Sept. 15, 2019 News for the Minnesota autism community.
AuSM Featured Articles
Meet AuSM's new staff members
As AuSM is growing, so, too, is its staff. We'd like to introduce you to two new AuSM staff members.

Josette Wynne is AuSM's new Counseling and Consulting Services receptionist. Josette has two sons on the spectrum, is working toward a Masters of Social Work degree, and intends to work in case management for individuals with autism. As part of those program requirements, Josette will be taking on an internship with AuSM in January 2020. When asked what she’d like to share with our community, she said “You are valued and amazing just the way you are.”

Britani Gilbert is joining AuSM as an Events Coordinator. Britani says, “My superpower is to make fun things happen!” She comes to AuSM after working on event planning at Mall of America, but before that she says she spent a year being a “modern day pirate” working as the recreation staff on cruise ships. As Britani meets our community, she wants to share this quote from Dr. Seuss: “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

In upcoming newsletters, we look forward to introducing you to Sara Testen, Mike Pucci, James Rechs, and Ashwak Hassan.
AuSM Pumpkin Trolley rolls into the station on Oct. 12: space is limited
AuSM invites you to experience the thrill of riding a trolley, spend some time with Minnesota autism community friends, and pick a perfect pumpkin during this fun event for individuals and families affected by autism. During the event held Oct. 12, 2019 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the Minnesota Streetcar Museum, participants will ride the rails and stop at a pumpkin patch where they can choose their favorite pumpkin to take home.

The cost is $15 per AuSM member family, $20 per non-member family, and $5 per individual with ASD. Space is limited, so please register early. The AuSM Pumpkin Trolley is generously sponsored by the Minnesota Streetcar Museum, FIND Network, and St. David's Center for Child & Family Development; visit the FIND and St. David's resource tables during the event!

2019 AuSM Self-Advocacy Summit sold out; live-stream viewing of keynote still available
The 2nd Annual AuSM Self-Advocacy Summit to be held Sept. 21 at Union Depot in St. Paul is sold out; however, AuSM is pleased to offer an online streaming option of this year's keynote presentation. For a $10 registration fee, you will have access to a livestream of the keynote presentation and be given a link to a recording after the event. The keynote speaker is Olivia James, an autistic adult who will present "Unintentional Advocacy: Building Community Through Self-Acceptance" from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Click here if you'd like to register for the live-stream of the Summit keynote presentation.

Keynote Presentation
Unintentional Advocacy: Building Community Through Self-Acceptance
by Olivia James
Sept. 21 from 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Chuck E. Cheese's hosts AuSM fundraisers in October and November
Visit a Chuck E. Cheese’s location near you on Oct. 18 (the Friday of MEA weekend!) from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. or Sunday, Nov. 3 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and support Autism Society of Minnesota programs and services for our local autism community. Mention AuSM at the register, and Chuck E. Cheese’s will donate 20% of your purchase to AuSM. Chuck E. Cheese’s features a video arcade with interactive games, pizza and an all-you-can-eat salad bar, and performances by the one and only Chuck E. and his gang. All Minnesota locations are participating in these fundraising days for the local autism community. Wear a costume to the October fundraiser and you will receive 50 free tickets. Click here to find a location near you.
AuSM Education
2019-2020 AuSM Education catalog available
The 2019-2020 AuSM Education catalog is available online and the print version will be delivered to mailboxes soon. Learn about and register for AuSM's fall, winter, and spring offerings, including social skills classes for youth and adults, the Life with Autism series, AuSM Skillshops, autism certification, AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services, AuSM events, and more. Register today for educational opportunities that will support community engagement, provide positive support strategies, and enhance your life. Click here to view the online catalog.
AuSM's fall social skills classes for ages 8+
AuSM classes and activities offer low-stress, accepting environments that promote learning and growth while celebrating neurodiversity. AuSM programs are conducive to youth and adults who fall within the wide range of the autism spectrum. Social skills classes are staffed at a 1:4 staff-to-participant ratio. If an individual is able to participate safely in a program but requires more support than 1:4 staffing provides, the individual may bring a Direct Support Professional (DSP). The DSP will be responsible for supporting the individual with communication, behavior, and daily living skills. Call 651.647.1083 ext. 22 or e-mail education@ausm.org for more information. AuSM is committed to making your class experience positive and rewarding. Click on the below links for more information and to register.

AuSM Skillshops available in-person and as live-stream in 2019-2020 season
AuSM is pleased to announce that six 2019-2020 AuSM Skillshops will be available through a live-stream Internet broadcast, thus making content accessible to a more broad-based audience. Participants may purchase an individual session or all Internet streaming sessions that cover a wide variety of topics. Sessions purchased for live-stream viewing will be available in real time only and will not be accessible after the AuSM Skillshop has taken place. All 12 AuSM Skillshops in the 2019-2020 season also are available for in-person participation. Click here for more information about the complete line-up of AuSM Skillshops and for more information about the new live-stream options.

Life with Autism and Understanding Autism classes
Life with Autism Series
Oct. 5, 2019: Adolescence and Transition (11-21 yrs.)
Nov. 16, 2019: Childhood (10 mos.-10 yrs.)
Dec. 7, 2019: Adults (18+ yrs.)


Understanding Autism and Best Strategic Practices
Nov. 21, 2019 from 4-6 p.m. 
Jan. 20, 2020 from 2-4 p.m. 
March 14, 2020 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. 
May 4, 2020 from 6-8 p.m.

Learn with AuSM Skillshops and Certification

Oct. 4, 2019
Guardianship: Do We Need It?
Location: AuSM and Live-Stream

Oct. 22, 2019
Technology As Support
Location: Lindamood-Bell, Edina

Nov. 12, 2019
Let's Talk About It: What Everyone Should Know About Disclosure
Location: AuSM and Live-Stream

Dec. 3, 2019
Promoting Independence and Self-Determination
Location: Lionsgate Academy, North St. Paul


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.

Winter 2020 Session
Saturdays from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Jan. 11, 18, 25, 2020

Spring 2020 Session
Mondays from 6-9 p.m.
March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 2020

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
On the heels of the successful first publication of AuSM’s Guide to Sensory-Friendly Minnesota, AuSM has started work on the second, 2020 edition. The guide, created to be a reference tool for families and individuals with autism and other sensory sensitivities, will include articles about the importance of community inclusion and how sensory-friendly accommodations lead to welcoming environments. It also will contain a calendar guide of sensory-friendly community events and activities offered throughout Minnesota in the coming year.

AuSM currently is accepting event and activity listings for the second edition. If you know of a business or organization that offers sensory-friendly events or activities, please encourage them to complete the 2020 listing form. Click here to access the online listing form. Listing submissions for the 2020 guide are due Nov. 25, 2019. A paper form can be accessed here. Advertising space, which includes enhanced listings, also is available.

The second edition of AuSM's Guide to Sensory-Friendly Minnesota will be available in January 2020.


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

Sept. 15: Sensory-Friendly Sunday Science Museum of Minnesota 
Sept. 15: Sensory-Friendly Day Duluth Children’s Museum 
Sept. 17: Sensory-Friendly Night Minnesota History Center
Sept. 17: Sensory Jump Night Pump It Up Eden Prairie 
Sept. 20: Third-Friday Dances St. Louis Park Recreation Center, Reach For Resources 
Sept. 22: Sensory-Friendly Play Eagles Nest Indoor Playground
Sept. 22: Sensory-Friendly Sundays Three Rivers Parks District: Lowry Nature Center
Sept. 28: TCA5K Twin Cities Autism Foundation 
Oct. 1: Sensory-Friendly Tuesdays Cheap Skate
Oct. 2: Intelligent Lives Film Screening Highland Park Library