College Scholarships Available From The Autism Society of Iowa

College Scholarships

The Autism Society of Iowa has four different college scholarship opportunities:

The deadline for all four college scholarships is March 15.  If you would like to be considered for a scholarship, click on the link below:

College Scholarship Application


Zach Paulsen

1.  The Zach Paulsen Memorial Scholarship For Students With Autism Disorders

Zachary Paulsen was born with a desire to know how things worked. He loved to know how things were put together and why they worked. He loved to repair bicycles, lawn mowers, snow blowers, and motors of any kind. He also “loved” tools.

Zach graduated and received a degree from WyoTech in Laramie, Wyoming in Diesel Technology. His desire was to work with large machinery.

Zach’s life was cut short at the age of 21 but all that knew him would agree that he could go anywhere he wanted with his amazing ability to repair just about anything.

THIS SCHOLARSHIP IS DESIGNED FOR STUDENTS WITH THE DESIRE TO STUDY in Ag Power Technology, Automotive Technology, Civil and Construction Engineering Technology, CNC Machinery and Tool Making, Collision Refinishing, Construction and Design, Diesel Truck Technology, Electrician Fields, Heating and Air Conditioning, HVAC or Plumbing & Heating Fields, Industrial Automation Technology, Landscape and Turf Management, Marine Technology, Motorcycle Technology, Welding Technology

Autism_Awareness_Ribbon2.  A scholarship for a student who resides in Iowa, who is on the autism spectrum – For a student, who resides in Iowa, who is on the autism spectrum to attend a post-secondary school.



Sue Baker

3.  The Sue Baker Memorial Scholarship – For a student, who resides in Iowa, who will work in the field of autism upon completion of their post-secondary education.





Clarice & Robert Burkgren

  4.  The Robert and Clarice Burkgren Honorable Scholarship – For an existing college or graduate student,who resides in Iowa, who is currently in a field of study to assist those with autism spectrum disorders upon graduation, or is currently working in the field while obtaining an advanced degree.

Conference Scholarships

Scholarships are available for those on the autism spectrum and family members, based on need, to attend ASI conferences. To apply, click on the link below:

Scholarship Form for ASI Conferences

Calm Kits Have Been Delivered! PLUS Instructions to Make YOUR OWN Calm Kit.

A huge THANK YOU to all of the volunteers who came out to help assemble “Calm Kits” and sew weighted lap blankets! These kits were put together with generous donations from the community and were distributed to eight local Iowa City Schools with the highest financial need – Hills, Alexander, Lucas, Hoover, Grant Wood, Kirkwood, Horn, and Twain. The purpose of these kits is to provide helpful calming tools to neurodivergent students and children who have sensory issues. Each kit contained a weighted lap pad, noise cancelling headphones, visual supports for identifying and regulating emotions, and other sensory items that address varying sensory needs. These items were recommended by the GWAEA Autism Consultants, who advised us on the project. We are grateful to the Daily Iowan for covering this story as well as CBS2/Fox28 who featured our project on their station. We plan on doing this again in the fall, so stay tuned!

Calm Kit and Weighted Blanket Sewing Party


Volunteers hard at work! 


Delivery of Calm Kits to ICCSD Schools


Recipients of kits at Hoover, Twain and Alexander!



Make your own!

If you are interested in making a calm kit for an individual student, here is a list of the items we included in ours. You, of course, can tailor and swap out items as needed.




Or make your own weighted blanket! This was very similar to the process we used –
Visual Supports – 5pointscale

Help Needed for Oskaloosa Family Affected by Tragedy

Recently, David Fogle, a seven year old on the autism spectrum, tragically perished as a result of a house fire. His family is in desperate need during this difficult time. They are currently without housing as a result of the fire and in need of clothing, furniture and other household items.

The community is encouraged to help this family in their time of need by purchasing a sticker in David’s name through The Mahaska County Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T). Stickers will be $5 and 100% of the proceeds go to the family. More information here. C.E.R.T. can be reached via Facebook as well. 

Those interested in helping the family can also purchase items for the family through Amazon.

ICAC 2019 Spring Break Activities Announced!

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Here it is – the Spring Break Line-up! Yes, there are two events on Thursday. PLEASE see link to Google Form for Iowa Gym-nest sign-up – we are limiting this event to 25 participants (parents/guardians do not count towards this limit). IF YOU sign up and then realize you cannot attend, PLEASE contact Dina Bishara at know so we can make those spots available for another family.

There will be mats available for the autism friendly yoga class at the North Liberty Community library, but please bring your own mat if you are able to bring one. Contact Jessie Witherell at if you need additional accommodations or have questions.

SPARK For Autism Trampoline Event Rescheduled for March 4th

*** Due to the inclement weather during the original event, the date for SPARK For Autism at AirFX has now been moved to March 4th ***

New to SPARK? Join us on March 4th to jump-start autism research! You can RSVP at:

*Families are NOT obligated to participate on-site.
**Questions, comments, concerns? Please reach out! (319) 335 – 8882 or

Registration Open for Autism Center Conference: “Safety and Developmental Disabilities”

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The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital Autism Center, in partnership with the Iowa City Autism Community and the Autism Society of Iowa, will present the Autism Center Conference 2019: Safety and Developmental Disabilities on March 8th, 10am-3pm, at the University of Iowa Center for Development and Disabilities (CDD).

Individuals on the autism spectrum and those with other developmental disabilities are at increased risk injuries and death from safety hazards.

This conference will provide attendees with information about risk factors, crisis management and practical tools and resources to help improve outcomes for this population.

Presenters include Officer Ashten Hayes of the Iowa City Police Department, Firefighter Matt Farrey of the Iowa City Fire Department, University of Iowa Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Kelly Vinquist, and Kirk Kuiken, Supervisory Transportation Security Officer for the TSA.

Registration is required and includes refreshments, lunch, and materials. To register and for more information, please call the University of Iowa Center for Conferences at 319-335-4141, email, or visit the website: