What are Family Empowerment Classes?

Family Empowerment Classes are classroom style classes providing  the educational tools necessary for families to maximize the potential of their child with autism.

Who can attend?

Family Empowerment Classes are specifically designed for caregivers and loved ones of children (all ages) living with autism including, but not limited to, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and foster adoption parents. If you are a professional, paraprofessional, or student interested in our educational opportunities, see our professional training series.

What’s the cost?

All Family Empowerment Classes are offered FREE of charge.

What topics do the Classes cover?

Family Empowerment Classes are offered on a variety of topics related to caring for a child with autism. Click here for a list of topics.

When are the Classes?

Family Empowerment Classes are scheduled on Wednesdays or Saturdays from 9 am-12 pm (Central Time). Scroll below for upcoming Family Empowerment Classes.

Can I request a Class on a different day?

Family members can request to have a Family Empowerment Class hosted on another day which better fits their schedule. Click here for a list of topics. To request an On-Demand Family Empowerment Class, please contact Brenda Lara at brenda@acn-sa.org.

Do I need to register?

Yes. Register only by clicking the name of the Family Empowerment Class below. Please note that you need to register two days before the Family Empowerment Class. If you haven’t registered, please call ahead to make sure the Family Empowerment Class is still scheduled and/or has not reached capacity.

Where are Classes held?

Autism Community Network 4242 Woodcock Dr., Suite 101, San Antonio, TX 78228, unless otherwise noted.

Do I have to attend in person?

No. Remote live videoconferencing is available for all Family Empowerment Classes using Zoom. When you register, make sure to select that you will be attending via video-conference. One day prior to the training, you will receive an email with the link for the video-conference. To participate using this option, you must have a working webcam and microphone on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smart phone. For system requirements click here.

Who can I call if I have questions?

If you have any questions, please contact Brenda Lara at brenda@acn-sa.org or (210) 435-1000. 


Strategies to Increase Independence in Daily Living Activities
Friday June 15, 2018
Adrienne Gaither, OTR, C-SIPT
Is it difficult for your child to learn skills that he/she needs to function independently every day?

Come learn about ways to teach your child various daily living skills including personal hygiene, grooming, dressing, and self-feeding.


Decreasing Challenging Behaviors
Tuesday June 26, 2018
Adriana Sanchez, MA, BCBA
Is your child's behavior sometimes difficult to handle?

This class will provide caregivers information on  how to prevent, replace, and respond to challenging behaviors. These strategies will help reduce the likelihood that your child will engage in the challenging behavior in the future.

IntroducciÓn al Autismo
Martes, 3 de Julio
Adriana Sanchez, MA, BCBA
¿Le gustarÍa aprender mÁs acerca de los trastornos del espectro autista?
Este taller ofrecerÁ a los cuidadores respuestas bÁsicas acerca de los trastorno del espectro autista (TEA), incluyendo la definiciÓn de TEA y la descripciÓn de sus caracterÍsticas y criterios diagnÓsticos.  Un resumen sobre los tratamientos para el TEA, con un enfoque en los tratamientos basados en la evidencia cientÍfica, tambiÉn serÁ presentado.


Understanding and Using a Sensory Diet
Friday July 6, 2018
Adriana Sanchez, MA, BCBA
Has your child's therapist recommended a sensory diet? Would you like to know more about this important tool?

This class will provide caregivers with an understanding of what a sensory diet is and how it can be easily implemented into your child's daily routines.


Introduction to Autism
Tuesday July 17, 2018
Adriana Sanchez, MA, BCBA
Would you like to learn more about autism spectrum disorders?

This class will provide caregivers with basic answers about autism spectrum disorders (ASD), including defining ASD and describing its characteristics and diagnosis criteria. A general overview on treatments for ASD, with a focus on evidence-based practices, will also be presented.


Introduction to Pivotal Response Treatment
Wednesday July 25, 2018
Berenice de la Cruz Ph.D., BCBA-D
Do you want to learn more about Pivotal Response Treatment?

Pivotal Response Training is an evidence based practice for autism spectrum disorders. Come learn about a therapy that involves a naturalistic approach and focuses on your child's motivation to teach appropriate skills.


Improving Communication and Social Skills in Nonverbal children
using strategies from Hanen More Than Words program

Wednesday August 1, 2018
Toni Wilson, CCC-SLP     
NEW! Is your child nonverbal? This modified caregiver class teaches you strategies from the More Than Words Program to use in your day-to-day life with your child. You’ll discover how to take everyday activities like meal time, story time and bath time and use them to help your child improve his or her communication and social skills. You’ll have fun together while you’re doing it; it’s easy to understand and easy to put into practice at home!


Brighton Center: Special Education Support Services
Wednesday August 8, 2018
Brighton Center: This program will instruct caregivers on a) special education laws and b) individualized support and how to understand and access the available resources to help their child’s education. Participants will receive a meal. Childcare is available with advanced notice.

A minimum of 12 participants is required to hold this class.


Toilet Training
Wednesday August 18, 2018
Are you interested in toilet training your child?

Toilet training a child on the autism spectrum can be challenging for caregivers. In this workshop, participants will learn about toileting readiness signs, data collection, reinforcement techniques, and strategies to help troubleshoot specific toileting issues and sensory challenges.


Please contact Adriana Sanchez at adriana@acn-sa.org, or call (210) 435-1000 if you have further questions or would like to register offline.  See a class that you would like to attend but that doesn’t fit into your schedule?  Contact Adriana to inquire about On-Demand Family Empowerment Classes.