AuSM is partnering with Aware Services, LLC and the St. Paul Police Department to offer a free pilot project that uses mobile technology to help individuals with autism and other “invisible disabilities” live more independently and securely in the community.
Many conditions like autism, traumatic brain injury, mental health challenges, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, epilepsy, and others are referred to as “invisible” disabilities, because there are no physical indicators that others can see that might inform them of the disability. The invisibility of these disabilities can put the individuals at risk, because they often exhibit behaviors and traits that emergency responders can misinterpret as being intoxicated, uncooperative, or evasive.
A new technology-based project called the “Vulnerable Individuals Technology Assisted Location Service” – or VITALS – helps make the invisible visible. VITALS uses a transmitter, or beacon, and a mobile app that allow individuals with an “invisible” disability to voluntarily disclose their diagnosis to emergency responders within a 30-50 foot radius.
During a conflict, tempers may flare, words can have hidden meanings, and body language often is confusing. In "Communication Breakdown: How To Resolve Conflicts", 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.
Steps of Hope for Autism in Minnesota, AuSM's 17th annual fundraising fun walk and the state's largest autism resource fair will take place at Southdale Center on March 5, 2017 from 8:30-11 a.m. Registration to participate in Steps of Hope 2017 (including the autism resource fair) is free.
The first ever AuSM Flash Dash presented by Accra will kick off Steps of Hope from 9-9:15 a.m. on the first floor of Southdale Center. Feel like a superhero as you power walk, skip, roll, or mosey your way from start to finish on the short, indoor course. All ages, abilities, and mobilities can join in on the fun and earn a medal and bragging rights. AuSM Flash Dash registration is $5 per person. All dollars support AuSM's programs and services for the local autism community. Register for the AuSM Flash Dash by Jan. 31, and your name will be entered into a drawing for a free one night stay (March 4) in a two room suite at the Residence Inn Minneapolis Edina. Prize includes a superhero breakfast on March 5!
AuSM’s Life with Autism Series offers information and strategies to parents, family members, relatives, caregivers of individuals with autism, educators, and the community through engaging, age-focused classes led by autism experts and parent speakers. Participants also learn about available services and resources. Each class is a single session; click on the class titles for additional information and to register. Upcoming classes include:
Intro to Autism: Tuesday, Jan. 24 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and Thursday, April 20 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Develop an understanding of the basics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), resource options, and positive behavior supports. Learn how families, schools, and the medical community can work together to educate and support those with ASD. Get practical tips on helping individuals with ASD meet their potential.
Newly Diagnosed (ages 18 mos.-10 yrs.): Saturday, Feb. 18 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Obtain information on topics including the definition of autism, parent feelings, neurological findings, therapies, communication strategies, teaching daily living skills, challenging behavior, sensory needs, visual supports, and using social stories.
Adolescence and Transition (ages 11-21): Saturday, March 18 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Obtain information on topics including parent emotions, the impact of autism on adolescents, independence in daily living skills, public social skills, reciprocal relationships, sexuality, privacy and safety, transitions into adult living and workplace issues, self-determination skills, behavior management, and emotions.
Adults (ages 18+): Saturday, May 6 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Obtain information on topics such as impact of autism on adults, independence in daily living skills, social skills across settings including the workplace, reciprocal relationships, sexuality, privacy and safety, transitions into adult living, workplace issues, self-determination skills, behavior management, and emotions.