Autism Resources

RCA Sign Language Resources

Sign language is a useful communication tool for many of our children. Some are able to express their wants and needs with gestures. We work with the students to turn these gestures into the correct signs. While the Rochester Center for Children teaches Sign Language, we try to use American Sign Language.  However, because the majority of our staff and clients are hearing, we are considered to use “Contact Signing” and is not always true American Sign Language.  To clarify, we are teaching where the two cultures and languages (Hearing/Deaf & English/ASL) overlap which tends to result in the development of a form of communication called "contact signing." Contact signing by its very definition is not ASL, however it has many signs and terms that are ASL.  We may alter the sign using an initial or a simplified version of the fine motor movement.  There are also cases in which we create a sign specifically for a student to be able to communicate his/her wants and needs.  To further bridge this possible communication gap, we are constantly in communication with the client’s family and support members so there is less of a communication break. Because RCC uses Contact Signing, there may be a few signs in the videos and descriptions that are unfamiliar to the Deaf Community.  

For more information on the importance of sign language, click here.


Sign List #1 Words

Sign List #1 Words with Descriptions

Sign List #2 Words

Sign List #2 Words with Descriptions


Sign List #3 Words

Sign List #3 Words with Descriptions

Sign List #4 Words

Sign List #4 Words with Descriptions

Sign List #5 Words

Sign List #5 Words with Descriptions


Learn More About Autism

The Rochester Center for Children wants to provide you with all the help and information you need when it comes to a diagnosis with Autism. Rochester and the surrounding Southeast Minnesota area have a wide variety of resources you need when it comes to your children.


RT Autism Awareness Foundation

Autism Advocacy and Law Center of Minnesota

Autism Society of Minnesota

Minnesota Autism Insurance Advocacy Blog

PACER Center

ARC of Minnesota

Southeastern Minnesota Autism Alliance


Case Management and Social Services

Developmental Disability Case Management of Olmsted County

Youth Behavioral Health of Olmsted County

Dodge County Social Services

Mower County Social Services          

Fillmore County Social Services

Winona County Human Services

Goodhue County Social Services

Wabasha County Social Services


Diagnosis, Evaluation and Assessment

Mayo Clinic Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Bluestem Susan C. Jenkins, M.D.)

Associates in Psychiatry and Psychology (Marriage and Family Counseling)


Education and Childcare

Rochester Public Schools: Jefferson Elementary School

Zumbro Education District: K-12 

Learning Rx, Jennifer Beyst

Sylvan Learning Center

Rochester Community Education


Family/Parent Support & Counseling

Fernbrook Center (Rochester, Owatonna, Faribault, Kasson, Waseca & Red Wing)

Social Odyssey, Susan Powers

RCA Parent and Sibling Support Groups- Stephanie Johnson

Disability Hub MN

Associates in Psychiatry and Psychology (Marriage and Family Counseling)

Covered Bridge Family Resources (Goodhue and Wabasha Counties, Counseling and Psychotherapy)

Bluestem Center (Counseling and Psychotherapy)

Rochester Families Website

Family Service of Rochester


Recreation, Sports & Camps

J.E.T.S. Gymnastics (Adaptive Gymnastics)

Ironwood Springs Ranch

Rochester Adaptive Park and Recreation


Special Olympics-Rochester Area

Possabilities Youth Rec Program


Specialized Therapy (Behavioral, Speech, Occupational, Physical)

Achievement Therapy Services


Personal and Respite Care

College Nannies and Tutors

Cardinal of Minnesota



Hiawatha Homes



Minnesota STAR Program


Transition, Employment and Adult Services

Bear Creek Services


Possabilities, Linda Driessen

Hiawatha Homes

Cardinal of Minnesota


Ability Options

Opportunity Services

Alpha Services




Handi Van