AUsome Social Group Philosophy and Logistics

Group Sponsor
The AUsome Social Group is a service provided by the Autism Society of South Central Wisconsin (ASC).  While not required, it is highly recommended that you join the ASC as a Member. Chapter membership will save you money at future AUsome Group activities and other ASC events. Individual ASC membership is only $15 annually.

Find out more about membership, including forms or an online portal on our website.  Please note that membership to the Autism Society of South Central Wisconsin does not include membership to the Autism Society of Wisconsin or the Autism Society of America.  That being said, as separate, equal and peer organizations, we usually extend the courtesy of member rates for conferences to those who are members of the Autism Society of Wisconsin, and they have often extended the same courtesy to our members when it comes to their conferences. It should also be noted that those considerations are made on a case by case basis and may end at any time.

Membership to the Autism Society of South Central Wisconsin assures local programs, services and supports are able to continue, and includes several free or discounted events right here in the Madison area.

Group Purpose
The AUsome group was organized in 1997 to provide stimulating, fun, and educational social opportunities for people ages 12 and over who are challenged by sensory/communication issues related to Autism/Asperger’s/PDD/Tourette’s – 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. We also strive to provide new and interesting experiences that will broaden the world view of participants and expose them to educational and potential job environments.

The AUsome Social Group Newsletter
The AUsome Group has a separate newsletter that is sent out every other month, containing details for the next 2 outings and a summary of what happened the past 2 months. The AUsome newsletter is generally sent out a week or more in advance of the next outing. Some activities may be planned with short notice if something interesting comes up. The ASC Office maintains a mailing list of participants. The AUsome Social Group newsletter will be sent out via email. If you need to have a paper copy mailed to you, that can be done by special request, but it saves time and postage if notification can be sent electronically. Reminders and special messages will only be sent electronically. You can find our AUsome newsletters – past and present – on our website.

General Activity Plans
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. 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, horseback 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 there is a private party at the Monona Pool. In November we have “video game night”. If you are especially interested in a particular activity or have other suggestions, please let me know. Some activities will coincide with general activities planned by the Autism Society such as the annual August swimming party.

Sensory Issues
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 environments 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 let me know if you have any special requests in this area. Also, please be sensitive to requests from group members who have special sensory needs (such as problems with others chewing gum).

Logistics
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 contact the AUsome Social Group Coordinator Nancy Alar, (608) 222-4378 or e-mail her at Nancy.L.Alar@gmail.com if you have transportation problems, and she will try to help work out a way for you to get there. Since these activities are loosely organized social outings, each person participates at their own risk.