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

A Note from Jonah Weinberg, Executive Director
As the evenings grow crisper, the hints of yellow and orange on the trees are becoming more widespread and brilliant. While nature unveils its autumn palette, AuSM is busily working on a broad range of diverse learning and social opportunities for our community. In this newsletter you'll see it in everything from a story about a local business that employs people with autism to new workshops in new locations across the state.
I'm excited to share that we have finalized our lineup of keynote speakers for the 22nd Annual Minnesota Autism Conference, including two people on the spectrum, a best selling author, and a special education teacher who travels the country helping kids with disabilities tell their stories. You still have time to submit your proposal for one of the more than 30 conference breakout sessions; the call for papers remains open until Nov. 14.
In addition, we're proud to be hosting four new workshops in the coming months. In partnership with the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota, we're pleased to offer a FREE half day workshop titled "Navigating Mental Health, School, and Social Safety". We're also traveling to Duluth and St. Cloud in November, to present workshops on "Social Safety: Strategies for Navigating Online and Offline". And, back by popular demand, Mark Coppin will present "Tech Tools and Apps for Students and Adults with Autism" on Dec. 2. Each of these events allows us to bring much needed information to families and professionals throughout Minnesota, and we hope you can join us for at least one of these learning opportunities.

Of course in addition to our new programs and partnerships, we are pleased to continue offering our community-based social skills classes, monthly AuSM Skillshops, Counseling and Consulting Services help, AuSM Autism Direct Support Certification classes, and multiple Uniting the Autism Community events each month. We hope that no matter who you are, you will find a community with AuSM.

AuSM Executive Director
Chaska dog biscuit company employs adults with disabilities
AuSM members Angie Gamades and Kyle Gallus create employment opportunities for adults with autism and other learning differences.

A new business in Chaska, Minn. hopes to send the unemployment rate for people with disabilities straight to the dogs.

With a model that includes baking, bagging, and distributing all natural dog treats online and at events, Finley's Barkery helps young adults with autism and other disabilities find employment, grow socially, and use their talents to contribute.

Finley's Barkery co-founders Angie Gamades and Kyle Gallus created this business model because they believe in investing in human potential. "We want to make the community aware of the incredible capabilities of our employees," Gamades said.

Tony Attwood's October workshop is sold out
Professor Tony Attwood's full-day fall workshop event on Oct. 19: "An Aspie's Guide to Life's Challenges: Unlocking Tools for Resilience in a Complex World" is SOLD OUT. 

If you weren't able to secure tickets for this event but are interested in AuSM's other educational opportunities, please consider attending the 22nd Annual Minnesota Autism Conference April 26-29, 2017, or participate in AuSM Skillshops and workshops in the coming months.

Fourth keynote speaker announced for state autism conference
AuSM is pleased to announce that Chris Ulmer, special education teacher, motivational speaker, and founder of Special Books by Special Kids, will be the Friday, April 28, 2017 keynote presenter at the 22nd Annual Minnesota Autism Conference. Lovingly referred to as "Mr. Chris" by his students, Ulmer completes the conference's expert-packed keynote line-up that includes autism community icon Temple Grandin, PhD; Steve Silberman, author of Neurotribes; and Kerry Magro, award-winning disability advocate.

Conference details, including pricing, are listed here on the AuSM website. Registration will open in early 2017.

Want to be included as a speaker at this important conference? AuSM is accepting presentation proposals through Nov. 14. Click here for more information.
Navigating Mental Health, School, and Social Safety Workshop 
with the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota 
AuSM and the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota (EFMN) are partnering to offer a free workshop along with resources for parents and caregivers of children with special needs. "Navigating Mental Health, School, and Social Safety". EFMN's presenters, Michael Zaccariello, PhD, LP and Katherine Nickels, MD, will speak about "Maximizing the Learning Potential". Participants will learn about specific learning disorders and how epilepsy and medications affect learning. AuSM presenter, Sara Pahl, MS, BCBA, NCC, will present "Social Safety: Strategies for Navigating Online and Offline", which will include a discussion about navigating the hidden curriculum, bullying, and online safety. The free half-day workshop includes lunch. Registration is required and space is limited to 120 participants.

Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016

8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Wilder Center
451 Lexington Pkwy. N.
St. Paul, MN 55104

Cost (lunch is included)

AuSM Workshops on location in St. Cloud and Duluth in November 
To fulfill our goal of offering increased autism resources throughout Minnesota, Sara Pahl, MS, BCBA, NCC, will present Social Safety: Strategies for Navigating Online and Offline in St. Cloud and Duluth this fall. The St. Cloud workshop is made possible in part by a grant from Voigt's Bus Companies and both workshops are supported in part by the Cub Cares Community Foundation.

Social Safety: Strategies for Navigating Online and Offline
As parents, caregivers, educators, and providers, we often are concerned for the physical safety of our children. But, as children advance into elementary and middle school, we find ourselves asking, "How can I keep them safe emotionally?" In this workshop, learn about the most important issues of social and emotional safety for pre-teens and teens. Common challenges will be discussed and strategies offered regarding navigating the hidden curriculum, bullying, and online safety.

About Sara Pahl
An AuSM therapist, Pahl has worked with people with ASD for nearly 20 years. She specializes in working with systems, such as families and schools struggling with behavioral issues, as well as working with adolescents and young adults with ASD. Pahl strives to help empower, children, adolescents and young adults with ASD through self-advocacy and self-determination, no matter what ability, using a non-judgmental, integrated, empathetic, evidenced-based approach. 

Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016
9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Lake Superior College
2101 Trinity Rd.
Duluth, MN 55811

AuSM Member: $35
Non-Member: $40
Individual with ASD: $10


Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016
9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Calvary Community Church
1200 Roosevelt Rd. 
St. Cloud, MN 56301

AuSM Member: $35
Non-Member: $40
Individual with ASD: $10


December 2, 2016 AuSM Workshop
Tech Tools and Apps for Students and Adults with Autism
iPads and tablets provide a wealth of possibilities for people with varying needs, including those with autism. During this innovative workshop, participate in hands-on activities on the iPad while learning about apps for communication, organization, planning, storytelling, reading, writing, behavioral support, and much more. Discover how these solutions can make a difference for youth and adults with autism. At the end of the session, you will have a better understanding of apps, device management, and available accessories.

About the Presenter
This workshop will be presented by Mark Coppin, MS, the Director of Assistive Technology at the Anne Carlsen Center in Jamestown, ND. He has presented at state, regional, national, and international conferences on topics including technology and teaching, special education, assistive technology, mobile devices in education, and autism. 

Friday, Dec. 2, 2016

8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Royal Cliff Banquet & Conference Center
2280 Cliff Rd.
Eagan, MN 55122 

Cost (includes lunch)
AuSM Member: $75
Non-Member: $95
Individual with Autism: $55
(A group rate is available for 10 or more participants from the same organization. For the group rate, contact AuSM at 651.647.1083 ext. 19.)

Second Saturdays at TPT: Anti-Bullying
On Oct. 8 from 9-10 a.m., meet Arthur; enjoy some coffee, juice, and snacks; play in the park; and watch PBS Kids on the big screen. Location: 172 4th St. E., St. Paul, MN 55101. Cost: Free; registration is required and space is limited.

AuSM Pumpkin Patch Trolley
October 15, 2016
10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

Minnesota Streetcar Museum
Linden Hill Station 
Queen Ave. S. and W. 42nd St. 
Minneapolis, MN 55410

AuSM and the Minnesota Streetcar Museum invite 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 October event for individuals and families affected by autism.
Join us for a fun ride along the rails, including a stop where you will be able to select a pumpkin to take home. The first trolley charter will leave the station at 10:30 a.m. and the final charter will roll back to the station at 12 p.m. Cost: $5 per family. Registration is required. Space is limited.

AuSM Social Skills Classes
Now is a great time to register for AuSM's winter social skills classes. Click on the links below for more information on or to register for a selected class. Registration for spring classes also is open.

Have you seen AuSM's newest education catalog? Click here to view the complete catalog.

NEW! Beyond Sex Ed: Bodies, Boundaries, and Healthy Relationships  
For individuals with autism, sexual education is more complicated than the birds and the bees. In AuSM's Beyond Sex Ed course, students ages 13-18 will learn how to manage privacy, boundaries, and infatuations to help them live healthy, create positive relationships, and be safe. Topics will include puberty, private versus public, unwanted affection, intimacy and dating, body boundaries, and consent. Instructors will tackle nuanced and complex issues by building upon more simple, concrete concepts.

Prior to registering for Beyond Sex Ed, we strongly encourage parents/caregivers to attend an orientation to learn more about the class and to determine if it is the right fit for their child. Registration for the class will open after the orientation session.

Parent/Caregiver Orientation
Monday, Oct. 17 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at AuSM 

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.

To assist with education budgeting, conference rates will be listed on the AuSM website soon.
WINTER Autism Direct Support Certification
AuSM's Autism Direct Support Certification Program is designed for professionals who work with individuals with autism or who want to better provide service to those with autism spectrum disorder. This in-depth, 15-hour course will give practical solutions for working with people on the spectrum. 

Who should participate?
  • Job Coaches
  • Support Staff
  • Personal Care Attendants (PCAs)
  • EIDBI Tier 3 Providers
  • Educational Aides
  • Direct Support Personnel
  • Group Home Staff
  • Day Training and Habilitation Professionals
  • Anyone who works directly with individuals with autism
Winter 2017 Session 
Jan. 21, 28, 2017 from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
and Feb. 4, 2017 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

AuSM Skillshops

Oct. 16, 2016
Special Needs & Special Sibs: A Family AuSM Skillshop
Presenter: Jennifer Reinke, PhD, LAMFT, CFLE 
Date: Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016 from 2-4 p.m. 
Location: Eden Prairie Community Center, Cambria Room

"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.


Oct. 25, 2016
Accommodations & Modifications: Navigating the IEP or 504 Plan
Presenter: Mary Beth Kelley, MA 
Date: Oct. 25, 2016 from 7-9 p.m. 
Location: Fraser, Eden Prairie

Staff often have to create accommodations or modifications for students they are working with at school, or parents want to suggest accommodations for their child, but the terms can be confusing. Review definitions and differences of frequently used terms and gather examples of specific accommodations and modifications. Obtain a framework to help brainstorm new ways to assist students in the classroom.


Nov. 8: Guardianship: Do We Need It?
Nov. 15: Working with Autism: Four Helpful Hacks and One Golden Ticket
Dec. 8: Driven to Drive: Getting Behind the Wheel

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 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 info@ausm.org.

Information and Resources
Uniting the Community Events and Fundraisers
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