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Exercise is the Gateway to Build Fitness, Self-Esteem and Relationships

CoachDaveweb2015Presented by 
David S. Geslak, BS, ACSM-HFS, CSCS

January 23, 2015
8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

1667 Snelling Ave. N.
St. Paul, MN 55108

Sponsored By

LSI RedGrayweb   FlagshipRecreation

About this Workshop

Coach Dave will teach you the structure, visual strategies and protocol to implement an effective autism exercise program. Whether you are a parent or professional you will leave with exercises and routines that can be immediately implemented in your home, center or classroom. Be ready to move and you will leave with the tools to transform lives.

Click here to view the Exercise Workshop brochure.

Speaker handouts will be distributed to participants at the workshop.

Workshop Objectives

  • Identify the Five Components of Physical Fitness for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders©
  • Understand the importance of visual exercise supports used in a school, therapeutic setting or home with individuals or in a small group.
  • Learned structured exercise routines to help improve cardiovascular endurance and to reduce weight gain.
  • Design two exercise stations using masking tape (Ladder and Letter Jumping).
  • Teach a child with autism the Crossover March, Superman, and Wall Sit.
  • Understand your role in leading an individual with autism to a physically active lifestyle.

Workshop Cost

AuSM Member: $65
Non-Member: $85
Group Rate: $40 per participant for groups of 10 or more. Contact AuSM at 651.647.1083 ext. 19 to register your group.

Online registration is closed. Walk-in registrants are welcome.

About the Presenter

Founder and president of Exercise Connection,Coach Dave has become widely recognized in the autism community for his aᴀection to the community, dynamic presentations and for the pioneering of structured visual exercise programs. He has trained parents and professionals throughout the world on the Exercise Connection protocol, authored three books, hosts a TV show, “Coach Dave,” on The Autism Channel, and provides jobs for individuals with autism through his Champion Program. The autism and special needs community has enthusiastically embraced Dave’s message and is especially encouraged by his results.


Three Rivers Outdoor Adventure serves youth on the spectrum

FortBuddiesNoNamesWEBOutdoor Adventure Skills, an AuSM social skills class held at Eastman Nature Center last week, had participants exploring forest, pond, and prairie habitats. They also built a survival shelter and made friends while communicating their needs during safe, off-trail adventures away from the comforts of home. CCX Media sent a reporter and videographer to the site to learn more about this fun, nature-based social skills class. Click here to watch the video and learn more. 


AuSM Connections puzzle competition inspires community fun

OverviewGoodWEBThe 2nd Annual AuSM Connections Jigsaw Puzzle Competition took place on Saturday, July 13 at Mall of America. Teams of up to four competed in two divisions throughout the day that featured 500-piece and 1,000-piece puzzles. Those who puzzled the fastest were awarded prizes, and everyone who competed was awarded with an amazing day of community, teamwork, encouragement from the Ninja Turtles, and lots of fun. Special thanks to Devin Wildes, a 24-year-old autistic artist who provided the 500-piece puzzle artwork. Wildes shared commentary on his art and stuck around throughout the competition to puzzle, cheer on teams, and sign puzzle boxes. We also are grateful to event emcee and founder of PuzzleTwist, Tony Nelson, and his wife, Candace, as well as Games By James who donated profits raised during the event to support AuSM's programs and services for our local autism community.

A HUGE thank you to our event sponsors who helped make our 2019 event amazing, including Platinum Sponsor Lions United Fitness Center, as well as Accra Care; Allegra and image360-Downtown Saint Paul; CyBick Productions; Games by James; Maynard's Signature Series; Minnesota Independence College and Community; PRC-Saltillo; PuzzleTwist; St. David's Center; and TPT - Twin Cities PBS. We also want to thank the Mall of America for providing the perfect venue and helping with every detail - from set-up to technology to cheering for our teams! The date for the next AuSM Connections Jigsaw Puzzle Competition will be announced soon!

Click here to view the 2019 team finish results.


First AuSM jigsaw puzzle competition a huge success

OverviewWEBThe AuSM Connections Jigsaw Puzzle Competition 2018 at the Mall of America was an amazing opportunity for puzzling, laughter, and coming together to support our local autism community. Thank you to our volunteers who helped make the event flow smoothly and to the participants who worked diligently to create some fantastic puzzles. And we are very grateful to our sponsors who made this event possible and who offered support throughout the day: Mall of America; Thrivent Financial; Sony Pictures Classics; Puzzletwist; Games by James; CyBick Productions; Workhorse Photography; Bloomington Convention & Visitors Bureau; Grafix Shoppe; Five Below;
and Alex & Ani. Cheers to all of the Adult Division and Family Division teams who competed. You are AuSM!


9th Annual Ride for Hope, gorgeous weather, generous participants

lineupRideforHope2017A huge thank you to Lube-Tech, Chris and Marna Bame, Robin and Ray Baker, and all of the volunteers, organizers, and participants who put on an amazing 9th Annual Ride for Hope yesterday. The weather was gorgeous, and the riders were generous, giving their time and dollars in support of AuSM's programs and services for our local autism community. Thank you for a fantastic event and for your many years of supporting the Autism Society of Minnesota.


A farewell note from Jonah Weinberg, AuSM's ED

JonahHeroWebThis note is my final message to you before I step down as AuSM's Executive Director. My departure at the end of July is bittersweet. I have loved working for AuSM and the Minnesota autism community during my four years in this position, but my husband and I are returning home to California to be closer to family. While this was always a longer-term goal of ours, a situation arose that caused us to move our plan forward, so now it is time for me to bid you farewell.

My time at AuSM has been extremely rewarding and educational. Although I began my career as a teacher, and then moved on to work in social services, autism was a new area for me. At AuSM, I have been fortunate to work with a dedicated and knowledgeable team of individuals on the spectrum, parents, family members of people with ASD, and other professionals who have worked in autism programs for many years; their insights and guidance helped me better understand the breadth and depth of the spectrum. And while I would never claim to be an autism "expert", I met many experts among the AuSM staff and our members, many of whom I've turned to for guidance over the years.

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Ride for Hope raises money for AuSM programs

tripwebThank you to Lube-Tech, volunteers, organizers, ride stop hosts, and all of those who participated in the Ride for Hope today. It was a warm one, but that didn't deter the crowds from going kickstands up for those affected by autism in Minnesota. Proceeds will benefit AuSM's programs and services.


Thoughts and prayers to Elmi family as they mourn

HamsaElmiphotoOur thoughts and prayers are with the family of Hamza Elmi, a 6-year-old boy with autism who wandered from his home Thursday night. His body was found in the Mississippi River Friday morning. Our hearts are heavy, and we hope the support of the Minnesota autism community will bring comfort during this tragic time.


Trolley event fun and ice cream much appreciated

trolleywebThanks to Anime Twin Cities and other financial supporters, many families and individuals with autism were able to take a free trolley ride yesterday during the All Aboard! Trolleys and Treats for Families with Autism event at the Minnesota Streetcar Museum (MSM). In addition to experiencing the thrill of riding a trolley, participants met other families and cooled down with an ice cream treat from Sebastian Joe's. The event was a great success, and AuSM is planning a future trolley event - watch AuSM's website for more information!


Local teen with autism builds video arcade game

NateArcadeGame15Video games can mimic real life. Just as a game’s missions can include moving from screen to screen, collecting things to increase life capacity, and leveling up to be more effective, people in real life move from day to day, collect resources to improve life, and gain knowledge to contribute to society. And just like video games, life can come with obstacles.

For Nate Allard, a 15-year-old from Chanhassen, Minn., obstacles don’t stand a chance at keeping him away from his life’s missions, including creating, designing, and building a video arcade game from scratch, a feat he accomplished despite some challenges. 

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Ride for Hope a great success for autism community

RideforHopeImage2014Thank you to everyone who came out for the 107-mile Ride for Hope yesterday. It was a great day to gather and ride for the Minnesota autism community! Special thanks to sponsors, riders, the great little autism awareness merchandise sales gal, volunteers and the organizers, Chris and Marna Bame, owners of Lube-Tech, Inc., and Robin and Ray Baker, Lube-Tech employees. 100% of funds raised will be given to AuSM.


It's MN Zoo Crew time!

MNZoologowebJoin the Zoo Crew in August! Explore a day in the life of a zookeeper, a zoo vet, a sea otter trainer, and many other exciting careers to see if the zoo is the place for you. A few openings remain for Zoo Crew, the MN Zoo/AuSM social skills camp, Aug. 4-8, for students ages 15-18. Click here for more information and to register.


Share your AuSM story

What impact have AuSM programs, services and educational programs had on your life? Share your successes with AuSM through a 30-60 second video of you and your loved ones describing how you feel about AuSM and being a part of the Minnesota autism community. Submitted videos will be used as part of a special social media fundraising campaign AuSM's fundraising committee is organizing for Oct. 7-9, 2014. 

For more information or to submit your video, contact Susan Larson, AuSM board member and fundraiser organizer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Thanks, Joey's Ride!

RideDonationwebThe dedicated Joey's Ride organizers presented AuSM with a check for this year's ride proceeds last night: more than $9500! Way to go, bikers!

AuSM's thoughts are with Joey's step-brother, Jason LeDuc, as he was in a critical motorcycle accident Thursday night. Visit Jason's Caring Bridge site here.


Bicycling tips from AuSM

boyonbikeweb2014AuSM recent Skillshop, Tips on Helping Your Child with ASD Ride a Bike attracted a full group of particpants. The session's instructor, Alex Uhler, an outdoor enthusiast with more than 40 years of bicycling experience, recently sent AuSM a list of bicycling tips to share with the Minnesota autism community. Click here for the list. Happy cycling this summer!


Happy 4th of July!

July4In honor of Independence Day, AuSM's office will be closed on Friday, July 4. Click here for tips on helping your loved one with autism enjoy 4th of July fireworks. We wish you a safe and fun holiday weekend!


Thanks, Ride for Hope!

kickstandwebSunday’s gorgeous weather was the perfect backdrop for the 5th Annual Ride for Hope. The ride began in Hamel, Minn., and riders traveled more than 120 miles to raise money for AuSM. Special thanks to Chris and Marna Bame, owners of Lube-Tech, Inc.; Robin & Ray Baker, Lube-Tech employees; as well as the ride’s generous sponsors for making the day a huge success! 


DoJo Karate supports AuSM with golf fundraiser

JanettecheckwebAuSM would like to thank Keith, Chris, Lindsay and all of the DoJo Karate locations for organizing the DoJo Karate Golf Fundraiser at Riverwood National Golf Course in Otsego, Minn. 119 golfers participated in yesterday's engergy-filled event that included a putting contest, raffle, silent auction, dinner and presentation. More than $8,500 was raised to support AuSM's mission of enhancing the lives of those touched by autism in Minnesota. AuSM is grateful for your generous support through this awesome event!


Twins thank you

twinslogoThank you for the overwhelming response to our member appreciation Twins ticket  giveaway. All tickets in the AuSM block are SOLD OUT. We value your membership and look forward to bringing you more exciting opportunities over the coming months.


Participate in a brain functioning study

Researchers at the Center for Neurobehavioral Development and Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic are conducting a study to better understand brain functioning in autism. The goal is to use brain-imaging methods to look at differences in structures of and networks within the brains of boys with high-functioning ASD. Click here for more information.