Nov. 1, 2018 News for the Minnesota autism community.
AuSM Featured Articles
Piano man with autism finds fulfillment in talent share
For some parents of children with autism, goals of future meaningful employment and independence for their children can seem unattainable. Caregivers want the best for their children, but with limited services, and, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 16.8 percent of the population with disabilities employed, the future can feel bleak.

One Elko, Minn. family is using their son’s talent as a compass pointing the way toward employment and life fulfillment.

A non-verbal 19-year-old who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when he was 2, James Johnson currently is at the age of transition, a period when families can be fearful of changes and worried that services will end.

Realizing that James’s developing talent could be the key for James’s meaningful employment, James’s mom, Joy Johnson, believes James’s story is just beginning.

Think AuSM on Give to the Max Day 2018
Give to the Max Day is Nov. 15; however, donations can be given Nov.1-15 in support of the day of giving. We encourage you to donate to the Autism Society of Minnesota. Our supporters sustain the work that has helped so many in the local autism community. 100% of donations stay in this community, and every dollar counts. Click on the below button to support AuSM for Give to the Max Day 2018. Double your dollars thanks to a generous match fund created by the Pentair Foundation; the AuSM Board of Directors; Andre Best, Best Home Care; Joan and Jeff Hamiel; and Dorothy Waltz. Give Nov. 1-15, and your dollars will be doubled up to $12,950!

Give to the Max Day Donation Incentives
Thank you to Bruegger's Bagel Bakery, Home Depot, and Wuollet Bakery
$10+: Bruegger's coupon for free bagel with cream cheese
$25+: Bruegger's coupon for dozen bagels; Wuollet coupon for a free cupcake; entry into Home Depot prize drawing; entry into Bruegger's bottomless mug drawing
$40+: Bruegger's coupon for bagel bundle; Wuollet coupon for a free cupcake; entry into Home Depot prize drawing; entry into Bruegger's bottomless mug drawing

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)

Law & Order event held in Litchfield Nov. 17
On Nov. 17, WCI, in partnership with AuSM, will offer "Law & Order" a workshop for caregivers, family members, educators, professionals, and individuals with autism. The workshop, held from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at First Lutheran Church in Litchfield, will feature AuSM's autism education specialists presenting on topics including: the characteristics of autism, strategies to prevent involvement, how to cope when involved with law enforcement, and creating a family safety plan. Certificates of attendance will be available for participants. 

Shake Shack supports AuSM
Shake Shack's new location in Southdale Center has selected the Autism Society of Minnesota as its charity partner. As part of this partnership, AuSM will receive 5% of all sales of the Pie Oh My concrete shake. Stop by, enjoy a treat, and support programs and services for the local autism community.

JUST ADDED: Mall of America!
The Shake Shack location inside the Mall of America also has selected AuSM as its charity partner. Visit either the Southdale Center or the Mall of America locations, order a Pie Oh My concrete, and you'll be supporting programs and services for local individuals on the spectrum. What a tasty way to support an amazing community!
AuSM Education
Register today!
AuSM classes and activities offer low-stress, accepting environments that promote learning and growth while celebrating neurodiversity.

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

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

Autism and Co-Occuring Mental Health Disorders
Dec. 11, 2018 from 7-9 p.m.
Autism Society of Minnesota

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

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
AuSM is pleased to announce its newest project,  AuSM’s Guide to Sensory-Friendly Minnesota . This reference tool and planning guide for families and individuals with autism and other sensory sensitivities will contain information about why sensory-friendly events and activities are important for our community, how to make an event or activity sensory-friendly, personal stories, and a calendar guide of sensory-friendly offerings throughout Minnesota. AuSM’s Guide to Sensory-Friendly Minnesota will be distributed in January 2019.

Sensory-friendly event and activity guide listings are FREE.  Click here to submit your events and activities by Nov. 30, 3018. Advertising also is available, and advertisers will be highlighted with bolded guide listings and logo placement.  Click here for more information about advertising  or contact Kelly Thomalla at  kthomalla@ausm.org . We look forward to sharing this resource with our community!
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.  

The Guthrie Theater announces its first relaxed performance - a special production of A Christmas Carol. A relaxed performance is intended to be sensitive to and accepting of any audience member who may benefit from a more relaxed environment. Staff, cast and crew invite patrons and families to come, be themselves and experience the joy and wonder of this timeless Dickens classic in a relaxed theatergoing environment. Cost: Varies.