Sept. 1, 2019 News for the Minnesota autism community.
AuSM Featured Articles
A note from AuSM's Executive Director
In response to the Aug. 31 shooting of Kobe Heisler, a 21-year-old Brooklyn Center man with autism:

We at the Autism Society of Minnesota are deeply saddened by the death of Kobe Heisler. The members of our staff and board grieve for Kobe’s family, along with all who knew and loved him. His life was important. So, too, is his death. Our greater autism community mourns this tragedy. We encourage those who struggle to cope with subsequent sadness, anger, or fear to contact our team for support and resources.
 
At this time, limited details regarding Kobe’s death have been released. AuSM emphasizes that prevention of incidents such as these should be of utmost priority to law makers, law enforcement, and community members. With diligent commitment to informed and integrated professional training, access to resources and technology, and conscientious relationship-building, we maintain hope that we can together avert tragedy, and achieve safe community for all. As certified trainers of law enforcement officers, emergency responders, and other professionals, AuSM supports all individuals, families, departments, and agencies who share and uphold our commitment to the safety and prosperity of people with autism and other disabilities. AuSM is dedicated to advocacy and education to drive this important facet of our mission.

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!

Minnesota History Center features Sensory-Friendly Night on Sept. 17
The Minnesota History Center is presenting a FREE sensory-friendly night on Sept. 17 from 6-8 p.m., held while the museum is open to the general public. Through inspiring exhibits, thought-provoking programs, and action-packed discovery, the History Center feeds your curiosity about Minnesota’s stories, people, and places.

Note that public attendance typically is light on September evenings. On Sept. 17, staff will be available to direct visitors to hands-on activities and provide directions to quiet spaces. Noise cancelling headphones will be available on request from the front desk.


AuSM Self-Advocacy Summit scholarships available
The 2nd Annual AuSM Self-Advocacy Summit, held Sept. 21 at Union Depot in St. Paul, is a place for autistics to come together and learn while building community, leadership, and advocacy skills. The day will begin with a keynote presentation and will feature breakout sessions on self care, pride, parenting, masking, executive function, and more. After a day of learning, you'll have the opportunity to socialize through special interests with other participants.

The FIND Network is sponsoring a limited number of scholarships for adults with autism to attend the 2019 Summit. Click here to apply for a scholarship to participate in this event.

NEW this year!
For those who aren't able to attend in person, 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.

Keynote Presentation
Unintentional Advocacy: Building Community Through Self-Acceptance
by Olivia James
Sept. 21 from 8:30-9:30 a.m.

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. 1: Sensory-Friendly Jump Urban Air Adventure Park
Sept. 3: Sensory-Friendly Tuesdays Cheap Skate 
Sept. 6: Parents’ Night Out Trinity Church/Special Journeys 
Sept. 8: Autism Friendly Early Entry Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
Sept. 9: Sensory Jump Night Pump It Up Plymouth 
Sept. 10: Autism Family Friendly Mini Golf at Huikko's Autism Allies of Wright County
Sept. 11: Autism Friendly Early Entry Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
Sept. 12: Sensory-Friendly Storytime Wild Rumpus 
Sept. 14: FIND Network's Free Day at the Minnesota Zoo Minnesota Zoo
Sept. 14: Sensory-Friendly Second Saturdays TPT, Twin Cities PBS 
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