The latest news from The New Mexico Autism Society

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"An Afternoon of Strength and Empowerment"  held at Hyatt Place Uptown was nothing short of inspiring.

At a November 6, 2013 workshop, hosted by the New Mexico Autism Society, Alix Generous pictured above, presented to a group of 40 people about how her autism diagnosis lead her to finding her strengths in life. Pictured with Alix is Sam Newton. You can listen to Alix inspiring TedX ABQ talk she did a month prior, HERE.

David Rendall,speaker, author, leadership professor, stand-up comedian and endurance athlete gave an empowering presentation to the autism community on November 6, 2013. David uses his uniqueness to reinforce his strengths and encouraged the audience to do the same. You can watch an abbreviated version of his November presentation HERE!

Thank you NSA Albuquerque for hosting the "social mixer" after the presentations by Alix and David!

From the desk of Sarah Baca, Executive Director

I hope you had a wonderful end to 2013, and have recovered from the hustle and bustle that the holiday brings! The New Mexico Autism Society ended the year with a bang and had a jam packed month in December. From Gallup, to Farmington and Roswell, Los Lunas to Rio Rancho we were busy making memories for the autism community. If you have not seen our "YEAR IN REVIEW" I encourage you to do so! It gives you a small glimpse of what we accomplished in 2013. Putting the video together brought so many "happy" tears to my eyes. The innocence, the happiness, the smiles and laughter of each and everyone of those affected by autism is breathtaking. I understand that living on "Autism Street" is not always like this, but it makes my heart content knowing that during these events life on this street can be worry free for that moment! I am so blessed to be in my capacity with an amazing organization. To all of you who have encouraged me, who have supported me and who have taken my hand as we journey down this street together, THANK YOU!
We kicked off the New Year with another successful Sensory Snip-It's Haircut event at Basement Barbers in Rio Rancho! Sarah Shelby, our Farmington board member continues to receive coverage on her Sensory Snip It's which originally started in San Juan County. Read all about it HERE
We have so many exciting things happening in the New Mexico autism community and I am glad I have a seat on this journey, I wouldn't trade it for anything! There is a spot for YOU, so join me and come to one of our events, participate in a support group or have the opportunity of a lifetime as a member of the board of directors! Our election is coming up and you will see more about how to become involved as a member of the board of directors in just a couple of weeks! 
2013 is going to be hard to beat, but I am confident that with exciting events throughout the year plus this amazing community we can do it!

Until next time.....


Upcoming events around New Mexico

All events hosted by the New Mexico Autism Society are open to the entire autism community.

Albuquerque and surrounding areas



To register for the Rock Climbing Adventure CLICK HERE

To register for "Morning of Discovery"

Gallup and surrounding areas

January 24, 2014

Autism Support Group Meeting
New families always welcome
5:30-7:30 pm
1st Baptist Church Gallup

Childcare provided
For more information contact
Christine White 480-299-5449

February 7, 2014

Autism Support Group Meeting
New families always welcome
5:30-7:30 pm
1st Baptist Church Gallup

Childcare provided
For more information contact
Christine White 480-299-5449

Farmington and surrounding areas

Roswell and surrounding areas

New Mexico Autism Society hosts Sensory Sensitive Santa

For many families a trip to see Santa Claus is a happy time, a tradition, a holiday must. But for those affected by autism it is a situation many avoid. Most Santa Claus visits come with long lines, loud music, a lot of people; all of which can turn a happy trip to see Saint Nick into a nightmare for an autistic child and their family.
On Sunday, December 8th from 3-6pm the New Mexico Autism Society and Reo Photography created an atmosphere that brought families who have never had the opportunity to visit Santa to do just that. In a quaint photography studio in Albuquerque’s North Valley families affected by autism came one at a time to visit and have their picture taken with Santa.
The New Mexico Autism Society is working hard to create opportunities for those affected by autism to be able to experience many of the things others do not think twice about doing. They hope events like this will be duplicated throughout N.M.

A note from the President, Sharon Esch

Dear Autism Community,

Happy New Year!  The beginning of the new year signifies a new start, a clean slate, and hope for better things yet to come.  In looking back at the past year, I’m proud of what NMAS has accomplished, from bringing Sarah Baca on full-time, to putting on more activities thanks to our United Way grant and seeing the autism community grow and attend our events on a regular basis.  Moving forward, I hope to set the bar higher and improve on what we are doing to support all affected by autism in New Mexico.   In order to do that, we need to know how we can improve on what we are doing now.  The autism community’s voice and feedback is critical to planning events and workshops—what are your concerns?  What would you like to learn more about?  We will continue to look for board members in underserved parts of New Mexico so if you or you know of someone who might be interested in starting a support group in an area that we are not regularly serving, now is a great time to let myself or Sarah Baca know.  You can email us at and
In the first part of 2014, Sarah has organized new events. I know Sarah has events planned that have never been done in NMAS history and I hope to see all of you at them!  Local companies have been supportive by giving us exclusive time at their facilities so that our community has the opportunity to enjoy and relax without judging looks and hopefully meet other families who ‘get it.’ 
The planning for this year’s Sixth Annual Ellen Reavis Race for Autism has begun.  This event is our biggest fundraiser of the year and more importantly, it’s an opportunity for the autism community to come together and support each other as well as bring awareness and advocate acceptance to the community at large.  We hope this year’s event will be even more successful than last year.  All monies raised will stay here in New Mexico to support our autism community.  If you are a business owner or work for a company, please consider becoming a corporate sponsor or encouraging your employer to be one.  Corporate sponsors benefit from having their name and logo on our t-shirts as well as our race material, and visibility as a supporter of the autism community.

May the new year bring you health, happiness and hope!
Sharon Esch, President

““May Light always surround you; Hope kindle and rebound you. May your Hurts turn to Healing; Your Heart embrace Feeling. May Wounds become Wisdom; Every Kindness a Prism. May Laughter infect you; Your Passion resurrect you. May Goodness inspire your Deepest Desires. Through all that you Reach For, May your arms Never Tire.” â€• D. Simone

Thank you to our November/December United Way donors!
7 Anonymous Donors, 
James Culpepper, Tina Chan, Geoffrey Freeze, Charles Jones Dr. Cynthia King, Rosalind Monaghan Meghan Garrigan,Darlene Herrera, Patrick Manke, Jane Selverstone.


2014 Ellen Reavis Race for Autism 
April 5 Balloon Fiesta Park

Form your team today! Awards for largest family, corporate and school teams!

Awards given to top finishers in each category!

Largest autism related event in New Mexico

Resource and craft fair

Fun for the whole family!

Register HERE

February 18, 2014

9 am to 3 pm

Join the New Mexico Autism Society at Disability Awareness Day at the State Legislature.

Community Discussion Forum

Have you seen this feature on the New Mexico Autism Society Website? Share your questions, concerns and comments on the community forum. Designed with the community in mind, the forum will not clutter your email box, the ability to visit on your time and easy access to all things autism.

Community Discussion Forum

You can create an account to post on the forum by clicking here 
You do not need an account to read the discussion, just to post comments or responses.

It's simple, convenient and another way NMAS is working to create a community of acceptance, support and connection!


Recent Donors to The New Mexico Autism Society

Bog for a Cause 
Sill-Terhar Motors
Katie Stone
Victor and Sharon Esch
Elizabeth Romero
Robert Schubert
Max German
Altman Charitable Trust

In memory of
Mabel Culpepper:

Fran Kruker
Vera Russell
Joe & Virginia Betterton
Mr. & Mrs. Matthews
Maxine Casey
John & Laura Layton
Paul & Jean Brown
Paul & Nancy Brown
Patrick & Mary Brown
Tom & Phyllis Karpen
Harry Peebles
Delmar & Bonnie Mayhew
Donna Byrd
James & Helen Landers
William & Nan Hoover
G.E Boeing
Thomas & Marylin Boyd
W.H. & Sharon Vaughn
J.Bennet & Dorthy Easterling
Joe & Mary Beck
James & Jean Rowe
Gib & Kay Richards
George & Charlotte Sexton
William & Helensue Parrish
James Culpepper
Connie Roberson
Norma Hartke
Donna Twining
Carol Allen
Joe & Nancy Sallie
Rondall & Mary Jones
Charles & Maribel Young
Edward & Layla Garcia
Roderick & Judith Groves
David & Sandra Quinlan
Susan Birdsong
Charles & Sue Ann Mika
Jack & Lynda Burch
Peter & Judith Foster
Richard & Carol Sparks
Scott Joyce
James & Marjorie Page
Amapola Gallery
Brookhaven Elementary Social Fund
Fay Falcone

Holiday Fun Day

The New Mexico Autism Society in conjunction with Bridges, Success with Autism, hosted a "Holiday Fun Day" on December 21st. The day was intended to give caregivers a couple hours to finish holiday shopping, rest, or treat themselves to a nice lunch. It was a very fun day indeed, as children and teens enjoyed a ball pit, arts & crafts, a movie and board games!

You can learn more about Bridges, Success with Autism HERE!

Parents Day Out

The New Mexico Autism Society in conjunction with Autism Communication Consultants, hosted a "Parents Day Out" on December 23rd at their Albuquerque Facility. Parents and caregivers brought their children and siblings to either a morning or afternoon session where children were treated to a movie, activities in the gym and arts and crafts. 

You can learn more about Autism Communication Consultants HERE!

Did you know that a donation of $25 provides a family of 4 an autism friendly experience at a local trampoline park? DONATE TODAY!

Community members enjoying an afternoon "autism friendly" jump session at Cool Springz Trampoline Park

Thank you
Thunderbird Jewelry Supply for your donation to the New Mexico Autism Society Gallup group!

Purchase a T-Shirt and help raise money for autism related events in San Juan County!
CLICK HERE to purchase your shirt today!

Did you know that if your employer participates in a United Way campaign you can make your designation go straight to the New Mexico Autism Society? Your designation of $2 a paycheck pays for a sensory friendly experience at a local movie theater for a family of 6 affected by autism.

Update on membership

In an effort to create a community-like atmosphere, the New Mexico Autism Society asked its current members to dissolve the membership program that was in place. NMAS values the impact that long-time members have had on the organization, but felt it was in the best interest of the organization to dissolve the membership program.
We feel every person affected by autism should feel welcome to participate in our events and utilize our supports.  The New Mexico Autism Society is not member exclusive and NMAS does not currently offer any member benefits as all newsletter information is already available on the website and will now be emailed to everyone on our mailing list. We feel it is important and want every member of the autism community to feel like they are a part of a community of acceptance, support and connection and a very special piece of The New Mexico Autism Society, regardless of member affiliation. 
Thank you to those members who voted in the election which resulted in the membership being dissolved.

Thank you for your continued support.

Workshop Series 1.0

Thirty members of the autism community braved the cold weather and gathered at the Brain Injury Alliance for a morning of learning and networking. This was the first workshop of its kind for The New Mexico Autism Society that featured lectures on different topics related to autism. Kicking off the workshop, was Sherry Shellenberger co-creator of the Alert Program and co-author of How Does Your Engine Run.  She gave a fun and interactive presentation on self regulation techniques for the home environment.
Breakout sessions were offered by Sgt. Ferris Simmons of the Albuquerque Police Department and Helen Lopez, Attorney at Law from Santa Fe, NM. Sgt. Simmons talked about wandering prevention, gave tips and steps on what to do if your loved one with autism wanders from familiar surroundings and offered her personal story about her connection to autism. Helen Lopez specializes in Social Security and Disability Law and had useful information for workshop attendees faced with social security benefit questions.
The New Mexico Autism Society would like to thank Sherry Shellenberger, Sgt. Simmons and Helen Lopez for volunteering their time to educate the autism community. We would also like to  Brain Injury Alliance for allowing the us to utilize their spacious office space to hold our workshop and to Bridges for providing childcare workers for our families.

Sgt. Ferris Simmons talking to a very intrigued crown about wandering.

Save the Date


Imagine...Embracing Strengths and Diversity: A Conference Focusing on Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Presented by the University of New Mexico Center for Development and Disability

April 10th & 11th 

Albuquerque, NM

This year's conference will once again feature the 
New Mexico Autism Society Ruth Miksovic Lecture.  Patrick Shwartz, Ph.D will address the autism community with a dynamic and engaging presentation that you will not want to miss!
Patrick is the author and co-author of several books including, "Just Give Him the Whale," 20 Ways to Use Fascinations, Areas of Expertise, and Strengths to Support Students with Autism.

For more information on this year's conference CLICK HERE.
Forward to Friend

New Mexico Autism Society "Year in Review"

Upcoming Trainings from other organizations: For informational purposes only.

Parents Reaching Out

April 2-Family Leadership Conference CLICK HERE for more information

Education for Parents of Indian Children with Special Needs (EPICS)

January 8 – 1:00pm to 4:00pm – Parent Rights in Part B
Alamo Navajo Community Schhoo, Alamo Navajo, NM

January 17 – 9:00am to 12:00pm – Transition from High School – Central Consolidated School District Board Room – Shiprock, NM

CLICK HERE for more information on EPICS or to register for trainings.

University of New Mexico Center for Development & Disability Autism Programs Training

January 22, 2014- 3:30pm-5:00pm-Transition to Adulthood-Statewide Webinar

January 23- 8:30am-3:30pm-Developing and Functional Behavioral Assessment and Behavioral Intervention Planning in ASD (Albuquerque)

January 24-12:00pm-1:30pm-Introduction to ASD for Early Intervention providers (Webinar)
For more information on trainings or to pre register CLICK HERE

Make sure and stay up-to-date on our happenings joining our mailing list HERE

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