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

A Note from Jonah Weinberg, Executive Director
Last month I attended the the Autism Society of America's annual conference and exposition. Held in New Orleans, the conference included more than 100 information sessions for parents, caregivers, and professionals, and it also was an opportunity for leaders from the nearly 100 Autism Society affiliates across the U.S. to meet and discuss how to better collaborate and share information to serve the nationwide autism community.
We at AuSM use this conference as an opportunity to scope out potential topics and speakers for our annual state autism conference. The information we gathered was relevant and timely, and we will select the best of the best to share with our local autism community at the 22nd Annual Minnesota Autism Conference April 26-29, 2017. 

During this final month of summer, we are looking forward to the start of a new season and new educational offerings. As families are gearing up for a new school year, AuSM is putting the finishing touches on the AuSM 2016-2017 Education Catalog. The catalog is full of opportunities for families, educators, professionals, and individuals with autism, including the Life with Autism series, a variety of social skills classes, new topics for AuSM Skillshops, Autism Direct Support Certification classes, and a new class for teens with autism: Beyond Sex Ed. The catalog will be mailed to members and available on the AuSM website in mid-August. 

As you look forward, I hope you can see new ways to grow with AuSM. This year we're bringing Dr. Tony Attwood to Minnesota for the first time in over 10 years, giving you a once in a lifetime chance to learn from an expert. Dr. Attwood will present a full-day workshop on Oct. 19. Register early though - space is limited! 

If your idea of growth means seeing new places in your community or making new friends, we've got you covered. This year we're introducing "Uniting the AuSM Community" events, free or low cost events to help families and individuals with autism get out into the community and connect with each other. A full line-up will be available in the 2016-2017 AuSM Education Catalog - get your calendar ready!

Enjoy your August!

AuSM Executive Director
Sensory-friendly production of The Lion King a roaring success
The sensory-friendly performance of Disney's The Lion King organized by Hennepin Theatre Trust and held at the Orpheum on July 30 was a huge success. AuSM staffed a resource table outside of the theater entrance, and AuSM and Stages Theatre Company led an intermission stretching activity for the crowds. 

An AuSM member shared her feelings about attending The Lion King on July 30:

"Thank you AuSM. Thank you Hennepin Theatre Trust for your generosity in giving our children the opportunity to see The Lion King. We had such a wonderful time. Not only was The Lion King a fantastic show, the experience of being welcomed to the Orpheum with the kindness and understanding of staff and volunteers was truly exceptional. It's hard to describe what these sensory-friendly shows mean to our families . . . a sigh of relief, a smile, the ability to sink comfortably into your seat knowing that those around you will understand whether your child comments out loud, fusses, sings along, or gets up and takes a break during the show. Again, thank you!" 

Interested in more sensory-friendly theater opportunities? Consider participating in Children's Theater Company's sensory-friendly production of Pinocchio on Aug. 12. Click here for more information on purchasing tickets for the show, a complete list of the upcoming CTC season of sensory-friendly productions, as well as volunteer opportunities.
Register today to learn from Professor Tony Attwood
AuSM is pleased to present Professor Tony Attwood for a full-day fall workshop event on Oct. 19: "An Aspie's Guide to Life's Challenges: Unlocking Tools for Resilience in a Complex World". Join AuSM for this rare opportunity to learn from world-renowned speaker and autism expert, Tony Attwood, who will share his insights and strategies for navigating emotions, adolescence, relationships, and employment. The fall workshop will take place at the Schulze Grand Atrium at the University of St. Thomas School of Law Minneapolis Campus. Register today to be a part of this unique event for parents, caregivers, educators, psychologists, therapists, direct support professionals, and individuals with autism. Click here for more information and to register.
Conference Call for Papers open now through Nov. 14, 2016
The Call for Papers for the 22nd Annual Minnesota Autism Conference is open now through Nov. 14, 2016. AuSM is opening the Call for Papers process earlier than usual to allow more time for submissions. The deadline also has been moved up to November instead of January so the conference schedule can be made available in early 2017. Submit your proposal to present during this largest annual educational event for the Minnesota autism community. The Minnesota Autism Conference Education Committee will evaluate proposals and contact those who submit proposals by Dec. 20, 2016. Click here to download, complete, and submit the Call for Papers 2017 proposal form.
August Social Skills - Classes Filling Quickly
A few options remain for AuSM summer social skills classes. Register today for the AuSM Social Skills classes of your choice to ensure your spot. Click here for information about scholarships and waivers. The upcoming season of AuSM social skills classes will be announced mid-August.

Zoo Crew and Design: August 8-12, 2016

Eastman Nature Center: August 16-19, 2016

Monkey Mind Pirates sensory-friendly show
Monkey Mind Pirates, the world's only puppet, rock, yoga adventure, will sail to Maplewood Community Center on Aug. 27 at 11 a.m. This performance is recommended for ages 2 and up and guest stars families from the Z Puppets/AuSM family summer workshops. Turn your family's "arrghs" into "Oms" with the award-winning, original songs and Monkey Mind Pirates puppets. To make this show accessible for all, advance tickets are FREE. Click here for more information and to order your tickets.
Let's Play Unified
Fall Fun Day 2016
Special Olympics Minnesota, the Autism Society of Minnesota, and the Minneapolis Police invite you to a fall fun day for communities serving children with autism. Families will have the opportunity to meet other families affected by autism, build relationships with local emergency responders, try a new sport with Special Olympics Minnesota, and access autism resources from the Autism Society of Minnesota. Activities will be set up and staffed to accommodate children with autism and their siblings, ages 6 and up. This event is free, but registration is required.

Saturday, September 17, 2016 from 1-5 p.m.
Minneapolis Police Special Operations Center 
4119 Dupont Ave.
North Minneapolis, MN 55412


AuSM Skillshops
Food Fight! Nutritional Strategies for Children with ASD and Their Families
August 30, 2016
Location: West Metro Learning Connections
Presenter: Anne Kelly, MD, MPH

Research has proven that children with ASD have numerous nutrient deficiencies and gastrointestinal disorders that contribute to poor health and behavioral symptoms. Sensory issues, food refusal, and peculiar cravings affect many children wtih ASD, making it difficult to introduce healthier foods. Receive information on the use of whole food powders to make nutrient-rich shakes that are affordable, dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free, and discuss strategies that will simplify the nutrition routine for the whole family.

September 20: Autism and Anxiety in Adults held at Merrick, Inc.
2016-2017 AuSM Skillshops schedule announced mid-August.
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. 

introducing ausm's new therapists

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

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