We love our nonprofit partners at DoTopia. After all, they are the reason we are here in the first place! This month, we are so excited to introduce you to the Autism Society of Minnesota. April is National Autism Awareness Month, so it is very fitting to be highlighting this amazing organization. Read on to learn more about the incredible work AuSM does and join us in supporting their mission.
How did this organization get formed and what does it stand for?
The Autism Society of Minnesota is Minnesota’s First Autism Resource ™
In 1971, a group of passionate parents founded AuSM to seek greater understanding and better school supports for their children with autism. More than four decades later, AuSM continues its mission to improve the lives of people with autism, but with an expanded focus along the entire lifespan, from birth through retirement.
Whether you are the parent of a child with a new diagnosis, an adult with autism who needs guidance, an educator or healthcare professional who supports people with autism, or a company that wants to learn more about the talents of people with autism, AuSM offers the resources you need to help you accomplish your goals.
AuSM is a place where everyone can learn, access services, and develop skills for navigating what can be challenging emotions and complex information. Services include membership, workshops, the Minnesota autism conference, AuSM Skillshops, the Life with Autism Series for newly diagnosed and specific life stages, specially tailored summer camps for youth and adults with autism, interest-based social skills classes with community partners, Counseling and Consulting Services, support groups, Autism Direct Support Certification training, sensory-friendly events, advocacy, Information and Resources, and customized autism training.
As the autism diagnosis rate increases, so, too, does the need for programs and services to help people with autism thrive. As the state’s oldest nonprofit autism organization, AuSM relies on the generosity of our community to carry out our important mission. 100% of donated dollars stay local, benefitting Minnesota families and individuals touched by autism.
Where has your organization made the most impact?
AuSM is an organization that serves the needs of the local autism community by providing services and programs that enhance the lives of individuals, helping them to grow and thrive. AuSM takes pride in being responsive to our community, filling gaps in services through thoughtful program planning and through trainings to businesses and organizations throughout the state.
What are your organizations top initiatives in 2018?
AuSM’s initiatives align with their mission of enhancing the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorder through education support, collaboration, and advocacy.
- Being Minnesota’s first autism resource with free Information and Resources hotline
- Having a voice at the Capitol through advocacyffering educational opportunities through our state autism conference, workshops, AuSM Skillshops
- Helping youth and adults grow through summer camps, social skills classes, and inclusive community events
- Raising awareness and appreciation through resource fairs and business and organization trainings
- Serving as support for individuals, families, and caregivers through their AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services program and free support groups
- Continuing to listen to their community and understanding needs
How can one get involved and support your mission?
AuSM has many ways for our community to get involved with theirprograms and services. If you would like to donate your time to the Autism Society of Minnesota, they have a variety of ways you can help. Many of AuSM’s volunteer opportunities surround awareness and fundraising events including Steps of Hope, our annual state conference, the AuSM Gala, the AuSM Golf Classic, and more. Information about volunteering can be found on our website, www.ausm.org.
AuSM also encourages our community to consider donating dollars in support of AuSM’s mission. Their supporters sustain the work that has helped so many in the Minnesota autism community. AuSM’s drive for continuing this work is strong as they constantly look for ways to serve you even better. 100% of donations stay in the Minnesota autism community, and every dollar counts. Donations can be made through DoTopia’s website by searching “Autism Society of Minnesota”.
23rd Annual Minnesota Autism Conference
During the 23rd Annual Minnesota Autism Conference held April 25-28, 2018 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Minneapolis,, we will join our voices as a passionate community to inspire learning, hope, and innovation. Experts, parents, caregivers, educators, paraprofessionals, mental health professionals, service providers, and individuals on the spectrum will have a platform to connect, collaborate, advocate, and educate. The conference will feature four keynote speakers, Frank Campagna “Autism Daddy”; Jed Baker, PhD; Stephen Shore, PhD; and Leah Kuypers MA Ed, OTR/L; as well as 35 breakout sessions focused on a wide variety of topics important to their community, exhibitors offering products and services, and the AuSM Bookstore.
This year’s conference will begin with an exciting family celebration featuring Julia, the newest Sesame Street Muppet, a character who was created to increase awareness and understanding of autism. During Julia’s AuSM Autism Celebration, meet walkaround Julia, visit resource tables, participate in sensory activities, and play games during this age and ability inclusive event.
For more information or to register for the conference, visit www.ausm.org.
We are proud to call the Autism Society of Minnesota a DoTopia charity partner and are grateful for the work they do.
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