Jan. 1, 2019 News for the Minnesota autism community.
AuSM Featured Articles
Steps for Autism in Minnesota is coming soon!
Steps for Autism in Minnesota, AuSM's 19th annual family fun walk and the state’s largest autism resource fair, will take place at Southdale Center on March 3, 2019. It will begin with the third annual  AuSM Flash Dash presented by Accra, an all ages and abilities quick walk from 9-9:15 a.m. that will be done in a flash. Families and individuals who register for the AuSM Flash Dash will receive medals at the finish line and bragging rights for completion.

Steps for Autism dollars directly support local families and individuals living with autism, from birth through retirement. Donations stay in the community by funding AuSM's innovative programs and services.

NEW! Tiered Fundraising Prizes: Raise the following amounts and win prizes:
$100: Steps for Autism 2019 T-shirt (One T-shirt per $100 raised, limit 5)
$250: AuSM Water Bottle
$500: AuSM Baseball Hat
$1,000+: AuSM Book Bag

TIME-SENSITIVE Fundraising Incentive Prize Drawings
  • Raise $250 by Feb. 1: 6 tickets to MN WILD game on March 3 at 6:30 p.m., includes 4 tickets to ride the Ice Cruiser during the first intermission
  • Register for the AuSM Flash Dash by Feb. 22: 6 tickets to MN WILD game on March 16 at 7 p.m., includes 4 tickets to ride the Ice Cruiser during the first intermission

AuSM achieves BBB Wise Giving Alliance accreditation
By meeting key standards of board oversight, finances, results reporting and fundraising appeals, the Autism Society of Minnesota achieved accreditation by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. The BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB WGA) is the nation’s only comprehensive charity evaluator, assisting donors in making sound giving decisions. Donors know they can trust a charity if it is accredited by the BBB WGA. Their broad standards go beyond what the law requires and dives deeper than other charity monitoring organizations. Each BBB WGA charity report process involves a rigorous review using 20 holistic BBB Charity Standards, interaction with charity officials about corrective actions needed to address deficiencies, and quality control measures to assure report accuracy.

Get ready for an AuSM summer
As the snow falls outside, the AuSM education and camp teams are busily putting together information for the 2019 AuSM Summer Activities catalog. Packed with information on summer social skills programs, residential and daily camps, exciting event opportunities, and more, the catalog will be available online and dropping into mailboxes around mid-January. Registration for AuSM's summer camp and social skills programming opens on Monday, Jan. 28 at 8 a.m. Keep an eye on AuSM's website for more information.

We're also pleased to be introducing AuSM’s Guide to Sensory-Friendly Minnesota, a reference tool and planning guide for families and individuals with autism and other sensory sensitivities. Learn why sensory-friendly events and activities are important, how to make an event or activity sensory-friendly, read personal stories, and check out the calendar guide of sensory-friendly community events and activities to unite our community. This new guide will be mailed with the AuSM 2019 Summer Activities catalog and will be available online at www.ausm.org in January 2019.
Support the AuSM summer camp wish list
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! 
Thrivent Choice Dollars help grow AuSM programs
If you're a member of Thrivent Financial and have available Choice Dollars®, you have until March 31, 2019, to direct them. Don’t miss this opportunity to recommend that Thrivent Financial provide outreach funding to the Autism Society of Minnesota. Go to Thrivent.com/thriventchoice to learn more. Or call 800.847.4836 and say “Thrivent Choice” after the prompt. AuSM is proud to partner with Thrivent Financial for this great opportunity to grow AuSM's programs and services for our local autism community!
AuSM Education
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory Adult Classes
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory in St. Paul will hold four single-session classes for adults with autism, ages 18+, over the next few months:

Africa on Jan. 5 THIS SATURDAY!
Tropical Rain Forests on Jan. 26
Adaptations on Feb. 16

Adults with autism are invited to explore Como and learn from their education specialists. Sessions have limited space; participants are encouraged to register early. The cost is $25 per session for AuSM members and $30 per session for non-members. Register for a single session or multiple sessions. 

Upcoming AuSM social skills classes
AuSM classes and activities offer low-stress, accepting environments that promote learning and growth while celebrating neurodiversity.

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.

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

A Picture of Success: Improving Reading and Language Comprehension
Jan. 8, 2019
Lindamood-Bell, Edina

Suicidality and Suicide Prevention
Jan. 22, 2019
Lionsgate Academy, Minnetonka

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports
Feb. 12, 2019
University of St. Thomas, Opus Hall, Room 321

Neurodevelopment and ASD: What Does the Research Say?
Feb. 26, 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.

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