Fall 2023

spark fall events

Spring 2023


Fall 2022

Como Zoo Sensory Friendly Mornings

Como Zoo Logo

Join our SPARK team this fall at the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory Sensory Friendly Mornings! The Autism Friendly Early Entry is from 9-10am during the dates listed below. Advanced registration is required at this link


October 23 (Sunday), November 13 (Sunday), and December 18 (Sunday)

AUSM Puzzle Competition

AUSM puzzle Event

Join the CAN Lab SPARK team at the 2022 AuSM Connections Jigsaw Competition, which will be offered both in-person and virtually in 2022! On Nov. 5 from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., teams of puzzlers will gather at the Mall of America Huntington Bank Rotunda and on Zoom to put their skills to the test while supporting the local autism community. Make sure to check out the SPARK table!

Summer 2022

Como Zoo Sensory Friendly Mornings

Como Zoo Logo

Join our SPARK team this summer at the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory Sensory Friendly mornings!  The Autism Friendly Early Entry is from 9-10am during the dates listed below. Advanced registration is required at this link


June 12 (Sunday), July 13 (Wednesday), July 31 (Sunday), August 14 (Sunday), and August 17 (Wednesday). More dates to come! 


Franklin Center's Calmapalooza

Calmapalooza 2022

Join the Franklin Center (formerly Academy of Whole Learning) for their Second Annual Calmapalooza on August 21st from 1-4pm! this event is thoughtfully designed to deliver fun, while not overloading the senses, this sensory event offers something for everyone in the family. Event activities include a silent disco, live music, food trucks, music therapy, break spaces, activity stations, on-site therapists, and cooling stations. Learn more about the event and RSVP here.

Spring 2022

Tourette Connect Conference | April 2nd

Wisconsin Tourette Conferences 4/2/22.jpeg

Dr. Christine Conelea presented "What Do We Know about the Tourette Brain?" at the Wisconsin Tourette Association's Tourette Connect Conference in Madison, WI- April 2022. 

North Hennepin Community College Transition Resource Fair | April 21st | 4-7pm


Fraser Festival for Autism | May 7th | 9am-2pm

fraser festival.jpeg

This free, fun, one-of-a-kind, sensory-friendly festival is for anyone who wants to show their support for individuals and families impacted by autism.

This year, attendees can park their vehicles and join in the festival atmosphere, where they’ll be greeted by therapy animals, performers, music, and vendors. Participants can look forward to games, fun activities, snacks, and giveaways. Most importantly, you can help raise funds to support autism programs and services for your neighbors, friends, and family members.

Funds Raised at the Festival Support a Variety of Autism Services:

  • Community services and clinic-based autism programs
  • Pediatric Therapy, Feeding Therapy, Individual and Family Therapy
  • Workshops that build social skills
  • Fraser OnTRAC, which supports transition-age individuals with autism as they move toward adulthood
  • Career Planning & Employment services that build educational and employment success


Northside Community Pop Out Event | May 6th | 4-7pm

IMG_5637 Small.jpeg

Get ready for a mammoth event! On May 6, from 4-7 p.m. Henry High School is hosting the Northside Community Pop-Out. Held at Henry (both inside and outside), there will be games and activities for all ages, bouncy house, Drum Line, DJ, free food, food to purchase and much more!

AUSM Steps for Autism | Sunday, May 22nd | 9am-12pm

ausm steps logo.png

Join us for the 22nd annual Steps for Autism in Minnesota from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on Sunday, May 22 at the Como Lakeside Pavilion. AuSM will offer participants a walk route, fun activities, an autism resource fair, and opportunities for community connections. It’s always free to attend the resource fair and event on May 22, although we request that you register in advance. 

Tourette Association National Conference | May 12-15

tourette conference poster.png

In 2022, the Tourette Association of America will be proudly celebrating 50 years of dedicated service to the Tourette Syndrome (TS) and Tic Disorder community. Come celebrate this monumental milestone with us at the 2022 National Conference, held in Minneapolis, MN. As the largest national research, practice, education and public information conference dedicated to Tourette Syndrome, Tic Disorders, and related disabilities, this three-day event will provide an informative, welcoming event for all attendees. 

The event features and exclusive kick-off party on Friday, May 13 leading into the weekend's educational programs designed for educators, medical professionals, parents, caregivers, and patients of all ages.  Beyond the educational components there are numerous opportunities for attendees to celebrate, share, engage, and find community.


Winter 2022

NAMI Minnesota Annual Research Dinner | 2/28/22 | 6-7:30pm

nami minnesota

Join us for the NAMI Minnesota Annual Research Dinner on Monday, February 28th from 6:00-7:30pm to bring you the latest research from the M Health Fairview Department of Psychiatry. University researchers will present their latest findings, introduce new studies that are underway, and answer your questions about How Understanding Sex Differences in the Brain Gives Us New Insights Into Mental Illness. This year’s event will be virtual, so enjoy dinner at home while learning about the latest in mental health research.

Faculty from the Department of Psychiatry will present on the following topics:

  • Nicola Grissom, PhD: How Male and Female Mice Show Different Learning Patterns and What this Can Tell us about Serious Mental Illness
  • Suma Jacob, MD/PhD: Girls and Boys Show Different Brain Development in Health and in Mental Illness
  • Christine Conelea, PhD: Why Girls Are Showing TikTok Tics and What this Tells us About Their Mental Health Needs

Registration Link: 

Q&A Webinar about OCD & Tic Disorders | 3/9/22 | 6-7pm CST

3/9/22 Webinar

Join us for a live Q&A Webinar about OCD and Tic Disorders with Dr. Christine Conelea on Wednesday, March 9th from 6:00-7:00pm CT.

To register for the event and submit questions in advance, please fill out this form