills classes for youth, teens, and adults with autism in the coming months. These activities are sure to keep you warm, even though the outside temps still might be chilly.

April 13 (Ages 13+)
May 11 (Ages 8-12) 

Saturdays, May 4-18 (Ages 10-16) 

Monthly (Ages 14+) at the Wescott Library

Monthly (Ages 18+) at AuSM

Contact AuSM's education department at 651.647.1083 ext. 22 or  education@ausm.org  for further details, or click on the above links to get registered for some springtime fun today!
Register for some summer fun
Life with Autism Series
AuSM's Life with Autism Series offers information and strategies through engaging, age-focused classes led by autism experts and parent speakers. Participants also learn about available services and resources while contributing to the direction of topics covered. Classes are held at AuSM.

Understanding Autism and Best Strategic Practices
Learn common characteristics of individuals with autism and sensory processing disorders. Obtain valuable insight on evidenced-based best practices to support people with autism and sensory processing sensitivities.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 from 6-8 p.m. 
Tuesday, July 23, 2019 from 2-4 p.m. 
Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Learn with AuSM Skillshops and Certification

What Autistic People Wish You Knew
May 14, 2019
Autism Society of Minnesota

Supplemental Security Income: Am I Eligible?
June 4, 2019
Autism Society of Minnesota

Helping Your Child with ASD Learn to Ride a Bike
June 11, 2019
Autism Society of Minnesota

AuSM’s Autism Direct Support Certification Program is designed for professionals who work with individuals with autism or those who want to better provide support to people on the spectrum. This in-depth, 15-hour course will give practical solutions for working with people on the spectrum.

Summer 2019 Session
Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
June 10-14, 2019

Fall 2019 Session
Fridays, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Sept. 13, 20, 27; Oct. 4, 11, 18, 2019

AuSM Resources, Counseling, and Consulting
AuSM Counseling
and Consulting Services
The AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services team works in partnership with you to develop a plan based on your needs. For many, working with mental heath service providers is a new experience; we want you to feel comfortable and knowledgeable as we strive for positive, individual-focused goals.
Uniting the Community Events
Event Highlight: Timberwolves Autism Awareness Game with AuSM
Target Center
April 7 at 2:30 p.m.
Join AuSM and the Minnesota Timberwolves for a special autism celebration game on Sunday, April 7 at 2:30 p.m. at Target Center in Minneapolis. The Minnesota autism community will be celebrated during a pre-game ceremony before the Timberwolves take on the Oklahoma City Thunder. Game tickets range from $30-$76 per seat, depending on the selected section. $5 from each ticket purchased will support AuSM's programs and services for the local autism community. Click here to view a pdf of the event flyer and arena layout. Celebrate this amazing autism community with us and the Minnesota Timberwolves! Click here to order tickets. Use promo code AUSM.
In collaboration with community partners, AuSM is pleased to offer opportunities for families and individuals with autism to come together and enjoy fun activities in supportive, welcoming environments. Click here to visit AuSM's frequently-updated online Uniting the Community events and activities calendar.

Below is a highlight of upcoming events; more details about these and all 2019 events and activities are available at the above link.

April 2: Sensory-Friendly Tuesdays Cheap Skate
April 5: Parents’ Night Out Trinity Church/Special Journeys 
April 5: Teen Night ARC Mower County
April 7: Sensory-Friendly Bunny Northtown Mall  
April 7: Sensory-Friendly Jump Urban Air Adventure Park
April 8: Sensory Jump Night Pump It Up Plymouth 
April 11: Sensory-Friendly Storytime at Wild Rumpus
April 12: The Hobbit at Children's Theater Company
April 13: Sensory-Friendly Second Saturdays at TPT Twin Cities
April 14: Sensory-Friendly Sunday at the Bakken Museum
April 14: Sensory-Friendly Sunday at Walker Art Center
April 16: Sensory Jump Night Pump It Up Eden Prairie
April 17: AuSM Monthly Birthday Celebration and Game Night
April 19: Third-Friday Dances St. Louis Park Recreation Center, Reach For Resources 
April 19: ASD Respite Nights YMCA Austin 
April 21: Sensory-Friendly Sunday Science Museum of Minnesota 
April 21: Adaptive Climbing Nights Midwest Climbing Academy 
April 21: Sensory-Friendly Day Duluth Children’s Museum 
April 27: Autism At Work Career Expo, Minneapolis College
April 27: Sensory-Friendly Saturdays Wescott Library