October 15, 2016       Connecting you with the Minnesota autism community.

A Note from Jonah Weinberg, Executive Director
The Autism Society of Minnesota has been your autism resource for more than 45 years. We serve the parents of a newly diagnosed child, an adult with autism who needs guidance navigating social situations at work, educators who want to better understand and assist their students with autism, businesses who want to accommodate and welcome individuals with autism in our community, and many, many more. We offer trainings, classes, camps, workshops, conferences, counseling, and advocacy in order to enhance the lives of all affected by autism.

You are the reason we work hard every day.

I invite you to participate in one of the many educational offerings we have planned over the next few 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, on Dec. 2, Mark Coppin will discuss "Tech Tools and Apps for Students and Adults with Autism".

New classes include "Beyond Sex Ed: Bodies, Boundaries, and Healthy Relationships", a class that will help teens with autism create positive relationships and be safe. The parent/caregiver information session for this class will take place on Monday, Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at AuSM.

Another new class is the Kindling Workshop for those interested in learning more about starting a business. Join us for this inexpensive, one-day class on Nov. 12 and learn how to put to work your entrepreneurial creativity.

We will continue to work hard to bring you the programs and services that enhance your life. 

AuSM Executive Director
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 

Kindling Workshop for those interested in being an entrepreneur comes to AuSM on Nov. 12 
On Nov. 12 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., join AuSM, Autism Works, and Celebrate Edu for a fun, interactive workshop that introduces the idea of entrepreneurship and teaches the basics of starting a business. During this workshop for individuals with autism ages 18+, meet a local entrepreneur, discover your entrepreneurial traits, and understand the key elements of a business venture. Also work in small groups to design a popcorn business, determining customers, competitors, and competitive advantage. The workshop, held at AuSM in St. Paul, is $15 per participant and includes lunch.

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. Submit your proposal to present during this largest annual educational event for the Minnesota autism community. Click here to download, complete, and submit the Call for Papers 2017 proposal form.

To assist with education budgeting, conference rates are posted here on the AuSM website.
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.)

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.

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. 25, 2016
Accommodations & Modifications: Navigating the IEP or 504 Plan
Presenter: Mary Beth Kelley, MA 
Time: 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, 2016
Guardianship: Do We Need It?
Presenter: Jason Schellack, Esq.
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Location: Academy of Whole Learning

At age 18, a child is legally considered an adult. Some kids, however, aren't yet ready for all of the responsibilities of adulthood. Many children with ASD will continue to need assistance with their IEPs, transition services, making medical decisions, and applying for government benefits. To have legal authority to assist their adult children in these important areas, many parents and caregivers choose to establish legal guardianship. Learn about the legal process for obtaining guardianship and how you can qualify for free legal assistance. Also understand the powers and responsibilities guardians have under Minnesota law, and how successor guardians are chosen and appointed.


Nov. 15: Working with Autism: Four Helpful Hacks and One Golden Ticket
Dec. 8: Driven to Drive: Getting Behind the Wheel
Jan. 10, 2017: Keeping Aggression in Check
Jan. 24, 2017: Communication Breakdown: How To Resolve Conflicts

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
Elephant and Piggie's 
We Are in a Play!
Oct. 21, 2016
7 p.m. - Sensory-Friendly Performance
Children's Theatre Company

Let's talk about the elephant in the room: Gerald is no good at dancing. But the pessimistic pachyderm has the help of his perky pal Piggie to teach him how. The melodic musings of this dynamic duo make for one grand day at the theatre as Elephant and Piggie put on a show where we learn the important responsibilities of being a good friend. Click here for more information and to order your tickets.

Volunteer and see this CTC show for FREE
CTC is seeking volunteers to assist with welcoming, ushering and assisting families who participate in this sensory-friendly performance. Volunteers are asked to come one hour prior to the start of the performance and will participate in a 20-minute training followed by 40 minutes of greeting and supporting arriving audience members. Volunteers also receive one free admission to watch the performance. Click here if you would like to volunteer for this CTC sensory-friendly performance.
Uniting the Community Events and Fundraisers
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