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Mar
27

Autism prevalence rate now 1 in 54 CDC reports; 1 in 44 in MN

CDClogo2016webThe Centers for Disease Control’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network released its biennial prevalence report today that one in 54 U.S. children has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This reflects an increase over the previous report of one in 59. Also consistent with previous findings, boys are more than four times as likely to be identified with ASD than girls.

These estimates from the ADDM Network are based on data collected from health and special education records of children living in 11 communities across the United States during 2016. Information was collected on 8-year-old children because previous studies have shown that, by this age, most children with ASD have been identified for services.

ADDMNetworkLogoMN-ADDM, part of the ADDM Network, monitors the prevalence of ASD and of intellectual disability (ID) in parts of Hennepin and Ramsey counties. MN-ADDM collects ongoing data on ASD prevalence in MN communities and provides ASD prevalence estimates every two years.

In Minnesota, the prevalence rate for autism is one in 44, the third 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. This new prevalence rate is similar to the previous study which identified prevalence as 1 in 42.

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Mar
27

AuSM provides essential services for our community - help us continue our work

ausm-donateOur community needs AuSM more than ever during this time. Please consider a donation to support essential mental health services, AuSM's information and resources, advocacy efforts, and building of resources that fit our community needs to get through this pandemic. Your support means so much and ensures AuSM's sustainability and growth.

Mar
27

Support the local autism community when you shop Amazon

AmazonSmileWith the shelter in place order from Governor Walz, many will be turning to online shopping to purchase essentials and other items to keep busy during time at home. When you shop Amazon, please select the Autism Society of Minnesota as your charity of choice for the Amazon Smile Program. Click here to choose AuSM as your preferred charity, shop as usual, and a percentage of your purchases will be given to AuSM to support programs and services for the Minnesota autism community. Thank you!

Mar
22

AuSM's Guide to Managing Self-Quarantine and Social Distancing

PandemicGuideforASDAdults2020COVERAs we work through these unprecedented days altered by the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic, AuSM is here for you. You may be feeling anxious over changes in routines, unsure about how to handle social isolation and distancing, and nervous about copious and often conflicting information available through the news and social media. You are not alone. AuSM has created a Guide to Managing Self-Quarantine and Social Distancing for adults with autism. Obtain tips for managing your mental health, activities to stay busy, creating a routine, socializing remotely, working from home, and more. The guide is available for free on AuSM's website, along with other resources to help you through these unpredictable days. Click here to access the guide and other resources.

Mar
20

COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic autism support resources

AuSM Coronavirus Pandemic v4As we work through these unprecedented days altered by the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic, AuSM is here for you. You may be feeling anxious over changes in routines, unsure about how to handle social isolation and distancing, and nervous about copious and often conflicting information available through the news and social media. You are not alone.

AuSM is creating and collecting support resources to help guide you through the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to washing your hands frequently, staying in if you don’t feel well, and social distancing, there are other strategies you can employ that will support your physical and mental health as well as your connection to others.

AuSM will update our pandemic support resources web page frequently. If you have specific support needs, we also encourage you to reach out to us. AuSM’s Information and Resources specialists are available to support you via phone 651.647.1083 and e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Now more than ever we feel the need to support each other and the strength that comes in working together. We see the parents helping their children adjust to a new structure for time, the teachers determining ways to educate outside of the classroom, the adults figuring new schedules and how to connect, the support professionals taking risks to be there for their clients - we see you, and we are inspired by your patience, determination, and compassion. Together we will get through this pandemic, and your strength will continue to fuel AuSM’s imperative mission of enhancing the lives of those with autism.

Click here to access AuSM’s autism support resources web page.

Mar
17

AuSM Conference and gala postponed until fall 2020

POSTPONED25thAnnualConfLogo2020Due to the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic and in accordance with guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Autism Society of Minnesota is postponing the 25th Annual Minnesota Autism Conference, previously scheduled for April 29-May 2 and the AuSM Gala, scheduled for May 1.

AuSM’s staff and board have been diligently reviewing spring offerings, acknowledging that changes are challenging, both for our community and for us. However, the safety and well-being of our community, staff, volunteers, speakers, and partners is a priority, and we feel the postponements will not hinder our dedication to advocacy, education, support, collaboration, and community-building.

AuSM is working with the Minneapolis Marriott Southwest to reschedule both the conference and gala for fall 2020. Over the next week, AuSM will be reaching out to all conference registrants, speakers, volunteers, sponsors, advertisers, and partners with additional information about the postponement. We appreciate your patience as we continue to solidify plans for rescheduling these events, and we value your continued support of AuSM.

More details will be available soon on AuSM's website.

Mar
17

AuSM closed to walk-in visitors; Information and Resources available

Due to the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic, the Autism Society of Minnesota office in St. Paul will be closed to walk-in visitors. AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services clients will be contacted regarding appointments over the next few days. For safety, most AuSM staff will be working remotely and corresponding via phone and e-mail.

We acknowledge this time is especially stressful for our community. We encourage you to reach out to us. AuSM’s Information and Resources specialists are available to support the autism community via phone (651.647.1083) and e-mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Please note that response calls will come from a "restricted" number as our Information and Resources team is responding via cell phone.

AuSM values the health and well-being of our community. We actively are monitoring the Minnesota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for guidelines, guidance, and updates regarding COVID-19/coronavirus and will communicate frequently over the coming days.

Mar
11

Registration open for the 3rd Annual AuSM Connections Jigsaw Puzzle Competition

OverviewWEBJoin AuSM for a fun day of puzzling and community during the 3rd Annual AuSM Connections Jigsaw Puzzle Competition held July 11 in the TCF Rotunda at Mall of America. Teams of up to four people will compete in the 500-Piece and 1,000-Piece competition divisions. All ages and abilities are welcome to puzzle with us! $50 team registration fees support programs and services for the local autism community. New in 2020 will be an added autism resource fair held in the Mall of America's Northeast Court from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Plan to gather resources and have fun during the puzzle competition! Puzzles for the 2020 competition will be provided by PuzzleTwist. Click here for more information and to register.

Mar
10

Partner with us as we celebrate Autism Acceptance Month 2020

19 04 11 AuSM Acceptance v1With a national prevalence rate of 1 in 59 and Minnesota's prevalence rate of 1 in 42, autism is the fastest growing disability. Everyone knows someone who is touched by autism. Since 1971, AuSM has been committed to enhancing the lives of individuals and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder. AuSM serves Minnesotans, throughout their lives, with a fundamental commitment to advocacy, education, support, collaboration, and community building. Every dollar raised for AuSM directly benefits the Minnesota autism community through programs and services tailored to the needs of families, individuals, educators, professionals and beyond. AuSM is a 501(c)(3) organization, and donations are tax-deductible.

What can you do?
April is National Autism Acceptance Month, a special opportunity for businesses and organizations to show their support for the autism community. AuSM invites businesses and organizations to partner with us in April to increase autism acceptance.

Click here to join us as an AuSM Autism Awareness Month Partner in 2020.