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

A Note from Ellie Wilson, Executive Director
Such good is derived from giving. 

Giving your time to help at your child's school makes her feel proud and loved. Giving groceries to a local food shelf makes you feel attentive and effective. Giving your energy to your friends and family makes you feel connected and included. 

Giving takes effort, and you deserve to know that your effort makes a difference. 

I invite you to consider making a difference in the lives of all of those in our local autism community by giving to AuSM on Minnesota's giving holiday, Give to the Max Day, Nov. 16. Your gift to AuSM, no matter the amount, will support programs and services for those affected by autism, advancing education, increasing advocacy, and growing events, camps, classes, and other activities tailored for autism acceptance and inclusion. 

Though Give to the Max Day is officially on Nov. 16, donations are being accepted today through Nov. 16. Donate anytime over the next couple of weeks, and your dollars will count toward AuSM's Give to the Max Day total. And, due to the generosity of multiple AuSM supporters, your donation will be doubled up to $11,580 this year! 100% of donations stay local to benefit your child, your neighbor, your teacher, your colleague, YOU!  

Thank you for giving to AuSM, where your dollars will support such good for the community we all love and celebrate. 

Ellie Wilson
AuSM Executive Director
November AuSM Workshop:  Last chance to register!

Caring for You: Practical Self-Care Tools to Nurture Well-Being
HALF DAY, TOMORROW, Nov. 2, 2017 from 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Presented by Ricka Robb Kohnstamm

Royal Cliff Banquet & Conference Center

In caring for the well-being of an individual with autism, it is easy for parents, caregivers, educators, and other support professionals to lose sight of their own well-being.  Compassionate communication is a self-care tool that will help you, the caregiver, increase feelings of well-being. In this workshop, learn how to skillfully express your needs with this tool that can be learned and used by everyone.  Also explore creativity, progressive relaxation, movement, and other strategies for increasing well-being.

Online registration will close today at noon. Walk-in registrants are welcome on Nov. 2. 


Give to the Max Day is Nov. 16. 
Support people with autism and take a chance on winning FREE airline tickets!
(donate Nov. 1-16 for drawings and prizes)

Celebrate the individual with autism who touches your life by donating to AuSM on Give to the Max Day, Nov. 16. 100% of your donation is tax deductible and will support programs and services for our local autism community.

Donations for Give to the Max Day count Nov. 1-16, 2017.
Click the above button to donate online through AuSM's page on GiveMN. GiveMN will hold prize drawings for bonus dollars to organizations supported through their site. You also can click here to donate to AuSM through our site's donation page.

Your donation will be doubled!
Due to the generosity of 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.; AuSM is pleased to offer a $11,580 match for donations given to AuSM from Nov. 1-16, 2017. Each dollar donated to AuSM will be doubled up to $11,580!

Bonus Donation Incentive
For every $25 you donate to AuSM on Nov. 1-16, you will receive an entry to win two tickets on Southwest Airlines!

Multiple Local Businesses Support AuSM for Give to the Max Day 2017
  • 612Brew will donate $1 to AuSM for every pint sold from 4-10 p.m. on Nov. 16. 
  • Tin Whiskers will donate $1 to AuSM for every pint sold from 4-10 p.m. on Nov. 16. 
  • Wander North Distillery will accept donations to AuSM on Nov. 16.
  • Bruegger's Bagel Bakery in Gaviidae Common will host AuSM and offer donation incentives from 8:30-11 a.m. on Nov. 16 and will offer donation incentives.
  • Wabasha Brewing Company will donate 10% of all sales from full priced pint purchases from 12-4 p.m. during their 3rd Annual West Side Holiday Market & Brew on Nov. 11.

Fall Autism Festival - AuSM and SPARK

Featuring a Support Group, a SPARK Research Sign-Up Opportunity, and Fun Games for the Kids

Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017
10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Join AuSM and SPARK researchers for a fun event held at AuSM in St. Paul on Nov. 11. The day will feature AuSM's FREE parent/caregiver of school-age children support group from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Childcare will be provided for those who RSVP. Following the support group, families can participate in the SPARK research study, and kids can play some fun games for prizes. Here are the details:

AuSM's Caregivers of Kids with Autism FREE Support Group 
10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
Childcare will be provided during this November support group designed for parents and caregivers of school-age kids with autism ages 4-21. Let us know the ages of the children who will need childcare. RSVP with AuSM at or call AuSM at 651.647.1083.

SPARK Research Sign-Up Event 
12-5 p.m.
Click here to RSVP for your SPARK appointment during the event or call 612.624.0116. Supervised games and activities will be available for children while parents and caregivers complete the study information. The below registration link includes more information about SPARK.


2018 Minnesota Autism Conference Call for Papers  
The call for presentation proposals is open for the AuSM's 23rd Annual Minnesota Autism Conference, an event that will take place April 25-28, 2018. Be a part of this event of the year for the local autism community by submitting a topic for presentation.  The Minnesota Autism Conference Education Committee will evaluate proposals and those submitting proposals will be contacted by Dec. 22, 2017 regarding the status of proposals.  The deadline for proposal submission is Nov. 17, 2017. 
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 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 Classes for Caregivers
AuSM is pleased to introduce two new classes to assist caregivers of those with autism. Classes will provide information and strategies that can be used immediately, enhancing the lives of caregivers and those who receive care.

Dates: Nov. 18
Single session class: $25 for members, $40 for non-members


Dates: Nov. 15, May 9
Single session class: $25 for members, $40 for non-members

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: Nov. 4, 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: Nov. 12  
(new date, same time)
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

Nov. 14, 2017
7-9 p.m.
Guardianship: Do We Need It?
Presenter: Jason Schellack, Esq.
Location: Lionsgate Academy, Minnetonka

At age 18, a child is legally considered an adult. Some youth, however, aren't yet ready for all of the responsibilities of adulthood. Many children with ASD will continue to need assistance with their IEPs, transition services, making medical decisions, and applying for government benefits. To have legal authority to assist their adult children in these important areas, many parents and caregivers choose to establish legal guardianship. Learn about the legal process for obtaining guardianship and how you can qualify for free legal assistance. Understand the powers and responsibilities guardians have under Minnesota law, and how successor guardians are chosen and appointed.


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: Nov. 11 (also the Autism Fall Festival; see above article); 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. Child care is available for the Nov. 11 group ONLY. 

Information and Resources
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: $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.

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