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Sensory friendly happenings make experiences accessible to all

ComoZooGiraffeWEBAs the school year winds down and the temperature warms up, the urge to be out and about often increases. Many of AuSM's community partners are offering sensory-friendly experiences that can help families and individuals with autism feel comfortable and welcome. Here are a few upcoming highlights from AuSM's Uniting the Community events calendar. Be sure to visit this page of AuSM's website often as events are added weekly.

Is your business or organization interested in offering a sensory friendly activity to your schedule? AuSM's education team can consult with you to help make this happen. Click here for more information about AuSM consulting and training.

Flint Hills Family Festival and Panda's Home: June 1-2
Sensory Friendly Sunday at the Walker Art Center: June 3
Como Zoo Autism Sensory Friendly Early Entry: June 10, June 13
The Lorax at Children's Theatre Company: June 8
Adaptive Climbing Nights by Midwest Climbing Academy: June 17
Minnesota Orchestra Sensory Friendly Courage and Triumph Concert: July 12


See sensory friendly Panda's Home during Flint Hills Family Festival

PandasHomeOrdway2018Join the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts for the 2018 Flint Hills Family Festival June 1-2. The festival will include a sensory-friendly performance of Panda's Home on June 2 at 10 a.m. where participants will embark on an immersive theater experience that follows a panda on an imaginary journey through China’s stories, traditions, and culture. Through the use of dance, sound, interactive projected images and play, the dancers and students alike will encounter bamboo forests, monsters, fireworks, and kites as they explore the five elements of Wu Xing—wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Presented by Compagnia TPO (Italy) in co-production with China’s TONG Production and Teatro Metastasio Di Prato. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.


Aug. 6 AuSM Golf Classic 2018 registration open

Golf2018imageWEBJoin the Autism Society of Minnesota and avid Minnesota golfers for the 23rd Annual AuSM Golf Classic, a fundraising event for the local autism community. Held Aug. 6 at its new location, the new Royal Golf Club course in Lake Elmo, Minn., this amazing golf classic is sure to be the best Monday of your summer!

Rolling hills, mature trees and abundant wildlife provide the scenic backdrop to the challenging, yet approachable 18-hole course. The front nine, or the Queen’s Nine, was designed by Annika Sorenstam, and the back nine, known as the King’s Nine, was designed by Arnold Palmer. Together, these golf legends envisioned a multi-generational golfing experience; a place where beginners would feel comfortable in learning, and where experienced players could test their skills.

Sponsorships are available. Click here for more information and to register your foursome today.


AuSM needs counselors for 2018 summer camps

Cabin6webMake your summer amazing by signing up to be a PAID camp staff member for one or more week-long sessions of Camp Hand in Hand at Camp Knutson in Crosslake, Minn. Held during the last weeks of June and July and during two weeks in August, Camp Hand in Hand offers a 1:1 staff to camper ratio and is tailored for individuals with autism, ages 9 and up, depending on the week.

The serene camp location features beautiful woodland settings with modern air-conditioned cabins and bathrooms, and nutritious meals are served in a group dining room. Help campers enjoy activities include swimming, boating, geocaching, tubing, horseback riding, fishing, crafts, archery, nature exploration, biking, and music groups. Each week of camp has 35-40 campers, divided into six groups determined by age, gender, and interests.

You have the power to make a difference in the life of someone with autism this summer. Join AuSM for this great adventure, bond with fellow staff, and have fun! Click here or contact AuSM’s director of camp programming, Terri Borowick, 651.647.1083; e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., for more information.


CDC announces new autism prevalence rate 1 in 59

1in59WEBThe Centers for Disease Control’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network reported today that one in 59 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This reflects a 13.2 percent increase over the previous report of one in 68 prevalence rate (previous study: 1.5% population with ASD; newest study: 1.7% population with ASD). Boys also are 4.6 times more likely to be identified with ASD than girls.

The ADDM Network, the largest population-based program to monitor autism and the only autism tracking system that examines health and education records, provides estimates of the prevalence and characteristics of ASD among more than 300,000 8-year-old children in data collection sites throughout the country, including Minnesota as a first-time data collection site.

In Minnesota, the prevalence rate for autism is one in 42, the second highest rate of the 11 data collection sites throughout the country. Minnesota data was collected from Hennepin and Ramsey Counties only, which is where nearly one-third of Minnesota’s population base lies.

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MLB and MN Twins Autism Awareness Day: June 3, 2018

twinslogoJoin AuSM for a fun day at Target Field as Major League Baseball and the Minnesota Twins celebrate Autism Awareness Day on June 3. Those purchasing game tickets through AuSM's unique link will have the opportunity to participate in an on-field parade before watching the Twins take on the Cleveland Indians. Ticket purchase through AuSM's link includes the pre-game parade, a seat at the game, and a $3 donation to the Autism Society of Minnesota. Cheer for the Twins while supporting those you love with autism! Tickets are $22 each and must be purchased by May 13, 2018. Click here to order your tickets today.