July 15, 2018  News and events for the Minnesota autism community.

AuSM Connections Jigsaw Puzzle Competition July 21 at Mall of America Saturday
Put your jigsaw puzzling passion to the test during the first annual AuSM Connections Jigsaw Puzzle Competition held at the Mall of America Rotunda on Saturday, July 21. Gather your friends and family into teams of four that will compete for the fastest puzzle completion time. Puzzle team divisions include Adult and Family. All experience levels are welcome! 

Online registration for the event closes at noon on Thursday, July 19. Walk-in team registration will be available if space remains in the competition categories. Participants will be able to meet the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles during the event at 2:30 p.m.! Join us for the fun!

Adult Division (four players 18+; $50 per team; 1,000-piece puzzle)
9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Family Division (encouraged to have at least one player under 18, but not required; $50 per team; 300-piece puzzle)
1-3 p.m.

PRIDE in our community
AuSM's presence at community events has grown over the past several years, and a recent story from Twin Cities Pride highlights how important it is for Minnesota's First Autism Resource to be available to our community.
After a long day of staffing the Escape Space sensory friendly tent at the Twin Cities Pride Festival, Jillian Nelson, a self-identified woman with autism and AuSM's Information and Resources Specialist, was wrapping up a conversation with three women on the spectrum when they were approached by a mom and her young daughter.
Hesitant with nerves about possible reactions, the mother offered that her daughter was on the spectrum. In unison, all four of the people at the table chorused "me too!" That brought smiles to both the mom's and daughter's faces, and the mom grew bold enough to ask questions about what her daughter's future could look like, based on the experiences of the women with autism. Knowing that other people like her child were happily out in the community, representing a state-serving organization, was a moment that not only provided hope, but also allowed both mom and daughter to feel comfortable to talk.
"It always makes me happy when parents get to see real adults with autism. You can see their expectations for their child shift," Nelson said. "Nothing can replace authentic visibility."
AuSM is grateful for our adults on the spectrum who serve our community by volunteering at AuSM events and as mentors for others with autism. Those you touch with your personal stories of struggles and achievements on your autism journeys are encouraged and inspired by you.

If you are interested in AuSM's volunteer opportunities, please click here.
Support the local autism community with a day on the greens
Join the Autism Society of Minnesota and avid Minnesota golfers for the 23rd Annual AuSM Golf Classic, a fundraising event for the local autism community. Held Aug. 6 at its new location, the new Royal Golf Club course in Lake Elmo, Minn., this amazing golf classic is sure to be the best Monday of your summer!

Only two golf foursomes remain before this event is sold out!

Thank you to our 2018 sponsors, including Clubhouse Sponsor, Built on Bravery, an organization that focuses on health and fitness training for special needs athletes. Additional sponsors include: Allegra Downtown St. Paul; Family Innovations; McNellis and Asato, Ltd.; Minnesota Autism Center; Auto Doctor Car Care Center; Marty Lass, PGA Professional; Mike And Pat Esterley from Edina Realty; MJT & Associates, LLC Financial Advisor Group; True Friends; Viewpoint; Fox Sports North; and Lunch Sponsor, Chipotle. Sponsorships are available! Click here for more information.
Autism Awareness Week at Valleyfair July 16-22
The Autism Society of America is partnering with Cedar Fair Parks, Valleyfair's parent company, to offer Autism Awareness Week at Valleyfair July 16-22, 2018. Tickets purchased through the below link are offered at a special reduced rate, and $2 per ticket will be donated to the Autism Society of Minnesota in support of local individuals affected by autism. The week will include a handout highlighting services available to those with autism; a special sensory friendly show at all parks; and quiet rooms or areas at the park. Visit Guest Services during your visit for more information.  Click here for more information and to reserve you tickets for Autism Awareness Week.  
AuSM Self-Advocacy Summit for adults on the spectrum registration open
The first annual AuSM Self-Advocacy Summit presented by Anime Twin Cities will take place Sept. 22, 2018 at the University of St. Thomas Minneapolis campus and will include a keynote presentation and nine breakout sessions featuring topics including mental health, executive functioning, sensory needs, employment, relationships, and more. This event is for adults with autism by adults with autism. In addition to gathering wisdom from life experiences by adults on the spectrum, collect resources from the AuSM Bookstore, network with peers, and visit with vendors who support adults on the spectrum.

Donate to AuSM by Aug. 15 and receive a free cupcake from Wuollet Bakery
AuSM invites you to celebrate the person you love with autism by donating your age in dollars to support programs and services for the local autism community. Those donating $25 or more to AuSM through Aug. 15, 2018 will receive a coupon for a free cupcake from our cupcake partner, Wuollet Bakery! 

Donate to AuSM and treat yourself!

Click here to donate to AuSM through our secure online donation page,  or send your donation to AuSM,   2380 Wycliff St. #102, St. Paul, MN 55114.

Wuollet Bakery cupcake coupons will be mailed to donors of $25 or more and can be redeemed at any Wuollet Bakery location including St. Paul, Minneapolis, Edina, Robbinsdale, and Wayzata. Limit one cupcake coupon per donation. Thank you for supporting the local autism community!
MNProv Summer Workshop for Teachers and Students
Improv can help students increase confidence, learn joint attention, take perspectives, and gain flexibility. MNProv is a four-day workshop to help teachers understand how to use improv to help students with autism. If you teach communication, social thinking, and emotion regulation skills, this class will help you build new strategies to reach your students and give you hands-on practice with students ages 10-18.

Have fun while learning how to respond to the unexpected, engage in reciprocal interactions, and support peers in moving a conversation forward. Each skill can be applied to everyday life as you learn to open yourself to creativity and new ideas, while having fun and making friends. No prior improv experience is necessary. MNProv will be training teachers in using improv for social skills, and this improv social skills class will be instructed by these teachers.

July 23-26, 2018
Teacher Instruction: 9 a.m.-12 p.m. 
Teacher-Led Improv with Students: 1:30-3 p.m.

2018 AuSM Summer Social Skills classes in Duluth 
AuSM is pleased to partner with the Lake Superior Zoo and the Great Lakes Aquarium to offer two exciting social skills classes for youth with autism. 

July 23-27, 2018 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

July 30-Aug. 2, 2018 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
AuSM Skillshops

Oct. 16, 2018 from 7-9 p.m.
Special Needs & Special Sibs: A Family AuSM Skillshop
Presenter: Jennifer S. Reinke, PhD, LAMFT, CFLE
Location: St. David's Center

"Autism doesn't just affect my kid, it affects our whole family," a mother of an 8-year-old child with autism said. Explore the unique challenges, rewards, and dynamics experienced by families impacted by a variety of special needs. Special emphasis will be placed on the experiences and needs of siblings (ages 10+) who have a brother or sister with special needs. All family members are welcome at this AuSM Skillshop.


The 2018-2019 AuSM Skillshop line-up will be announced soon!
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