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

A Note from Jonah Weinberg, Executive Director
"When one door closes, another opens. But often we look so long, so regretfully upon the closed door that we fail to see the one that has opened for us." - Helen Keller

Your AuSM community believes in you, and we want to help you realize that living with autism is not a closed door. Each day brings challenges and opportunities. With AuSM, the open doors lead to opportunities for education, community events, workshops, training, and so much more. Please look forward with AuSM and see what opportunities await, including:
Let's walk through that open door and discover this great community together!

AuSM Executive Director
Be AuSM to the Max on Nov. 17
Give to the Max Day, Minnesota's state-wide day of giving is coming up on Nov. 17, 2016. AuSM's goal is to raise $6,800 this year in honor of the 1 in 68 who is diagnosed with autism. Every dollar collected will be used support AuSM's programs and services for our AuSM community. 

AuSM is pleased to announce that the Mud Rhythm Race Series has generously offered a $3,000 match donation for Give to the Max Day. Donate on Nov. 17, and your donation will be doubled by AuSM friends at the Mud Rhythm Race Series (up to $3,000)!

Bruegger's Bagels also is joining AuSM as a partner for Give to the Max Day! On Nov. 17, AuSM will be at the Gaviidae Common Bruegger's location (651 Nicollet Mall #139, Minneapolis, MN 55402) from 8:30-11 a.m. with some awesome giveaways and asking for donations in support of the Minnesota autism community. The first 25 people to donate $50 dollars to AuSM at that location on Nov. 17 will be given a FREE 2016 Bottomless Mug to be used for free refills of coffee, pop, and more until the end of the year. 

Can't make it to the Bruegger's at Gaviidae on Nov. 17? Your donation still counts! Bruegger's will give a FREE Bagel Bundle Gift Certificate to everyone who donates $25 or more to AuSM between 9 and 11 a.m. on Nov. 17. With Mud Rhythm's match doubling your dollars, this is a sweet deal you won't want to miss! 

Click here for more information and plan to give in support of the Minnesota autism community on Nov. 17.
NEW! Beyond Sex Ed: Bodies, Boundaries, and Healthy Relationships class begins Nov. 7 
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 their son or daughter for Beyond Sex Ed, parents/caregivers should contact AuSM's education department to learn more about the class and to determine if it is the right fit for their child. If the class is a good fit, AuSM's education department will provide a registration link. Class space is limited.

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.

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 Workshop on location in St. Cloud Nov. 19
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 at Calvary Community Church in St. Cloud on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. This workshop is made possible in part by a grant from Voigt's Bus Companies and is 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, MS, BCBA, NCC
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. 

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


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.
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.)

Couples class offered in early 2017
"We're In This Together," a class for couples featuring strategies for supporting and celebrating neurodiverse relationships, will be offered at AuSM from 6-8 p.m. on five Mondays, Jan. 9-Feb. 13, 2017. 

This class will guide neurodiverse couples through understanding autism, family rules, arguing, non-verbal communication, parenting, and executive function in regards to priorities and time awareness. Learn about diagnosis disclosure and who needs to know about autism. Classes will follow curriculum from The Asperger's Couples Workbook, and will be instructed by Beth Pitchford, MA, an AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services therapist. 

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

Nov. 9, 2016
Guardianship: Do We Need It?
Presenter: Jason Schellack, Esq.
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Location: Academy of Whole Learning

At age 18, an individual legally is considered an adult. Some 18-year-olds, however, aren't yet ready for all of the responsibilities of adulthood. Many 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, parents and caregivers often 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, 2016
Working with Autism: Four Helpful Hacks and One Golden Ticket
Presenter: Mitch Potter
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Location: Minnesota Life College

Undiagnosed people with autism have long enjoyed workplace success through trial-and-error adaptation. They have learned to be seen by employers as skilled problem-solvers rather than problems that need to be solved. In this session, a recently retired man with autism discusses his approach to managing four problematic behaviors so they did not negatively affect his employment. He also details a formula for using positive behaviors to provide unique value to employers. 


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

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 | |

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