Established in 1971, the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) is a self-funded organization committed to education, advocacy and support designed to enhance the lives of those affected by autism from birth through retirement.
The Centers for Disease Control reports the diagnosis rate for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to be 1 in 88, making autism the fastest growing developmental disability in our state. AuSM offers programs, services and training for individuals, families, caregivers, educators, caseworkers, social workers, for-profit and non-profit companies.
The go-to information resource for the Minnesota autism community.
AuSM’s Programs and Services
AuSM offers quarterly workshops on cutting-edge topics taught by field experts.
AuSM Skillshops are designed for individuals, parents, family members, caregivers and educators to discuss and solve problems on topics of interest.
AuSM Discovery Series
The AuSM Discovery Series is for parents, family members, relatives and caregivers of individuals who are newly diagnosed with autism. Participants receive practical strategies and suggestions to help guide their journey through the age-specific stages of life.
AuSM Social Skills
AuSM Social Skills are classes that foster self-awareness and self-esteem by exploring the complexities of making friends, engaging in conversations and understanding the unwritten rules as individuals journey from the schoolyard to the workplace.
AuSM offers training and awareness sessions to local business diversity committees, human resource departments, hiring managers and leadership so companies can attract and retain the talents of individuals with autism.
AuSM created the Emergency Preparedness Program to help individuals with ASD, families, caregivers, educators, and public safety officers better prepare for and respond to emergencies. AuSM also has a 5-Point Scale Emergency app and a children’s book, Awesome Heroes, that help prepare children with autism and first responders for emergencies.
Lending Library/Resource Directory
AuSM has an extensive lending library available to members and also offers a comprehensive online Resource Directory created from member recommendations for various services and programs.
Mental Health Services and Support Groups
AuSM provides mental health services for children, adults, and families. Individual, couples and family therapy helps those affected by autism overcome challenges, improve daily functioning, and achieve a more balanced lifestyle. AuSM also offers free audience-specific support groups.
Camp and Summer Programs
AuSM offers summer day and residential summer camps for members tailored for young people with autism (ages 6-21). Campers are cared for by highly trained, experienced staff and enjoy activities such as hiking, swimming, yoga, crafts, music, and much more. AuSM summers also include AuSM Zoo Skillz at Como Zoo, Teenz on the Town, and Art Skillz.
To ease the anxiety of airport travel, the Minneapolis Airport Commission (MAC), Fraser and the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) have teamed up to create the Navigating Autism program that guides families through the steps of an airport visit, from walking in the door to finding their seats on a plane.
Steps of Hope
Steps of Hope is AuSM’s annual family fun walk for the Minnesota autism community. Donations support AuSM’s programs and services and go back into the community through Steps of Hope Support Grants.
Annual Minnesota Autism Conference
The Annual Minnesota Autism Conference is the state’s premier event for autism resources and education. The 2013 conference, to be held April 24-27 at the DoubleTree Hilton by Minneapolis – Park Place Hotel in St. Louis Park, will feature keynote speakers Temple Grandin, Peter Gerhardt and Jed Baker. Autism Community Day on April 27 will include fun activities for kids and informative educational sessions on timely topics.
AuSM Golf Classic
The AuSM Golf Classic is where golf and giving meet as foursomes play a round to support the Minnesota autism community. The event includes an awards banquet and silent auction. The AuSM Golf Classic will take place on Aug. 5, 2013 at the Troy Burne Golf Club in Hudson, Wis.
Autism & Employment Forum
The Autism & Employment Forum brings together employers, families, service providers, and individuals to raise awareness about employment and autism. The date and location for 2013 will be announced soon.