Find AuSM on Facebook  twitterbird YouTubeSubscribe to our RSS feed 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Home
  • Classes
  • AuSM Skillshops

AuSM Skillshops

18 19EduCatalogCvrWEBBased on topics suggested by the Minnesota autism community, AuSM Skillshops are mini-workshops designed for individuals with autism, parents, caregivers, family members, support staff, educators, therapists, and other professionals who work with individuals with autism. AuSM Skillshops are held at the AuSM office in St. Paul and at partnering locations.

AuSM Skillshops will be held at the AuSM office in St. Paul and also at partnering locations throughout the Twin Cities.


AuSM 2380 Wycliff St. #102, St. Paul, MN 55114
Lindamood-Bell 3300 Edinborough Way #206, Edina, MN 55435
Lionsgate Academy Minnetonka 5605 Green Cir. Dr., Minnetonka, MN 55343
Lionsgate Academy Shoreview 599 Cardigan Rd., Shoreview, MN 55126
St. David's Center 3395 Plymouth Rd., Minnetonka, MN 55305
University of St. Thomas 1000 LaSalle Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55403, Opus Hall, Room 321

Cost Per AuSM Skillshop/Per Person

AuSM Member: $25
Non-Member: $40
Individual with ASD/Current Student: $10

Click here for Scholarships & Waiver information.

January 22, 2019
Suicidality and Suicide Prevention

Online registration for this AuSM Skillshop is closed. To register prior to the class, contact AuSM's education team at 651.647.1083 ext. 22 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Presenter: Joe Timmons
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: Lionsgate Academy, Minnetonka

Statistics are showing increasingly high rates of suicide among the general population and for people with autism in particular. Awareness of evidence-based interventions to reduce the risk of suicide is growing. Learn about the risk factors for suicide and best practices for suicide prevention in both the general public and specific to people on the spectrum.

Joe Timmons has worked with individuals with disabilities in educational, vocational, and health care settings for over thirty-three years. From 2002 to 2017, he was a research coordinator at the Institute on Community Integration (ICI) at the University of Minnesota. In August 2017, he became a school social worker at Lionsgate Academy, a charter school for students with ASD. Prior to 2002, Mr. Timmons was an instructor and counselor at several schools and non-profit organizations in the Twin Cities.

February 12, 2019
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports

Presenter: L. Lynn Stansberry Brusnahan, PhD and Erin Farrell
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: University of St. Thomas, Opus Hall, Room 321

Positive behavioral support underlies many of the evidencebased practices for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and its use is mandated by the Individuals with Disabilties Education Act (IDEA). Whether at home, school, or in the community, understanding the principles of positive behavioral support is critical to supporting individuals with ASD. Receive an overview of positive behavioral support along with applications across settings.

L. Lynn Stansberry Brusnahan is the parent of a young adult with autism and coordinates the autism spectrum disorders certificate, license, and Master’s program at the University of St. Thomas.

Erin Farrell is the Autism Spectrum Disorders Specialist with the Minnesota Department of Education. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, President of the Minnesota School Based Behavior Analysts, and has worked in early intervention ABA services for children with autism.

Parking/Room Location Instructions
University of St. Thomas Minneapolis Campus
1000 LaSalle Avenue, Minneapolis MN 55403
Opus Hall (not Opus School of Business)
Next to Downtown Fair School on Hennepin 
Enter doors at 10th and Harmon
Take the escalators up and St. Thomas is on the right.
Take elevator next to Keiffer Library.
Opus Hall room 321.

Parking is available on the street (meters), parking ramp at 11th between LaSalle and Hennepin, parking ramp at Hennepin and 10th, outside parking lot by church between 10th and 11th on Hennepin.


February 26, 2019
Neurodevelopment and ASD: What Does the Research Say?

Presenter: Eric Ringgenberg
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: Autism Society of Minnesota

In the last decade, advances in technology and neurological inquiry have furthered our understanding of the neurological basis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While onset and trajectory of individual development vary widely, an understanding of neurodevelopmental processes highlights the differences correlated with ASD across neurodevelopment. As this level of understanding increases, how can it inform our understanding of brain-based differences and daily practice?

Eric Ringgenberg, AuSM’s Education Program Manager, has a Bachelors of Science in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and is completing a Masters of Arts in Special Education-Autism Spectrum Disorders from the University of St. Thomas.


March 12, 2019
Estate Planning and ABLE Accounts: What You Need To Know

Presenter: Jason Schellack, JD
Date: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: Autism Society of Minnesota

Minnesota began offering Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Accounts in 2017. ABLE accounts are designed to allow individuals with disabilities who receive government benefits to work and save more of their money. Most government programs have asset limits, and money in an ABLE account does not count against those limits. Learn how to incorporate an ABLE account into your family’s financial plan and how ABLE accounts differ from traditional accounts, like special needs and supplemental needs trusts.

Jason Schellack is an attorney and the Executive Director of Autism Advocacy & Law Center, LLC, a law firm dedicated to serving individuals with disabilities and their families. Schellack has worked with individuals with autism throughout his career as a camp counselor, personal care attendant, public defender, and legal advocate. He practices primarily in the areas of guardianship, estate planning, family law, and special education law. Schellack also is a qualified neutral under Rule 114, allowing him to serve as a mediator in family law disputes.



March 26, 2019
Evaluations and Assessments

Presenter: Mary Beth Kelley, MA
Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: Lindamood-Bell

Evaluations are critical for identifying needs and accessing services; however, understanding assessment results can be a challenge. Review the evaluation process, learn about commonly-used assessment tools, interpreting assessment results, and how effective evaluations can translate into meaningful information. Differences between types of assessments such as neuropsychological, psychoeducational, and psychological also will be discussed.

Mary Beth Kelley currently oversees LDA Minnesota’s assessment program. She has been in the field of special education since 1990, serving in a variety of roles. She teaches adjunct at the University of St. Thomas and trains graduate students.


May 14, 2019
What Autistic People Wish You Knew

Presenter: Jillian Nelson
Date: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: Autism Society of Minnesota

Learn about life experiences from the perspective of a person with autism, understand the anatomy of a meltdown, what it’s like to live with executive function deficits, and more. Parents, caregivers, and providers for individuals with autism are invited to attend. The session will include time for questions and answers.

Jillian Nelson, an AuSM Information and Resources Specialist, was diagnosed with autism as a young adult. With a degree in human services and a background in self-advocacy, she has dedicated her career to helping others with autism achieve their goals, advocating for system change, and spreading a message of autism education and acceptance.


June 4, 2019
Supplemental Security Income: Am I Eligible?

Presenter: Nate Gurol
Date: Tuesday, June 4, 2019 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: Autism Society of Minnesota

Is your child or young adult unable to work due to his or her autism diagnosis? Many parents are unaware that their child diagnosed with ASD may be eligible for a certain Social Security benefit called Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Learn about the steps for gathering the necessary information and documentation needed to apply for SSI benefits, the application timeline and process, and how the Social Security Administration makes a determination on claims.

Nate Gurol has worn many different hats, including holding positions as a Legislative Fellow for the New York State Senate and an Attorney Editor at Thomson Reuters. Gurol is a staff attorney at Autism Advocacy & Law Center, LLC.


June 11, 2019
Helping Your Child with ASD Learn To Ride a Bike

Presenter: Alex Uhler
Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 from 7-9 p.m.
Location: Autism Society of Minnesota

Challenges with body awareness, balance and motor control, and hand-eye coordination can make riding a bike difficult. Learn a number of tips for successful bike riding including purchasing equipment, making bike adjustments, breaking down riding into smaller steps, clothing protection, practice makes perfect pedaling, staying positive and patient, and working toward the sense of independence and accomplishment that your child will experience when learning to ride his or her own bike.

Alex Uhler is an outdoor enthusiast with more than 40 years of bicycling experience.

Note: This AuSM Skillshop is limited to nine children, ages 5-12. Support adult and child attend together. Child should bring a bike and helmet.


Cancellation Policy

Notification of Cancellation: If an AuSM Skillshop is cancelled or postponed, AuSM will attempt to notify you via phone, using the phone number provided with your registration. We also will post notice of cancellations and postponements on www.ausm.org.

Cancellation by Registrant: Refunds less a $10 processing fee will be given for cancellations received in writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. seven business days prior to the AuSM Skillshop. Following this date, no refunds will be given. Requests for transfers of registration to another individual will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Cancellation by Skillshop Organizer: AuSM reserves the right to cancel a Skillshop due to low registrations or other circumstances that make the Skillshop non-viable. If AuSM cancels an AuSM Skillshop, registrants will be offered a full refund. If the event is postponed, registrants will have the option to either receive a full refund or transfer registration to the same AuSM Skillshop at the new, future date.