As we ready ourselves for Thanksgiving, AuSM is grateful for all of the individuals with autism, parents, grandparents, siblings, caregivers, educators, business professionals, first responders, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, direct support professionals, and the countless other community members who strive each day to make better lives for those affected by autism. What you do matters, and each of you is a counted blessing.
In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, AuSM's office will be closed Nov. 26 and 27 and will reopen on Monday, Nov. 30.
Planning to cyber shop this holiday season? If your shopping includes gifts from Amazon (for yourself or your loved ones), please consider using the Amazon Smile program and selecting AuSM as your preferred charity. Click here to choose AuSM and shop as usual. A percentage of your purchases will be given to AuSM to support programs and services for the Minnesota autism community. Thank you!
Do you have health insurance? Need help applying? Don’t know where to start? Not sure what to do about the UCare changes?
Join Navigators from NAMI MN and The Arc for an enrollment event where you can learn more and get help applying for healthcare programs including Medical Assistance. This event, which will take place from 4-7:30 p.m. on Dec. 2 at the Rondo Community Outreach Library (461 N. Dale St., St. Paul 55103), is designed for people living with mental illness, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families. Please call The Arc at 952.920.0855 to register and receive a checklist of documents to bring to the event.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) announced its intent not to contract with UCare for the Prepaid Medical Assistance Program (PMAP) or MinnesotaCare beginning Jan. 1, 2016. Coverage and benefits of those currently enrolled in UCare will continue until Dec. 31, 2015.
If you currently are enrolled in UCare, review your re-enrollment packet. The forms in the packet will let you know if you need to select a new plan for 2016 as well as which plans are available in your county. If you do not select a new health plan, you automatically will be assigned to a new health plan.
The Olmstead Implementation Office is looking for individuals with any type of disability to help educate more people across the state about Minnesota's Olmstead and Community Engagement plans. Training will be available for those interested in this volunteer position. Applications are due by Nov. 30. Click here for more information.
The jolly man in the bright red suit is scheduled to make appearances at malls around the metro area this holiday season. For some, a Santa visit is exciting and the perfect opportunity to share gift wishes. For others, the very idea of approaching a strange man with a long white beard can be terrifying.
AuSM is partnering with several malls around the Twin Cities to offer "Sensitive Santa" events for families with autism and others with special sensory needs. Southdale Center and Northtown Mall will host sensory-friendly Santa visits on Dec. 6. Events will take place before the malls open, and will feature reduced lighting, minimal crowds, and activities for children. Click on the mall links above for more information and to make your reservation for your Santa visit.
To prepare for one of the sensory-friendly events or for a separate Santa visit, please review the "I'm Going to Visit Santa" social narrative, a perfect resource for helping your loved one with autism get ready for this special seasonal activity.
A new study was released yesterday by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics, which identified a prevalence rate of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as 1:45. This study is getting a lot of national attention, but it is important to note that this new number was not arrived at by the same methodology that led to the 1:68 finding, as identified in 2014 by the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. What does this mean? In short, the two prevalence rates cannot be compared as “apples to apples.”
Proposal submissions for presentations during the 21st Annual Minnesota Autism Conference now are being accepted. Present your ideas, research, and/or topic of focus during the Minnesota autism community's largest information-sharing event of the year. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2016. Click here for more details and to download the application form.