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

A Note from Jonah Weinberg, Executive Director
The holiday weekend has begun, and I'm sure many are hitting the road for relaxation by a lake or sticking around town for barbecues with family and friends. Holidays can bring about big changes to routines. In order to reduce anxiety, take the time make sure everyone knows about possible schedule changes in advance. Check out the below article from the Autism Society of America that provides strategies for preparing the person with autism in your life for the Fourth of July holiday, one that can be loud and potentially stress-inducing for some.

In this our 40th year of AuSM's offering summer camps for youth and adults with autism, we are pleased to report that all camps are full. The camp season began with AuSM's Camp Discovery and a session of Hand in Hand in June. More sessions of Hand in Hand and the Wahode camps will continue as we move through the weeks of summer. Campers and staff are making life-long memories swimming, hiking, crafting, relaxing, and even putting on talent shows! We are so grateful for our staff, camp participants, and camper families for making these awesome camps possible.

Still looking for some new summer opportunities? Many of AuSM's summer social skills classes in July and August have openings. We also recently introduced two new classes: "A Musical Day with Mia", a free one-day class for youth and young adults ages 11-20, and "AuSM Adults with ASD at the Minnesota Zoo", an inexpensive series of three classes offered to adults on the spectrum (18+) who live in Dakota and Ramsey Counties. There's always something new happening at AuSM!

We hope your summer days are going well and that your holiday weekend includes time for rest and fun. Happy Independence Day!

Have an AuSM day!

AuSM Executive Director
Happy Independence Day
As the holiday of barbecues, get-togethers, and fireworks approaches, we invite you to click here for this  Autism Society of America  article that offers tips for making the holiday enjoyable for all. 

NOTE:  The AuSM office will be closed on Tuesday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day.
AuSM Adults with ASD at the Minnesota Zoo
AuSM is pleased to partner with the Minnesota Zoo to offer these three classes for adults with autism who live in Dakota and Ramsey Counties. These classes are made possible in part by the Dakota and Ramsey County Autism Grant.

These classes are designed for adults with autism who want a deeper understanding of building enrichments for animals, how zoo veterinarians keep the animals fit, and of how climate change effects Minnesota plants and animals. Classes are designed for individuals who do not need direct service professional supports or supervision. The class size maximum is 20 participants.

Enrichment in Action: Sunday, July 16 from 1-3 p.m.
Cost: $5 per person
In the zoo world, "enrichment" refers to the toys, treats, training, and more that keep zoo animals curious, active, and using their natural skills and behaviors. In this class we'll explore different types of enrichment, prepare some items, and then watch the animals enjoy them! 

Zoo Veterinarians: Sunday, Aug. 6 from 1-3 p.m.
Cost: $5 per person
Keeping our animals healthy and fit is our top priority! In this class, meet some of the animal health staff who work with our animals, and enjoy an extended behind-the-scenes tour of our animal health building and animal hospital. We'll try our hand at diagnosing animals based on their X-rays, check out the busy lab, and see how sometimes everyday objects can be repurposed to help with our animals.

Climate Change and Minnesota's Wildlife: Sunday, Sept. 17 from 1-3 p.m.
Cost: $5 per person
Climate change is already affecting Minnesota's plants and animals. Meet some Minnesota animals and learn all about our native ecosystems, ongoing research, how to get involved, and what scientists already are learning about how climate change will affect our natural heritage.
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.

Challenge the greens during the 
22nd Annual AuSM Golf Classic
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. 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
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 | 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