Autism Society of Minnesota
The Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with autism and their families. They provide a wide range of services, including education, advocacy, and support. Some of their programs include:
- AuSM Skillshops: These are classes and workshops designed to provide education and support to individuals with autism and their families.
- AuSM Counseling and Consulting: This program provides counseling and consulting services to individuals with autism and their families.
- AuSM Summer Camps: These camps are designed to provide social and recreational opportunities for individuals with autism.
Fraser is a Minnesota-based organization that provides a wide range of services to individuals with autism and other special needs. They offer services for individuals of all ages, from infancy through adulthood. Some of their programs include:
- Early Childhood Services: Fraser provides early intervention services for infants and toddlers with autism.
- School-Based Services: Fraser provides services to children with autism in school settings.
- Adult Services: Fraser offers a variety of services to adults with autism, including employment services and residential programs.
Minnesota Department of Human Services
The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is a state agency that provides a variety of services to individuals with disabilities, including autism. Some of the services they offer include:
- Medical Assistance: This program provides healthcare coverage to individuals with low incomes, including those with autism.
- Waiver Programs: These programs provide funding for services to individuals with disabilities, including autism.
- Behavioral Health Services: DHS provides a variety of behavioral health services to individuals with autism.
Minnesota Autism Center
The Minnesota Autism Center (MAC) is a non-profit organization that provides services to individuals with autism. They offer a variety of services, including:
- Early Intervention: MAC provides early intervention services for children with autism.
- Applied Behavior Analysis: This is a therapy that focuses on improving social, communication, and behavioral skills in individuals with autism.
- Day Treatment: MAC offers day treatment programs for individuals with autism.
Employment Resources for Adults with Autism
Finding employment opportunities can be a challenge for adults with autism. However, Minnesota has several resources available to help individuals with autism find meaningful employment. Here are some of the organizations that offer employment services:
- Autism Works: This is a program offered by the Autism Society of Minnesota that provides job coaching and support to individuals with autism.
- Lifeworks Services: Lifeworks Services is an organization that offers vocational training, job placement, and ongoing support to individuals with disabilities, including autism.
- Opportunity Partners: Opportunity Partners is a nonprofit organization that provides a wide range of services to individuals with disabilities, including employment services.
These organizations work closely with employers to create job opportunities that match the skills and interests of individuals with autism. They also provide ongoing support and training to ensure success in the workplace.
Whether it's finding part-time or full-time work, these resources are valuable assets for adults with autism looking for employment opportunities in Minnesota.
Financial Assistance Programs for Families with Children Who Have Autism
Raising a child with autism can be expensive, and families may struggle to cover the costs of treatments, therapies, and other necessary services. Fortunately, there are several financial assistance programs available in Minnesota to help families with children who have autism. Here are some of the programs:
- Medical Assistance: In addition to providing healthcare coverage, Medical Assistance also covers some services related to autism treatment.
- MinnesotaCare: This program provides health insurance coverage for low-income families who do not qualify for Medical Assistance.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI provides monthly payments to low-income families who have a child with a disability.
- TEFRA: The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) provides medical assistance coverage to children with disabilities whose parents have income that exceeds the limit for regular Medical Assistance.
These programs can help alleviate some of the financial burden associated with raising a child with autism. Families should research each program's eligibility requirements and application process before applying.
Additionally, there may be other community-based resources available through local organizations or non-profits that provide financial assistance.
Schools Specializing in Autism Education
Minnesota is home to a variety of schools that specialize in educating children with autism. These schools offer tailored education programs and support services to meet the unique needs of students with autism. Here are some Minnesota-based schools that specialize in autism education:
- Academy of Whole Learning: This private school in St. Louis Park serves students with autism, ADHD, and other learning differences. They offer individualized instruction and a curriculum designed to promote social and academic growth.
- The Bridge School: Located in Minneapolis, The Bridge School is a non-profit organization that provides education services to children with autism. Their program includes small class sizes, individualized instruction, and therapy services.
- Lionsgate Academy: This public charter school has campuses in Minnetonka and North St. Paul. They serve students with autism and related conditions, offering a comprehensive program that includes academics, vocational training, and life skills development.
- River Valley Autism Center: RVAC is a private school located in Shakopee that offers education services to children with autism. Their program focuses on developing communication skills, socialization, and independence.
These schools provide students with autism access to specialized education programs designed to meet their unique needs. Families should research each school's admission requirements and availability before applying.
Additionally, there may be other community-based resources available through local organizations or non-profits that provide educational support for individuals with autism.
Applying for Waiver Programs
Minnesota Department of Human Services offers waiver programs that provide funding for services to individuals with disabilities, including autism.
These programs can help cover the costs of services such as respite care, personal care assistance, and home modifications. To apply for waiver programs, individuals with autism or their caregivers must complete an application process.
The application process involves providing information about the individual's disability and their service needs. Applicants will also need to provide documentation such as medical records and financial statements. Once the application is submitted, a case manager will be assigned to determine eligibility and develop a service plan.
It is important to note that there may be waitlists for some waiver programs due to limited funding. However, it is still recommended that individuals with autism or their caregivers apply for these programs to ensure they receive the support they need.
For more information on waiver programs and how to apply, visit the Minnesota Department of Human Services website.
Recreational Activities and Events for Individuals with Autism
There are many recreational activities and events available in Minnesota that cater to individuals with autism. These activities provide opportunities for individuals with autism to socialize, develop new skills, and have fun. Here are some examples of recreational activities and events:
- Sensory-Friendly Movies: Many movie theaters in Minnesota offer sensory-friendly screenings of movies. These screenings have lower sound levels, dimmed lights, and a relaxed atmosphere to accommodate individuals with sensory sensitivities.
- Adaptive Sports Programs: Several organizations in Minnesota offer adaptive sports programs for individuals with disabilities, including autism. These programs provide opportunities to participate in sports such as basketball, soccer, swimming, and more.
- Special Olympics Minnesota: Special Olympics Minnesota is an organization that provides sports training and competitions for individuals with intellectual disabilities, including autism. They offer a wide range of sports programs throughout the year.
- Art Classes: Art classes can be a great way for individuals with autism to express themselves creatively. Many art studios in Minnesota offer classes specifically designed for individuals with disabilities.
- Social Groups: Social groups provide opportunities for individuals with autism to connect with others who share similar interests. There are several organizations in Minnesota that offer social groups for individuals with autism.
These recreational activities and events can help improve the quality of life for individuals with autism by providing opportunities to learn new skills, make friends, and have fun.
Families should research each activity or event before participating to ensure it is appropriate for their individual needs. Additionally, there may be other community-based resources available through local organizations or non-profits that provide recreational support for individuals with autism.
Legal Rights and Protections for Individuals with Autism
Individuals with autism are entitled to legal rights and protections under Minnesota state law. These laws ensure that individuals with autism have access to education, healthcare, employment, and other basic necessities. Here are some of the legal rights and protections available to individuals with autism in Minnesota:
- Education: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees a free appropriate public education to children with disabilities, including autism. This means that schools must provide special education services that meet the unique needs of each student with autism.
- Healthcare: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage or charging higher premiums based on pre-existing conditions, including autism. This ensures that individuals with autism have access to necessary medical care without facing financial barriers.
- Employment: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in the workplace. This means that employers cannot refuse to hire or promote an individual because of their disability, including autism.
- Housing: The Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in housing. This means that landlords cannot refuse to rent to an individual because of their disability, including autism.
In addition to these federal laws, Minnesota has its own state laws that protect the rights of individuals with disabilities, including autism. For example, the Minnesota Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, housing, public accommodations, and other areas.
It is important for individuals with autism and their families to understand their legal rights and protections. If you believe your rights have been violated, there are resources available to help you navigate the legal system.
Organizations such as Disability Rights Minnesota can provide legal assistance and advocacy services for individuals with disabilities who have experienced discrimination or other violations of their rights.
What is the prevalence of autism in Minnesota?
According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1 in 44 children in Minnesota have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
What resources are available for families who have just received an autism diagnosis?
Families who have just received an autism diagnosis may feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn. Fortunately, there are several organizations in Minnesota that provide support and guidance to families.
The Autism Society of Minnesota offers a variety of resources for families, including information on early intervention services, educational programs, and financial assistance programs.
Additionally, the Minnesota Department of Human Services provides information on waiver programs and other services available to individuals with disabilities.
Can individuals with autism receive Social Security Disability benefits?
Yes, individuals with autism may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits if their disability prevents them from working. To qualify for benefits, individuals must meet certain medical criteria and work history requirements.
The application process can be complex, so it is recommended that applicants seek assistance from an experienced attorney or advocate.
Are there any support groups for adults with autism in Minnesota?
Yes, there are several support groups for adults with autism in Minnesota. The Autism Society of Minnesota offers social groups and other events specifically designed for adults with autism. Additionally, many community-based organizations offer support groups for individuals with disabilities.
How can I get involved in supporting the autism community in Minnesota?
There are many ways to get involved in supporting the autism community in Minnesota. You can volunteer your time at local organizations that provide services to individuals with disabilities.
You can also donate money or resources to these organizations to help fund their programs. Additionally, you can raise awareness about autism by participating in events such as Autism Awareness Month or World Autism Awareness Day.
Minnesota is home to a wealth of resources for individuals with autism and their families. From the Autism Society of Minnesota to Fraser to the Minnesota Department of Human Services to the Minnesota Autism Center, there are countless organizations and programs available to support individuals with autism at all stages of life.
If you or a loved one has autism, we encourage you to explore these resources and find the support you need.