May 1, 2016       Connecting you with the Minnesota autism community.

A Note from Jonah Weinberg, Executive Director
Thank you to all of our sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, volunteers, and participants who attended the 21st Annual Minnesota Autism Conference April 27-30. The conference offered 35 educational sessions, a full room of more than 30 exhibitors offering products and services for the autism community, and peer networking opportunities. Session participants learned about the latest autism research, how to better support individuals with autism, how to realize and appreciate the gifts of each unique person, twice exceptional students, positive behavior supports, and so much more. 
Click on the image below to view photos from the 2016 conference. Thank you for making it a valuable and informative event!

Have an AuSM day!

AuSM Executive Director
AuSM's gala supports programs for the Minnesota autism community
AuSM's second annual gala celebration on April 29 featured an exciting evening of fantastic food, drinks, games of chance and mystery, and a silent auction. Guests also celebrated five individuals in our community who serve as true inspirations to people affected by autism: Sherrie Kenny, Kari Dunn Buron, Dawn Steigauf, Grace Pierce, and Brenda Karpen. Congratulations to AuSM's award winners and thank you to sponsors and everyone who celebrated with AuSM.
AuSM's education manager goes to Africa with the University of WI Stout
On May 7, 20 students from the University of Wisconsin Stout campus in Menominee, Wis. will be traveling to South Africa for a three-week study in autism and intervention in another place, another culture. Dr. Jennifer Reinke from the UWS Human Development and Family Studies Department and Ellie Wilson from the AuSM will oversee the travel and volunteer experience of the undergraduate students of varying majors, backgrounds, and experience as they support children and young adults on the spectrum in three major sites in both Durban and Cape Town. The students have spent the semester learning about autism and the formal and informal evidence-based supports they can provide while abroad. Participants look forward to an in invaluable learning opportunity that will help further understand the connection between behavior, disorder, culture, and services. Watch AuSM's website for Ellie's updates from Africa.
Duluth Social Skills Classes
Led by autism education specialists and special interest educators, AuSM Social Skills summer classes in Duluth help participants build skills in low-stress environments that encourage learning and growth.

(Ages 8-11)
August 1-5
(Ages 12-18)
August 22-25
AuSM Summer Camps
AuSM day and residential summer camps are filling quickly! Camps are tailored for youth and adults with autism. Parents and caregivers can rest assured knowing that their campers are being cared for by highly trained, experienced staff, while campers make memories that last a lifetime. AuSM camps are available for individuals ages 6 and up who are AuSM members. Click here for information about scholarships and waivers.

Staff-to-Camper Ratio: 1:4; Residential camp

All sessions are FULL. Registrations for the wait list are being accepted for those two sessions. Staff-to-Camper Ratio: 1:1 - attending to the individual needs of each camper; Residential camp

Staff-to-Camper Ratio: 1:2; Day camp
Make a difference this summer
Want to help with a summer activity that will be personally rewarding and support the Minnesota autism community? Consider working at an AuSM Camp for a week or more. Counselors are needed for Camps Wahode and Hand in Hand and Camp Discovery needs cabin support staff (cabin support staff must have previous experience working with youth with autism). 

Registered nurses also are needed for the Camp Hand in Hand weeks. For more information, contact Terri Borowick, AuSM Director of Camp Programs at, or click here.
Summer Social Skills
Register for the AuSM Social Skills classes that support your special interests. Click here for information about scholarships and waivers.

Como Zoo Skills
Elementary (ages 8-12): Wild Things; Teens (ages 13-18): Wild Side
July 11-15, 2016

Predator & Prey (ages 8-11); June 20-24, 2016
Crazy Creatures (ages 12-14); July 18-22, 2016
Zoo Crew and Design (ages 15-18); August 8-12, 2016

Session 1: Females only, June 22, 29 and July 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2016
Session 2: Co-ed, June 23, 30 and July 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2016

June 20-24, 2016

Monkey Mind Pirates 
August 22-26, 2016 

July 25-29, 2016

Lowry Nature Center: July 19-22, 2016
Eastman Nature Center: August 16-19, 2016

June 28-July 15, 2016

Sessions 1 and 2: June 20-24, 2016
Sessions 3 and 4: August 1-5, 2016
AuSM Skillshops
Toilet Training Challenge
May 19, 2016
Location: St. David's Center
Presenter: Anne Dudley, MEd

Toilet training individuals with ASD can be a daunting challenge, but it is a critical life skill. Understand the unique autism learning style, select motivating reinforcers and obtain a step-by-step method to address toileting issues across the range of the spectrum. Bring your specific toileting challenges and we will problem solve together, no matter the age of the individual. Click here to register.

Using Personal Learning Plans for Students with ASD
June 2, 2016
Location: Fraser
Presenter: Kim Kang

Personal Learning Plans, also known as Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) can be an effective tool for career development and exploration. In this AuSM Skillshop, you will learn what a Personal Learning Plan is, how it can be used to complement an IEP or 504 plan for a student with ASD, and how to work with schools to construct an effective plan.

Tips on Helping Your Child with ASD Learn to Ride a Bike (limited space available)
June 7, 2016
Location: AuSM
Presenter: Alex Uhler

Challenges with body awareness, balance and motor control, and eye-hand coordination can make riding a bike difficult for children on the spectrum. Learn a number of tips for successful bike riding including purchasing the correct equipment, making bike adjustments, breaking down riding into smaller steps, clothing protection, practice makes perfect pedaling, staying positive and patient, and working toward the sense of independence and accomplishment that your child will experience when learning to ride his or her own bike.

August 30: Food Fight! Nutritional Strategies for Children with ASD and Their Families
September 20: Autism and Anxiety in Adults
Tuesdays at the Capitol
As a member of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MN-CCD), AuSM invites you to Tuesdays at the Capitol through the end of the legislative session (May 10). From 10-11 a.m., the MN-CCD will be at the Minnesota Department of Transportation Cafeteria to help people share their stories about important disability services with legislators and to ensure there is a disability community presence at the Capitol. Click here for more information.
Therapy and Support
With more than 80 years of combined experience with individuals with autism, AuSM's team of highly trained and licensed therapists wants you to feel comfortable and knowledgeable as we undertake this journey together, striving for positive, individual-focused goals.
AuSM's Counseling and Consulting Services include: diagnostic assessments for adults, functional or behavioral assessments for all ages, individual therapy, family therapy, behavior consultation, marriage and couples therapy, and training and consulting for organizations and service providers.

AuSM sends out a monthly "Ask the Therapist" e-mail where AuSM's therapists answer questions submitted by the Minnesota autism community. Click here to read the "Ask the Therapist" archive. To submit a question, e-mail

Kickstands up for AuSM this spring
Information and Resources
Autism Community Events and Fundraisers
Autism Society of Minnesota | 651.647.1083 | |

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


Autism Society of Minnesota | 2380 Wycliff St. #102 | St. Paul | MN | 55114