Oct. 1, 2018 News for the Minnesota autism community.
AuSM Featured Articles
Friendship grows at Mia
From building pipe cleaner warriors to bowling, two youth with autism discovered things they have in common and the opportunity for a life-long friendship during an Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) summer social skills class held at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia).

Henry and Tom met during the AuSM Artists class taught by AuSM and Mia educators in July. Apprehensive about this new experience, Henry announced that “art is just people with their heads cut off and naked people”. Overhearing this comment, Tom realized he and Henry might just think alike. The two struck up a friendship based on similar thoughts and interests.

“I like Tom because Tom likes to build,” Henry said.

While Henry and Tom spent the week-long class constructing warriors made out of pipe cleaners, the boys’ grandmothers, Kathy and Renee, got to know each other in the Mia lobby. The grandmothers saw potential in Henry and Tom’s connection and decided that they, too, should get to know each other a bit more in order to support the growing friendship.

“Seeing Henry make friends was the most exciting thing we have seen him do,” Henry’s grandmother said. “This was so heartwarming, it brought tears.”

The grandmothers plan to find new opportunities for the boys to bond, including taking them bowling.

Bonds formed through special interests are great ways to develop friendships that build confidence and camaraderie. For Henry and Tom, having grandmothers who foster the growth really helps, too.
AuSM Self-Advocacy Summit offers variety of information by and for adults on the spectrum
More than 150 adults with autism registered for the AuSM Self-Advocacy Summit, and all contributed to the amazing event held yesterday at the University of St. Thomas. The Summit featured a keynote presentation, nine educational breakout sessions, 13 speakers, and a networking happy hour at The News Room. Sessions covered how to access benefits and support, managing negativity and finding pride in the face of stigma, anxiety and autism, achieving success in college and at work, finding and keeping friends as adults, and advocacy in action. In addition to gathering wisdom from speakers on the spectrum, participants collected resources from the AuSM Bookstore, networked with peers, and visited with vendors who support adults on the spectrum. Thank you to presenting sponsor, Anime Twin Cities, and our additional sponsors: Minnesota Independence College and Community, FIND Network - Autism Research Connections, Autism Advocacy & Law Center, LLC, and xStellar Corp. AuSM appreciates our speakers, volunteers, organizing committee, and participants, and we look forward to planning the 2nd Annual AuSM Self-Advocacy Summit for 2019!
All aboard the AuSM Pumpkin Trolley 2018
AuSM invites individuals and families affected by autism to experience the thrill of riding a trolley, spend some time with Minnesota autism community friends, pick a perfect pumpkin, and participate in fun activities during the AuSM Pumpkin Trolley 2018 event from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. on Oct. 13. The event, sponsored by Anime Twin Cities and FIND Network, will take place at the Minnesota Streetcar Museum's Linden Hill Station in Minneapolis and is $10 for AuSM member families and $15 for non-members. Very few spaces remain - register today!

All aboard the AuSM Pumpkin Trolley 2018
AuSM and the University of Minnesota's FIND Network are pleased to offer the 2018 Fall Autism Festival and Costume Party from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. This event will feature AuSM's Caregivers of Kids with Autism free support group from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. and a SPARK Research sign-up event from 9-10:30 a.m. and 12-1:30 p.m. Childcare will be provided during this October support group designed for parents and caregivers of school-age kids with autism age 4-21. Supervised games and activities will be available for children while parents and caregivers complete the SPARK study information. The event also will include prizes and treats. The event is free, but registration by Nov. 5 is encouraged. To register for the support group and the party, e-mail  info@ausm.org  or call AuSM at 651.647.1083. To register for a SPARK appointment during the event,  click here .
Sartell autism workshop and emergency preparedness trainings Oct. 26, 2018
Autism Supports, Strategies, and Resources Workshop
Friday, Oct. 26, 2018
8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Join AuSM, Arc Midstate, Opportunity Matters, and WACOSA for this informative autism information share. Sessions will feature topics including autism 101, executive function, mental illness, positive supports, behavior strategies, and life planning. Lunch is included with registration. Coffee, tea, and water also will be provided.

Autism Emergency Preparedness Trainings
10 a.m.-12 p.m.
1:30-3:30 p.m.
Two concurrent autism training sessions for first responders also will be offered during the Autism Supports, Strategies, and Resources Workshop. Participants in those training sessions will be invited to join workshop participants for lunch where they can meet with the community and learn more about working with individuals with autism.

This workshop and training sessions have been made possible in part by a generous grant from Voigt's.

Autism events in Rochester Nov. 9-10, 2018
The RT Autism Awareness Foundation is pleased to offer back-to-back events for the local autism community in Rochester Nov. 9-10, 2018.

Nov. 9, 2018 at 7 p.m. at RCTC Hill Theater: "Deej", a screening of the award-winning documentary about a non-speaking young autistic man, D.J. Savarese, who pursues his dream of attending college and advocating for autistic civil rights. D.J. Savarese will be present for a question/answer discussion following the film. Tickets: $5 per person.

Nov. 10, 2018 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at 125 Live:  The Southeastern Minnesota Autism Symposium. This event will feature a full day of educational events and discussion about autism and community inclusion. Keynote presenters are D.J. Savarese and author Ralph Savarese. Tickets: $20 (general); $10 (individuals with ASD and caregivers); Optional Lunch Purchase: $10 (Catering by Canadian Honker)

AuSM Education
Register today!
AuSM classes and activities offer low-stress, accepting environments that promote learning and growth while celebrating neurodiversity. Check out our Gale Woods Farm fall class highlight!  

Wet Felted Perfect Lil’ Pouch 
(Session 1 ages 8-12; Session 2 ages 13+) 
Create a fun felted project using wool, water, and soap to make your own wet felted pouch for trinkets and treasures. Meet the sheep and learn how the wool goes from sheep to final product. Materials are included in the program fee.
Oct. 20, 2018: Session 1 (ages 8-12) meets from 9:30-11:30 a.m. 
Oct. 20, 2018: Session 2 (ages 13+) meets from 1-3 p.m.

Life with Autism Series
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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. Cost: AuSM Members: $50 for one or two individuals/family members/caregivers; Non-Members $75.


FREE Class: Understanding Autism and Best Strategic Practices
Learn common characteristics of individuals with autism and sensory processing disorders. Obtain valuable insight on best practices to support people with autism and related disabilities. Thanks to the Hennepin County Autism Grant, these classes are offered FREE of charge at AuSM. Registration is required.

Learn with AuSM Skillshops and Certification

Oct. 16, 2018 from 7-9 p.m.
St. David's Center, Minnetonka

Oct. 30, 2018 from 7-9 p.m.
Autism Society of Minnesota

Nov. 27, 2018 from 7-9 p.m.
Lionsgate Academy, Shoreview

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.

Saturdays, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Jan. 12, 19, 26, 2019

Mondays, 6-9 p.m.
March 4, 11, 18, 25; April 1, 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