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  • AuSM Mission

    Established in 1971, the Autism Society of Minnesota 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 Golf Classic 2017

    Participate in the 22nd Annual AuSM Golf Classic at Troy Burne Golf Club in Hudson, Wis. on Monday, Aug. 7, 2017. Take a break from the humdrum of a regular Monday and have fun hitting the links in support of AuSM's mission of enhancing the lives of individuals touched by autism in Minnesota.

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  • AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services

    The AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services team works in partnership with you to develop a plan based on your needs.

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  • Social Skills Classes

    AuSM social skills classes foster confidence and self-esteem while participants learn how to make friends and have fun.

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  • Training Tailored for Organizations and Businesses

    AuSM provides a variety of continuing education options for parents, caregivers, educators, direct support staff, business professionals, organizations, individuals with autism, and the community. Experienced educators present on topics that align with your interests and serve to enhance your life.

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  • Uniting the Community Events

    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.

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Dec
03

AuSM receives a Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant

(Dec. 3, 2013) AuSM has been awarded a Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant for improving special education transition services.

“AuSM is honored to be the recipient of a Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant. We look forward to working with organizations that serve individuals with disabilities and fostering a dialog within the community that will instigate positive momentum toward improving services for individuals in transition,” Jonah Weinberg, AuSM Executive Director said.

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Dec
28

AuSM is your Minnesota autism community resource in 2017

Happy New Year 2017During these days of busy festivities, altered schedules, and hopefully a few quiet evenings, AuSM board and staff want to take a moment to wish you a Happy New Year. In observance of the holiday, AuSM's office will be closed on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. We look forward to continuing to be your autism information and programs resource in 2017.

Dec
21

Happy holidays from AuSM

ChristmasTreewebDuring these days of busy festivities, altered schedules, and hopefully a few quiet evenings, AuSM board and staff wish you an enjoyable holiday season. In observance of the holidays, AuSM's office will be closed on Monday, Dec. 26, 2016 and Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. We look forward to continuing to be your autism information and programs resource in 2017.

Dec
18

Winter social skills: zoo fun, improv, and talent begin in January

giraffeHoliday break is approaching quickly, and everyone is anticipating a few days away from the usual routine. Before the holiday busy-ness begins and the year ends, we invite you to register for our winter social skills classes that begin in January 2017, including Como Zoo Elementary (ages 8-12): Rainforest Adventures; ComedySportz Improv Skills (ages 14-26); and AuSM Talent Showcase (ages 10-26). Click here for more information and to register.

Dec
19

AuSM, MLC, and UST offer sexuality workshop for caregivers, educators

TeenGroupHangOutwebAuSM, Minnesota Life College, and the University of St. Thomas invite you to register for "Sexuality: Breaking the Taboo and Learning How To Talk About It", a collaborative workshop to be presented from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 at O'Shaughnessy Educational Center on the University of St. Thomas's St. Paul Campus. This innovative workshop presented by Melissa Keyes Di-Gioia, a Certified Sexuality Educator, will give parents and caregivers valuable strategies for conversing about sexuality, relationships, and values. It also will help educators learn how to talk with families about sharing information on sexuality, as well as how to seek permission for discussing this topic in the classroom. CEUs and certificates of attendance will be available for participants. Register on or before Feb. 3 to receive the best rate. Click here for more information and to register.

Dec
17

K102's Muss to rally the crowds during Steps of Hope 2017

MussSOH2017AuSM is pleased to announce that K102's Mike "Muss" Mussman will be our emcee at Steps of Hope for Autism in Minnesota 2017, to be held March 5, 2017 from 8:30-11 a.m. at Southdale Center in Edina. A self-proclaimed fan of AuSM and the Minnesota autism community, Muss is sure to rally the excitement and contribute to the fun on March 5 at Southdale Center! Registration for Steps of Hope 2017 and the AuSM Flash Dash is open. Click here for more information and to register today.

Dec
09

Learn about reducing aggression and resolving conflicts in the 2017

NewYearFreshStartImageOn Jan. 10, AuSM will present "Keeping Aggresson in Check", an AuSM Skillshop held at Merrick, Inc. that will help participants understand of why interfering behaviors are exhibited and obtain positive intervention strategies. Speaker Stephanie Bruyer also will teach participants about Functional Behavioral Assessments and how the outcome of assessments can lead to the most effective interventions. The AuSM Skillshop will take place from 7-9 p.m. Click here for more information and to register.

During a conflict, tempers may flare, words can have hidden meanings, and body language often is confusing. In the Jan. 24 AuSM Skillshop presented by AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services therapist Beth Pitchford, MA, participants will learn the difference between a disagreement and a conflict and obtain helpful techniques for listening, reading body language, and using assertive communication to resolve conflicts. This AuSM Skillshop will be held at AuSM's office in St. Paul from 7-9 p.m. Click here for more information and to register.

Dec
01

Steps of Hope 2017 and AuSM Flash Dash registration is open

SOH logo2017Activate your inner superhero! AuSM will present Steps of Hope for Autism in Minnesota, its 17th annual family fun walk and the state's largest autism resource fair at Southdale Center on March 5, 2017 from 8:30-11 a.m. Each participant is an autism hero, rallying for the 1 in 68 individuals living with autism in Minnesota. Registration to participate in Steps of Hope 2017 (including the autism resource fair) is free.

FlashDashAccra2017AuSM is pleased to announce that its inaugural AuSM Flash Dash presented by Accra will kick off Steps of Hope for Autism in Minnesota 2017. Held from 9-9:15 a.m. on the first floor of Southdale Center, the AuSM Flash Dash is an all ages and abilities quick walk that will be done in a flash. Participants who register for the AuSM Flash Dash ($5 per person) will receive medals at the finish line and bragging rights for completion.

Steps of Hope dollars directly support local families and individuals living with autism, from birth through retirement. Donations stay in the community by funding AuSM's innovative programs and services. Those who pre-register and raise $100 or more will receive a free Steps of Hope 2017 T-shirt. Click here for more information and to register today!

Dec
22

AuSM wishes you happy holidays in 2015

ornamentOn behalf of the Autism Society of Minnesota staff and Board of Directors, we wish you and your family a safe, fun, and happy holiday season. AuSM will be open until noon on Dec. 24, closed Dec. 25, open until noon on Dec. 31, and closed Jan. 1, 2016. We look forward to serving you in AuSM's 45th anniversary year!

If you'd like to make a tax-deductible contribution to AuSM by Dec. 31, please click here. 100% of your donation will stay in Minnesota to support programs and services for our local autism community. Thank you!

Dec
21

CommVault event raises money for AuSM programs

check16web

AuSM partnered with Microsoft and the Hockey Helping Kids (HHK) Foundation for the CommVault fundraising event on Dec. 17. This event, held at the Excel Energy Center, included a silent auction, dinner, a MN Wild game, and other activities to raise money for HHK and AuSM. More than $5,000 was donated in support of AuSM's programs and services for our community. Thank you!

Dec
15

Creating fun, inclusive holiday environments

ChristmasTreewebThe holidays are a time for family and friend gatherings, parties, and plenty of extra sensory input. While the festivities can be fun, they also can bring stress and anxiety. Below are links to articles about making environments inclusive, tips for traveling by car or air, and preparing the individual with autism in advance for gatherings. 

Twelve Tips for Helping Individuals with Autism Have a Happy Holiday Season
Creating Fun, Successful, Accessible & Inclusive Holidays

Autism and the Holidays: Sensory Overload

Dec
09

St. Cloud officers learn about autism first-hand

stcloudpolice15AuSM loves to train police officers and has worked successfully with several departments across the state to increase awareness and improve strategies for emergency responders.

In November, AuSM was especially grateful to a very special St. Cloud family for contributing to our training at the St. Cloud Police Department. Lt. Tom Justin and his wife Heidi introduced their 9-year-old son to dozens of participating officers. Their son showed off his talents, characteristics, and needs to officers eager to understand children and adults with autism who communicate and behave differently than neurotypical individuals. Officer Jake Walters, the young boy's older brother, invited officers from surrounding departments, including the Sartell Police Department.

Tom and Heidi also are strong advocates for Project Lifesaver and are working hard to make services available to Sterns County and the City of St. Cloud. Way to go, Justin family! And, thank you to their son for making a difference in your AuSM community! Click here to learn more about AuSM's autism training programs.

Dec
10

ASA comments about San Bernardino tragedy

ASA50logoScott Badesch, President and CEO of the Autism Society of America, shares his thoughts on the horrific event that took place in last week in San Bernardino, Calif.

What is the value of the Autism Society in helping individuals and families impacted by autism? That is the question I often am asked as CEO. Part of my response includes talking about how we have a national network of 104 grassroots affiliates working throughout the nation helping individuals diagnosed with autism maximize their quality of life by providing support, information, programs and advocacy all aimed at helping a person have the opportunities of life most people take for granted.

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Dec
04

Sensory accommodations help everyone feel welcome

boygirlpaintwebWith a diagnosis rate of 1 in 68, autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in Minnesota. Often, the sensory differences and social challenges of autism make it difficult for families and individuals affected by autism to integrate into the community. In order to accommodate those touched by autism, many organizations and activity planners are responding with sensory friendly programming that allows for community engagement and the development of connections with others.

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Dec
30

Time to register for AuSM's January social skills classes

ZooSkillsturtlewebAuSM social skills classes foster self-awareness and self-esteem while participants learn how to make friends, fit into a group, take part in conversations, ask appropriate questions, and have fun. Building social skills using the participants’ special interests, AuSM Social Skills classes offer a low-stress, accepting environment that encourages learning and growth. Register now; classes begin Jan. 10, 2015.

Como Zoo Skills
Comedy Sports Improv Skills 
AuSM On the Town (FULL - Summer session reg opens in January 2015)

Dec
24

Happy Holidays from your AuSM staff

ornamentThe holiday season makes us feel humble, grateful and truly blessed because we are a part of the Minnesota autism community - a community that is brave, dedicated, determined and caring. On behalf of AuSM staff, happy holidays! We look forward to continuing our journey together in the new year!

The AuSM office will be closed on Dec. 25 and will be open for limited hours before the new year. AuSM will be closed on Jan. 1 and will reopen Jan. 2.

Dec
23

Holiday meltdown: a mom shares her perspective

ChristmasTreewebI have two boys, ages 9 and 11, with autism. They are two completely different, wonderful kiddos. Most people who do not know them would not know they have autism, and others who do know sometimes don’t see it either. I know and my husband knows. We see their ups and downs and have seen how far they have come since their preschool diagnosis.  

We prep our boys anytime we go anywhere. We talk about routine and what will happen when. Celebrating the holidays at Grandpa and Grandma’s house is no exception. First dinner, then presents.  We have our fidgets, our safe place. We’ve been doing this for years now, and they love Grandpa and Grandma’s house and seeing the family. What could go wrong?  

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Dec
23

2015 workshops for families with autism filling

ZPuppetsGuywebZ Puppets Rosenschnoz and AuSM invite families affected by autism to participate in one of two FREE Monkey Mind Pirate workshops this February and March. Monkey Mind Pirates is the world's only puppet, rock yoga adventure, combining arts and mindfulness to give families creative tools to find calm. Session 2 is full, but Session 1 still has a few openings for youth living with autism, siblings ages 7+ and accompanying adults. The final performance will take place at the Children's Theatre Company on March 22, 2015. Space is limited; register today! Click here for more information and to register. 

Dec
20

Thank you, What's On Tap for Autism supporters!

crowdwebCheers to the organizers, volunteers, ENKI Brewing and the Minnesota autism community for coming to the brewery last night to support What's On Tap for Autism, a festive fundraiser for AuSM. We also thank our two matching donors. If you weren't able to attend, but still would like to make an end of the year, tax-deductible donation to AuSM, click here.

Dec
19

Join AuSM at the Victoria brewery event tonight

ENKIbeerJoin us tonight from 4-10 p.m. for an ENKI Brewing beer pouring experience featuring CACAO Porter, Victoria’s Gold, Journey Pale Ale, Auburn Kolsch, and more. Beyond the craft beers, this festive event will include chili with all of the fixings, hand-rolled cigars for sale and a silent auction of items donated by Victoria businesses. ENKI will donate $1 for each pour to AuSM, and two donors have agreed to match dollars raised tonight! This event is organized by friends of AuSM. Click here for more information.

Dec
18

What's on Tap for Autism: Join us tomorrow!

ENKIbeerJoin us on Friday, Dec. 19 from 4-10 p.m. for an ENKI Brewing beer pouring experience featuring CACAO Porter, Victoria’s Gold, Journey Pale Ale, Auburn Kolsch, and more. Beyond the craft beers, this festive event will include chili with all of the fixings, hand-rolled cigars for sale and a silent auction of items donated by Victoria businesses. ENKI will donate $1 for each pour to AuSM during this festive evening, and two donors have agreed to match dollars raised tomorrow night! Click here for more information.

Dec
18

Winter AuSM Social Skills classes filling quickly

ZooSkillsturtlewebAuSM social skills classes foster self-awareness and self-esteem while participants learn how to make friends, fit into a group, take part in conversations, ask appropriate questions, and have fun. Building social skills using the participants’ special interests, AuSM Social Skills classes offer a low-stress, accepting environment that encourages learning and growth. Register now; classes begin Jan. 10, 2015.

Como Zoo Skills
Comedy Sports Improv Skills 
AuSM Job Skills
AuSM On the Town (FULL - Summer session reg opens in January 2015)

Dec
12

Improved AuSM Resource Directory now available

2015ResourceDirAuSM is pleased to announce an updated version of the AuSM Resource Directory now is available on this site. The AuSM Resource Directory is a compiled list of providers and businesses and organizations that offer products and services to the Minnesota autism community. Businesses and organizations in the directory are offered as options for families and individuals touched by autism. Click here to view the new AuSM Resource Directory.

Dec
07

Holiday fun in the cities

smilewithSantawebAuSM had a busy morning with fun sensitive/caring Santa events at Northtown Mall and Southdale Center. AuSM families also participated in a special sensory-friendly experience of the Toys of the 50s, 60s and 70s exhibit at the MN Historical Society and Fidgety Fairy Tales shows at the MN Children's Museum. Thank you to the organizers, volunteers and participants for a great day of activities in the Twin Cities area!

Dec
05

Set sail for the island of calm: FREE theater workshops for families with autism

ZPuppetsGuywebZ Puppets Rosenschnoz and AuSM invite families affected by autism to participate in one of two FREE Monkey Mind Pirate workshops this February and March. Monkey Mind Pirates is the world's only puppet, rock yoga adventure, combining arts and mindfulness to give families creative tools to find calm. The two sessions of this free workshop series are designed for youth living with autism, siblings ages 7+ and accompanying adults. The final performance will take place at the Children's Theatre Company on March 22, 2015. Space is limited in both sessions; register today! Click here for more information and to register. 

Dec
05

MCHA ends in 2014

The Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association and Commerce Department staff have found the best solution possible for families facing the loss of the MCHA program at the end of 2014. The available options for covering autism services that families are currently receiving through MCHA are identified in a letter posted on the Commerce Department website. Click here for more information.

Dec
02

Today is Giving Tuesday

givingTues2014Give to the Max Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday - so many days to follow as the calendar pages turn. If you have penciled in Giving Tuesday as your day to donate to the charity of your choice, please consider AuSM. 100% of your donations stay in Minnesota to build programs and services for our autism community.

Dec
01

Inclusive Schools Week

inclusiveschoolswkDec2014In honor of Minnesota educators and families who recognize that children have different skills and abilities, which means they learn better if education is tailored to meet meet their needs, Governor Mark Dayton has declared this week "Inclusive Schools Week" in Minnesota.

kidorangebackpack

Dec
01

Tomorrow's AuSM Skillshop canceled

The "Schedules Turned Upside Down" holiday-focused AuSM Skillshop scheduled for Dec. 2 from 7-9 p.m. at AuSM has been canceled. Please click here to view the complete lineup of AuSM Skillshops in 2015.

Dec
01

Explore toys at the MN History Center

toys2014The Minnesota History Center and AuSM invite you to explore the Toys of the 50s, 60s, and 70s and Open House exhibits from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7. This experience is exclusive to AuSM kids and their families. Museum staff will have hands-on activities, games, and crafts available. Admission is free and space is limited. Click here to reserve your spot or call 651.259.3015.

Dec
17

Tips to make your holidays happy days

holidaysnowmanFor many of us, the holidays are a time to focus on fun, friends and family, while flipping our schedules upside-down for the hustle and bustle. For those who depend upon daily routines and careful planning of activities, times of fun and excitement can dissolve into moments of anxiety and stress.

We've put together a list to help guide families with a loved one with autism and/or special sensory needs through the holiday haze.

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Dec
13

What an AuSM journey

AuSMVideoScreenAuSM embarked on an exciting journey with the Minnesota autism community in 2013. Thank you for your participation and support. We look forward to continuing this important journey with you into 2014! Click here to view the AuSM video. Click here to view AuSM's end of the year letter.

Dec
09

Design the Steps of Hope 2014 T-shirt

TshirtwebAuSM members of all ages are invited to participate in the first ever Steps of Hope T-Shirt Design Contest! The winning design will be printed on the 2014 Steps of Hope T-shirts. Click here for the official rules and entry form. The deadline for entries is Dec. 15, 2013.

Dec
04

Sensory-friendly Santa event at Northtown Mall

santaNorthtown Mall is offering a sensory friendly Santa event for families with autism. On Sunday, Dec. 8 from 8-10 a.m., the Santa visiting area will feature lower lighting and quieter surroundings. Participants will receive a free Santa photo and enjoy festive giveaways. If you would like to participate in this event, please contact Linda Sell at Northtown Mall at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dec
31

MN LEND seeks fellows

LEND UofM-Maroon-and-GoldThe MN LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities), a training program funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), for specialized training in neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDD), autism, and other related conditions will be starting its fifth year at the University of Minnesota. MN LEND training focuses on research, leadership, cultural competence, family centered practices, and many more topics related to the services and supports for individuals with NDD and Autism Spectrum Disorders. The program is designed to train individuals to be future leaders in the field of NDD and ASD. MN LEND currently is seeking graduate (pre and post doc) students and community members who are interested in becoming a MN LEND Fellow.

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Dec
03

AuSM receives grant to improve special education transition services

AuSM has been awarded a Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant for improving special education transition services. As part of this grant, AuSM will collaborate with multiple key organizations to create community dialogs for parents, educators, school officials and local business professionals to discuss ways to improve services for individuals with disabilities who are reaching transition age. Community dialogs will take place in 2014. Click here for more information.

Dec
20

Steps of Hope 2013 registration is open!

StepsofHopeLogo

Step it up for autism! Registration for Steps of Hope 2013 is open. Take advantage of this exciting, family-friendly opportunity to show your support for the local autism community. 

Each step is a promise to enhance the lives of the 1 in 88 individuals living with autism in Minnesota. Steps of Hope dollars directly support local families and individuals living with autism, from birth through retirement. Donations stay in the community by funding the Autism Society of Minnesota’s (AuSM) innovative programs and services.

Click here for more information and to register.

Dec
19

Group expands to meet the needs of school age parents

AuSM Autism Spectrum Disorder Parent Group
Previously serving parents of junior high aged children and older, the AuSM Autism Spectrum Disorder Parent Group is expanding to support the needs of parents with school age children and older. We invite you to share stories, joys and concerns with other parents raising children with ASD. The next meeting will be Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the AuSM office. There is no cost to attend, but you must RSVP. Click here for more details.

Dec
05

Thanks, Summit Brewery event participants

summitbrewerylogoThank you to all of those who attended the AuSM Summit Brewery event on Nov. 29. It was wonderful to connect with AuSM supporters for an evening of great food, drinks and conversation. A special thank you to Summit Brewery for providing a comfortable location and to Victoria Station Restaurant for providing the delicious dinner.