Serving Families in South Central and Southwest Wisconsin
The AUsome group was organized to provide recreation and social opportunities for young people ages 12 and above who are challenged by sensory/communication disorders such as Autism/Asperger’s/PDD/Tourette’s. The AUsome Group often does unique activities that help to increase and broaden the life experiences of those on the spectrum. However, anyone is welcome to join the activities. We try to set up activities that allow for social interaction between group members and between parents and siblings of the group.
The AUsome Group has a separate newsletter that is sent out every other month, containing details for the next 2 outings. The AUsome newsletter will be sent out at least a week in advance of the next outing. Some things may be planned with short notice if something interesting comes up. If you have an e-mail address, let Nancy Alar know. It would save time and postage if notification could be sent electronically.
The general plan is to have an activity about once a month that will last from 2 to 4 hours. The target day will be the first Saturday of the month. However, this is subject to schedule conflicts and availability of interesting activities. If the venue is a possible place of employment (such as our visit to a greenhouse), that will be discussed if practical. Some activities may address life skills such as how to use public transportation.
Usually the activity provides an opportunity for refreshments (such as a trip to a restaurant at the end). Activities that we have done include bowling, miniature golf, gymnastics, movies, a talent show, art gallery visit, fossil hunt, Little Amerricka (a local amusement park), swimming, horse back riding, Go Cart driving, farm market, airplane rides, pottery making and a limousine ride. Each January we attend the 47th annual Madfest Juggling show. In August we have a private pool party at the Monona Pool. Every November we have “video game night.” Suggestions for new activities are welcome!
Some individuals may need to arrange for a support person to accompany them. Please use your best judgment in this area. Transportation will be the responsibility of each individual. However, effort will be made to provide help with transportation by designating central meeting points, etc. Please call Nancy Alar, (608) 222-4378 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have transportation problems.
Since these activities are loosely organized social outings, each person participates at their own risk.
Every effort will be made to accommodate sensory issues by limiting cigarette smoke, strong odors, unusual lighting, large crowds and high noise levels where possible. If an activity might involve some of the sensory problems mentioned above, they will be described in the AUsome newsletter. It will not be possible to accommodate everyone’s needs all the time so individuals must decide their tolerance levels for each activity. Please notify Nancy if you have any special requests in this area.
Being Aware of Sensory issues of Group Members
Many AUsome group members have problems with various sensory issues. For example, some current members have problems with vacuum cleaner sounds or listening to other people chewing gum. Other AUsome members may have similar problems with sounds, smells, light patterns, vibrations, etc.
For people on the autism spectrum, problems like this are much more than minor annoyances. Encountering these sensory problems can cause meltdowns and/or an overwhelming need to escape. These are real, physical problems. These are NOT just someone grumbling or being annoying. We all need to be willing to accommodate reasonable requests to help others in the group with their unique sensory issues.
If any group members have sensory problems that they have encountered (or might encounter) during our AUsome activities, please let Nancy know and she will try to minimize the problem or at least warn you about when it might occur.
There has been at least one occasion when a group member had a compulsive need to make noises that caused a sensory problem for someone else in the group. If something like this is happening to you, let Nancy know and she’ll try to work out a solution so all can participate.
The AUsome Social Group is sponsored by the Autism Society of South Central Wisconsin (ASC). While you are note required to join, it is highly recommended that you join the Autism Society.