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  • Recipes

    Resource Library Our Resource Library provides a compilation of helpful resources aimed at helping parents and caregivers navigate the world of autism in San Antonio. Here, you can find a variety of useful materials such as educational materials, support groups, and counseling services, as well as links to other relevant organizations, all tailored to the needs of the autism community in San Antonio. While we've gathered these resources for you, ACN does not directly or indirectly endorse any product or service that will be provided by these organizations. Categories ADULT & TRANSITION AGE SERVICES Here you will find a curated collection of day programs and vocational programs in Central Texas ADVOCACY Advocating for Progress: Resources and Support for Advocates and Activists in the Autism Community AUTISM DIAGNOSIS Navigating the Diagnostic Journey: Support and Information for Families Seeking an Autism Diagnosis CAMPS & RECREATION Fun, Friendship, and Growth: Summer Camps and Recreation Programs for Autistic Individuals CASE MANAGEMENT & FAMILY SERVICES Comprehensive Care and Support: Case Management and Family Services for Autistic Individuals CHILDCARE Quality Care and Support: Resources and Information for Childcare Providers Serving Autistic Children COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE Building Strong Communities: Resources and Community-Based Assistance for Autistic Individuals EARLY CHILDHOOD INTERVENTION Early Intervention for Positive Outcomes: Resources and Support for Early Childhood Intervention in Autism EDUCATION Empowering Students with Autism: Resources and Support for Inclusive and Accessible Education FUNDING & MEDICAID WAIVERS Accessing Autism Services: Resources and Support for Funding and Medicaid Waivers MEDICAL Comprehensive Care and Support: Resources and Info for Medical Services for Autistic Individuals MONEY MANAGEMENT & ESTATE PLANNING Securing Your Future: Money Management and Estate Planning for Families of Autistic Individuals NUTRITION PROGRAMS Accessing Nutritional Services: Strategies and Tools for Families of Autistic Individuals PARENT EDUCATION Collaborating with Professionals: A Guide to Parent Education and Support in Autism RESIDENTIAL SERVICES Supporting Independent Living: Strategies and Tools for Accessing and Navigating Residential Services RESPITE SERVICES Taking Care of Caregivers: Resources and Support for Respite Services for Families of Autistic Individuals STATE & FEDERAL SUPPORT Accessing Government Support: Resources & Support for State and Federal Assistance for Autistic Individuals SUPPORT GROUPS Connecting with Others: Resources and Support for Support Groups for Families and Autistic Individuals TRANSPORTATION Promoting Independence: A Guide to Transportation and Support for Autistic Individuals

  • Therapeutic Offerings | Acn Home

    Therapeutic Offerings Your neurodiverse child is beautiful, and YOU are the EXPERT in your child! Therapies offered at ACN empower families by helping to nurture understanding and connection, building upon the existing strengths you ALL bring to the table. From our first meeting with your family, our focus is on identifying and amplifying strengths and supporting you and your child in building the strongest connection and communication possible. We help you understand your child’s unique profile, and we serve as your partners in navigating a new diagnosis and a new way of relating to each other and the world around you. Sensory Int 02 DIRFloortime® Read more DIRFloortime® is a play and relationship-building therapy for autistic and neurodivergent children. It is a comprehensive foundational model that utilizes affect-based interactions and experiences tailored to individual needs to promote global child development. The DIR® model, developed by Drs. Stanley Greenspan and Serena Wieder, identifies relationships as the pivotal force that nurtures and optimizes development. Further, it was the first to propose a relationship-based model of comprehensive intervention for autism spectrum and sensory processing disorders focusing on relating and communicating. The latest research shows many benefits to DIRFloortime® therapy. At ACN, DIRFloortime® therapy is offered by an expert-level certified clinician working in tandem with parents and other primary caregivers. The DIRFloortime® program consists of 12-18 weeks of weekly or biweekly interventions, one hour in length, that can be completed in-person or via telehealth. Goals for the child and caregiver will be collaboratively established following an in-depth assessment. Families can expect to learn the following: •How to take an active role in helping their children relate and communicate with others •How to support the development of sensory integration and social-emotional connectedness within the brain •To identify the unique challenges and strengths of their children as it relates to their abilities to process sensory information, stay regulated and attentive more of the time and to learn from the social world around them •How to fortify their relationships with their children and facilitate their childrens’ intention and engagement to build the foundation for maximal social, emotional, sensory, motor, language and cognitive development. Contact carrie@acn-sa.org for more information. 01 Pediatric Autism Communication Therapy (PACT) Search View Research Read more Pediatric Autism Communication Therapy (PACT) is a well-validated intervention supporting connection, celebrating difference, and enhancing communication. It has demonstrated effectiveness and long-term evidence of significantly enhanced child social communication outcomes and can radically improve quality of life for autistic children in relationship with their parents. In a 12 to 18-session staged intervention, the therapist uses specific video feedback techniques to help parents recognize, respond to, and enhance their child’s social communication. PACT is delivered via telehealth in the child’s natural home environment, which is one of the most effective ways of ensuring enduring development and generalization in social communication skills. Within each 60–90-minute session, the therapist reviews short video clips of the adult and child interacting or playing together. This video is jointly reviewed with the adult, using selected moments to identify and discuss the best individual communication strategies for the child. Between sessions, parents are asked to practice their PACT strategies with the child for around 30 minutes a day. Other interventions can be continued in parallel. PACT is the only intervention showing robust evidence of sustained enhanced child social communication skills, communication initiation, language, and engagement six years after early intervention, evidence which informs a new Autism Care Pathway. PACT is proven to improve child communication from first identification through a care pathway, to post-diagnostic intervention and school support, and is suitable for autistic children up to 11 years of age. The efficiency of PACT is in working with familiar adults in the child’s daily life to support the alternative ways autistic children learn, building stronger social communication skills, and simultaneously helping parents feel empowered with increased self-efficacy, well-being, and family resilience. PACT draws on individual positive attributes, strengthening relationships in building the basis for better understanding and accommodating of individual differences. Autism Community Network houses the largest concentration of PACT Certified trainers in the United States, and we are delighted to bring such an innovative, effective, and neurodiversity-affirming intervention to our families. PACT is made possible by generous funding from Betty Stieren Kelso, Autism Speaks, Texas Pediatric Society, and St. Luke's Lutheran Healthcare Ministries. Contact carrie@acn-sa.org for more information. 03 Making "Sense" of Autism Program Read more Sensory Processing is something that all humans do as a normal function of our brains and nervous systems. It is the way we take in sights, sounds, tastes, smells, touch, body position, and the status of our internal bodily organs through our senses. Typical sensory processing happens without our even noticing, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It supports a calm, organized, regulated state of being for the individual. Sometimes, it warns us of stimuli that are potentially harmful and other times, it alerts us when we are feeling particularly sluggish or too tired to function. It is a normal function of a typically developing brain and nervous system. Sensory Processing also underlies many aspects of development in all areas: communication, motor skills, cognition, and social-emotional skills. Confidence, coordination, empathy, mindfulness, and our very physical health are all tied to a finely tuned, well-functioning sensory processing system. In the 1960’s an Occupational Therapist and researcher, A. Jean Ayres, PhD., developed a theory outlining what she termed Sensory Integration Dysfunction (now known as Sensory Processing Disorder). This is when sensory signals from one’s own body and/or from the environment are not processed in an orderly manner. Dr. Ayres likened this phenomenon to a “traffic jam” in the brain and nervous system. The signals still get through, but they cause a person’s brain to react too much, not enough, or in such a way that the person seeks extra stimulation in order to register the presence of sensory input. This is evident in a person’s behavior. For example, a person who reacts too much to sensory input may cover their ears with typical environmental sounds, react like the simplest light touch is painful, or gag on certain textures of food. Another person who does not react enough to sensory stimuli may ignore a sound the first few times it is made, be able to tolerate copious amounts of pain before they perceive that something is hurting them, or be able to spin in place much more than the average person without becoming dizzy. Lastly, a sensory seeker may be in constant motion, crashing their bodies against surfaces and other people, putting lots of inedible things in their mouths, smelling non-food items, staring into bright lights, enjoying making loud noises with their own voices without any intent to communicate. Research has shown that approximately 1 in 4 Kindergarten students may have Sensory Processing Disorder, and about 95% of autistic individuals have difficulty properly registering and using sensory input and many autistic adults report that sensory processing differences are an ongoing significant stressor in their lives. This is why Autism Community Network has developed the Making “Sense” of Autism Program. Our program is different from traditional pediatric occupational therapy in that it typically runs for 12-18 weeks before the individual is discharged to another program that offers traditional occupational therapy focusing on play, fine motor, and self-care goals. Good sensory therapy and a parent who better understands their child’s nervous system (as well as their own !) can lead to a better modulated, self-regulated person who is then able to focus and attend to more traditional methods of teaching skills. In addition, the Making “Sense” of Autism Program focuses on using a child-led, parent-mediated approach, coaching caregivers in the basics of sensory processing and their child’s individual sensory differences. Strategies to improve the child’s brain and nervous system responses to sensory stimuli are taught directly to the caregiver during these sessions. Practice at home during naturally occurring daily routine activities is strongly encouraged. Sessions can be conducted in person or via teletherapy using reflective video feedback of the child and caregiver engaging in sensory-rich activities. Contact adrienne@acn-sa.org for more information. How to start: Contact our Clinical Team. If you are interested in any of our therapy programs, please take the time to contact us through the link below. Start Here Cost of Therapies Cancellation Policy Read more If a therapy appointment is not cancelled at least 24 hours in advance you may be charged a fifty dollar ($50) fee; this will not be covered by your insurance company. Late Arrivals Read more We understand that delays can happen however we must try to keep the other patients and doctors on time. If a patient is 15 minutes past their scheduled time we will have to reschedule the appointment. We accept many forms of medical insurance, including Medicaid. Contact Vanessa Amaya at: vanessa@acn-sa.org

  • Autism Community Network | Autism Diagnostics and Therapy in San Antonio | 535 Bandera Road, San Antonio, TX 78228

    Empowering families to create BIG futures. Autism Community Network is the expert autism organization of South Texas, here to provide innovative and evidence-based support focused on enhancing quality of life and self-actualization for neurodiverse children and the village supporting them. Start Now "I am proud to support the important and impactful work ACN provides our community." -Corinna Holt Richter President and Chief Administrative Officer HOLT CAT Donate About our organization. Autism Community Network is a non-profit organization identifying as an ally of the neurodiversity movement, focused on empowerment, connection, and communication between exceptional children, their loving families, and their communities. Read More We are in this together . At ACN, autism empowerment is personal. The majority of our Board of Directors, clinical and administrative staff, doctors, and leaders/advisors are parents or family members of neurodivergent individuals or are neurodiverse ourselves. We know firsthand the pathways that our caregivers face. We've traveled them too, and we are dedicated to making sure you don’t travel them alone. At Autism Community Network, we are committed to illuminating the strengths of your children, while supporting those areas in which they may struggle. We bring together familial and professional caregivers, autistic self-advocates and researchers to assure that the research-backed services we offer are cutting edge. Through autism screenings, diagnostic evaluations, child-led therapies, parent empowerment groups, and educational classes we can provide the necessary resources to better outcomes in a BIG way. We are here to walk beside you, to help you harness your own strengths, to form a circle of security around you, and to support you in learning to advocate for your child until your child can advocate for him or herself. Assessments Autism Diagnostic Pathways ACN provides strengths-based autism screenings and medical diagnostic evaluations, individually tailored to meet each unique family's needs. ACN offers both telehealth and in-person evaluations. Additionally, we provide assessments in both Spanish and English. Read More Therapy Therapeutic Offerings ACN proudly leads the nation in bringing innovative, neurodiversity-affirming approaches to familial and professional caregivers in the United States. Our agency offers holistic and parent-mediated interventions for children and families impacted by autism and developmental differences. Read More Outreach & Advocacy Neurodiversity ACN prioritizes formal partnerships and alliances with like-minded organizations supporting the autistic community. We endeavor to create harmony, relational safety a wider network of support and a broader understanding of neurodiversity. Read More Professional & Familial Caregivers Caregiver Empowerment At ACN we believe the caregiver is the expert of their child. We also believe that when a child receives a diagnosis, so too does the whole family system. We work diligently to surround the family, much like a herd, to walk alongside them on their journey. Read More Events Fundraising Events ACN is proud to host our premier fundraising event, Le Brunch des Chapeaux, every April as a fun kickoff to San Antonio's FIESTA season. We close out the year with another fundraising event, All Tee'd Up for Autism Golf Tournament in the fall. Read More Collaboration & Training Mentorship & Training Students of all ages choose ACN as a training site because of the strong reputation of our clinic staff. We are happy to host the next generation of young professionals as they discern if early childhood developmental differences is something they want to pursue. Read More Autism community Network provides Autism Diagnosis San Antonio, Autism Therapy San Antonio, PACT Therapy, ABA Therapy alternatives, and Autism Screenings in San Antonio Finding resources should be easy. At Autism Community Network, we strive to make the San Antonio community more accessible for people living with autism and those who care for them. Resources at your fingertips. Autism is a unique journey for every family. ACN’s staff has researched and curated a collection of trusted local, national, and international supports and educational offerings. These resources are meant to supplement your journey as you travel along your pathways in relationship with ACN. Resource Library Renee T, TX "Be a part of the change ACN is bringing to autistic children and their families in San Antonio and South Texas." Joseph D, TX "Through a stroke of luck we came across ACN, and the people at ACN have helped us understand our child better and the best way to support his challenges. Be it the therapists working with our child or the Coffee & Connections sessions on Friday; every interaction is a positive one." Lisa M, TX "You know, there are just so many people out there that claim they know what is best. 'Oh you should try this', or 'maybe try that.' Most of them are just random voices online. ACN was really there to work along side us and took the time to get to know our kiddo. There is no one-size-fits-all method for all this. Each child presents so differently." Get Involved - Make a lasting impact! Donate Monetary donations of any amount make our work possible and sustainable. The board and staff of ACN greatly appreciate your financial consideration and support. It is only through the generosity of our individual and community donors that we can continue the important work on behalf of the neurodiverse community. For additional information please email info@acn-sa.org . Donate Volunteer ACN welcomes enthusiastic individuals willing to support the children and caregivers we serve. Opportunities include, but are not limited to, special events, family events, quality-of-life programming, and administrative support. If you are interested in volunteering for ACN, please email info@acn-sa.org . Volunteer Powered by: Katie Benson 4 days ago 1 min ACN is Hiring: Join our Amazing Team! 5 0 Post not marked as liked Kathryn Crane, OTR Jan 26 3 min Co-Regulation and How it can Help Your Child 47 0 2 likes. Post not marked as liked 2 Corey Livingston Mar 26, 2023 7 min The ACN logo story. 45 0 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1

  • Events | Acn Home

    Events coming up. Featured Event Le Brunch des Chapeaux Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2024 Time: 11:00 AM Location: The Lawn of The Argyle 934 Patterson Ave San Antonio, TX 78209 Info: Email pattyv@acn-sa.org for more information. Get Started About "Le Brunch des Chapeaux" Step into the 21st annual Le Brunch des Chapeaux, a time-honored tradition and Autism Community Network’s flagship fundraising event. Set against the picturesque backdrop of The Argyle’s expansive lawn, this year’s luncheon, scheduled for April 10, is poised to be a milestone in the legacy of giving and community support surrounding the annual celebration. Local boutique brands come together for the event, lovingly nicknamed “the hat lunch,” to showcase their latest collections in a spectacular fashion show, infusing the luncheon with an air of sophistication and glamour. You can enjoy purchasing items directly off the runway or browsing the exquisitely curated raffle packages filled with the lavish items you’ve always wanted for a treat. Allow your senses and soul to feast on the sumptuousness of the day and a truly unparalleled experience. All proceeds from this extraordinary event go to supporting autism awareness, advocacy, and empowerment. – initiatives that have a profound and lasting effect on the lives of individuals and families within the community. Attendees not only contribute to a noble cause but also become champions for change, making strides towards a more inclusive and understanding society. As you don your most stylish hat, know that you’re not just making a fashion statement but also taking a stand for a cause that transcends trends because “kindness is always in fashion.” So, join ACN for an unforgettable celebration – the 21st annual Le Brunch des Chapeaux. Revel in the spirit of giving while embracing the vibrant energy of the spring and Fiesta Season. It’s not merely an event; it’s a movement, a testament to the power of collective action in creating a world that uplifts and empowers all. Secure your place at this not-to-be-missed affair and be part of a legacy of compassion and positive change. More upcoming events. January 2024 February 2024 March 2024 Introducing "The Neurture Project" This program is a collaboration between ACN and Any Baby Can and is intended to help "fill the gaps" created during the pandemic by helping to empower caregivers. The Neurture Project will teach participants how to use high impact, social-emotional, and developmental strategies to support the growth of healthy relationships and social brains! BIG Futures Fam Jam ACN will hold its first "Fam Jam" of 2024 on Friday, February 23. It will be a celebration of music with Rose Anzel of Crescendo Center PLLC. Camp We:Code - Spring Break Addition! This spring break ACN will be partnering with Youth Code Jam to provide another opportunity to budding coders. The camp, catering to neurodivergent middle school and high schoolers, will be held March 11-15. More information and registration details to come. Let's Get Social

  • Patricia "Patty" Vela, MA

    < Back Patricia "Patty" Vela, MA Chief Development & Outreach Officer Patricia "Patty" Vela holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Southwestern University and a Masters degree in School Psychology from Trinity University. After 14 years of practicing as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology for NISD, Ms. Vela entered her second career, non-profit development and fundraising. Prior to ACN, Ms. Vela worked for a large non-profit in San Antonio. However, she always missed working alongside children with disabilities and their caregivers which made her excited when this opportunity became available. She joined the ACN team in March, 2017. Ms. Vela is a daughter, mother, friend, bibliophile, frustrated artist, lover of music, and enjoys Gilmore Girls and HGTV a little too much! She has also developed a passion for retaionally-based or conscious parenting as she has spent more time at ACN and can often be found down internet rabbit holes of leaders in this field. Patty is a proud aunt to 2 neurodivergent children. pattyv@acn-sa.org (210) 435-1000 ext. 5002

  • Karyn Collins, MOT, OTR

    < Back Karyn Collins, MOT, OTR Occupational Therapist Karyn Collins came to Autism Community Network with over 30 years of clinical experience. She is a pro-neurodivergent therapist specializing in neuro-developmental and strengths-based approaches to treatment. Prior to joining ACN, Karyn spent several years working in outpatient clinic settings devoted exclusively to provision of services for autistic children and their families. At ACN, Karyn is a member of the multi-disciplinary diagnostic team as well as the Director or the Feeding Empowerment Program. While remaining involved in direct care, throughout her career, Karyn has also held a multitude of administrative, operational, and management roles. Her absolute passion is in program development and coaching/mentoring students, clinicians, and families. When not OT-ing, Karyn spends much of her time following the creative muse. Her most long-standing disciplines have been drawing, and portrait and fantasy-composite photography. Most recently she has been deep diving into the worlds of watercolor and calligraphy. Karyn is mom to an amazing young man, two dogs, two cats and a large number of said young man’s friends who also call her “Mom”. karyn.collins@acn-sa.org (210) 435-1000

  • Sound and vision: How San Antonio is building inclusivity in arts and culture

    < Back Sound and vision: How San Antonio is building inclusivity in arts and culture Nicholas Frank Dec 20, 2023 Sound and vision: How San Antonio is building inclusivity in arts and culture Anyone seeing the Classical Music Institute ’s presentation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons the morning of Nov. 1 might have thought they were at one of the ensemble’s rehearsals. The atmosphere was casual, audience members chatted, snacked and sipped from sippy cups, napped under blankets, played with phones and tablets, got up and walked the hallways of the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts , fidgeted with toys, leaned in to listen to concertmaster Francisco Fullana’s comments on what to listen for in upcoming musical passages and otherwise came and went as they pleased. The public event was not a rehearsal, but the latest Valero Sensory Friendly Program performance geared toward audiences sensitive to the loud noises, bright lights, large crowds and extended sitting times typical of conventional performances. The keys to the series are inclusion and accessibility, said Kimberly Stephenson, the Tobin Center’s director of education. “It’s just a very open and welcoming environment,” Stephenson said. “We are wanting to expose everyone to the beauty and the power of the arts.” For anyone Sensory-friendly events are primarily designed to accommodate those with autism spectrum disorder who might have difficulties adjusting behaviors to social situations or communicating their needs effectively. Valero series accommodations include limiting the audience to half the standard size, keeping house lights on throughout the performance — which is limited to a one-hour duration — and encouraging patrons to talk or vocalize and move around freely. Noise levels are kept consistent so as not to startle or overwhelm with sound. For the Classical Music Institute sensory-friendly performance, Fullana frequently turned to the audience and spoke about the music they were about to hear, saying they should listen for birdsong-like passages played by the violin section and imagine a festive garden party signaled by Vivaldi’s famous melody. Jacqueline Ha brought her 2-year-old son Tiago to the performance in part because “he has a very keen ear for music.” The Tobin Center welcomes anyone to these free public events, and Ha and her partner recognize that though Tiago has not been diagnosed as on the autism spectrum, he has a short attention span and displays sensitivity to bustling crowds and loud sounds. The Four Seasons concert was the second Tobin Center sensory-friendly event they’ve attended, and Ha said they appreciate the accommodating environment. “Just the fact that we have exposure to performances at the Tobin is something that we’re really grateful for, as far as learning what parameters are conducive to him as a little being exploring himself,” she said. An invisible disability Other arts and culture organizations in San Antonio have offered sensory-friendly accommodations and specially designed events with similar modifications, in the name of inclusivity for audiences of all abilities. The San Antonio Zoo held a sensory-friendly version of its annual holiday Zoo Lights extravaganza on Nov. 20. What is normally billed as “miles of dazzling lights, festive music, and whimsical displays” was dialed down, tailored for those with sensory sensitivities. Music volume was muted by 80%, laser strobe lights were removed, other bright lights were dimmed and more sensory-friendly implement bags were made available. As with other institutions, the bags are available for free during visits at the information desk. Alex Rodriguez, the Zoo’s manager of diversity, equity and inclusion, described sensory sensitivity as “an invisible disability” that is more common than generally realized. She said thatwhen sensitivities beyond the autism spectrum are taken into account, including military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, individuals with dementia and even neurotypical adults who can become overwhelmed in overstimulating environments, “every community you are in, every family or social dynamic that you’re in, chances are somebody in that group has this [condition]” in one form or another. Everyone means everyone The Valero series at the Tobin defines its mission as “equitable services for the creative arts to promote justice, inclusion, and empowerment for all.” In a similar spirit, The Public Theater of San Antonio took Tiny Tim literally when the character intones “God Bless us, everyone” at the end of the Charles Dickens holiday classic A Christmas Carol . The theater company’s version of the play that ran Dec. 1-17 integrated deaf and hard-of-hearing actors, with a script adapted to shift between moments of speaking and moments communicated only through American Sign Language (ASL). The reworked script by Tim Hedgepeth and Anthony Ciaravino features a Scrooge, played by hearing actor John O’Neill, who learned sign language as a youth in love with a deaf woman and is moved to draw on his past to communicate with Tiny Tim, played by deaf actor Josiah Sammy Esqueda. The staging of the play aims to be as inclusive as possible and might help lend insight to hearing audiences into how deaf people communicate. “This production includes spoken word, moments of ASL, and supertitles,” said producing artistic director Jimmy Moore. “So we are communicating at any one point in two to three different ways.” The Public Theater has provided ASL nights since December 2015, said Robert Cardoza, founder of the Stage Hands sign language services company and assistant director of the production. But staging a play with a fully integrated deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing cast is new, Moore said. Deaf actors, such as Missy Smith in the dual roles of Belle and Mrs. Fred, react to light cues rather than sound cues and interpret between sign language words and spoken words, which in some cases differ slightly. For example, she’ll sign “I finally accept you” while speaking “I at long last embrace you.” Moore said the play is just the beginning of such inclusive performances. “It is a really great first step for the Public to learn what it means to be more accessible to the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities in San Antonio.” Growing awareness While a 2016 Kronkosky Charitable Foundation report found San Antonio to be “an exceptional hub for autism services,” with a wide range of professionals who provide autism care, the report concluded that demand for services far outstrips supply. But Patty Vela, chief development and outreach officer of the nonprofit Autism Community Network , said accommodations such as sensory-friendly events are on the rise. Experts at the nonprofit including occupational therapist Adrienne Gaither have helped such local organizations as Morgan’s Wonderland and Methodist Hospital establish programs to welcome individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. The Tobin Center’s sensory-friendly performances date back to the very start of its programming, Stephenson said, shaped in part by the help of the Autism Theater Initiative in New York and Kulture City, a nationwide organization that provides sensory-inclusive certification to venues interested in accommodating people with sensory needs. The DoSeum children’s museum researched Kulture City initiatives for its new Beyond Limits program, said program educator Shauna Brookins. Sensory-friendly Beyond Limits events take place after regular hours to limit crowds, with lighting dimmed and sound volumes lowered. Brookins plans four such events per year, with the next taking place Wednesday evening with a Winter Wonderland theme. The museum also provides sensory-friendly accommodations every day, Brookins said, with sensory backpacks that include headphones, sunglasses, fidget toys and a museum map that locates quiet zones including the Calm Corner, an enclosed, sound-dampened retreat room. Both Brookins and Vela encouraged parents to observe their children to detect areas of sensitivity, whether they shy away from loud sounds or avoid particular stimuli, or, as Ha said of her son, may simply need to get up frequently to walk around and burn off excess energy. “We’re first-time parents, we’re trying to learn how to meet him with where he’s at,” Ha said. And Rodriguez said she’s heartened by the growing awareness that many, if not most people, have some form of sensory sensitivity and that institutions are responding. She has auditory sensory sensitivities and visual impairments that make her sensitive to light, she said, and sometimes needs to walk away from stimuli to recuperate. “So for someone like me … coming into spaces like the [sensory-friendly] Zoo Lights [display] where the lights weren’t so overwhelming for me, it was much easier for me to enjoy that environment,” Rodriguez said. The next Tobin Center sensory-friendly performance is Pilobolus Is a Fungus , March 19 at noon. See the whole article with pictures here . Previous Next

  • News

    In the news. Get the latest in autism news here. Dec 20, 2023 Sound and vision: How San Antonio is building inclusivity in arts and culture Sensory-friendly events are primarily designed to accommodate those with autism spectrum disorder who might have difficulties adjusting behaviors to social situations or communicating their needs effectively. Read More Aug 28, 2023 'Emergent and transactional': How Jonathan Green is Rethinking Autism and Interventions Jonathan Green is professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom and an honorary consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist. He is also a long-practicing clinician. In this interview, he discusses the genesis of his recent article, “Debate: Neurodiversity, autism and healthcare,” and how it has been received by colleagues and the neurodiversity self-advocate community. There have been two commentaries published in response to Green’s article, with a third still in production. Read More Mar 27, 2023 Pediatric Autism Communication Therapy Improved Long-Term Child Outcomes Pediatric Autism Communication Therapy is currently the only scientifically evidenced early social communication intervention to demonstrate long-term improved child social communication outcomes into middle childhood. Read More Jun 18, 2022 We Should Tell Children They Are Autistic As Soon As Possible Many parents in our community feel they don’t know the “right” way or time to tell autistic children about their autism. For this reason, we are grateful for a recent study showing that “it is probably best to tell people they are autistic as soon as possible.” We talked with Bella Kofner, an author on the study who is also autistic, about what the study reveals; the personal experience of being told about one’s own autism; why it is crucial for autism research to include autistic direction; and some takeaways for both parents and/or autistic people themselves. Read More Mar 18, 2021 Engage Gifted and 2e Learners by Embracing Their Tendencies The essence of gifted children is removed when strengths are overlooked to focus on behavior Read More Oct 12, 2019 An Interview with an Autistic Police Officer Being a police officer is a tough gig. You never know what each new day will bring, you’re often under immense pressure and, after all the help you provide to the community, at least once a shift you’re going to be called a waste of tax payer’s money. Yeah, it’s pretty demanding and, for all these reasons and more, it’s certainly not somewhere you would expect to find an autist. However, in the following interview, which takes place with one of my oldest friends, Ben: an officer with Asperger’s, you’ll find that, yes, there is a place in the forces for someone with autism but, more importantly, you’ll hear how, despite our possible challenges, there should be the opportunity for an autistic presence in every profession. Read More

  • RESPITE SERVICES

    < Back RESPITE SERVICES About Respite Services Sometimes you need a break, we totally get it! Respite services provide short-term relief for families and caregivers of individuals with autism. Our resource library provides information on respite care options, including in-home and out-of-home services. PARENT’S NIGHT OUT / DAY RESPITE Artful Start Web: www.artfulstart.org E-Mail: artfulstart@gmail.com Artful Start organizes art programs for children with special needs throughout the community. Programs are run by trained volunteers with an adaptable curriculum to allow all participants to reach their maximum potential. Children’s Association for Maximum Potential (CAMP) —Teen and Adult Day Adventure 210.671.8112 Web: www.campcamp.org E-Mail: michelle.elble@campcamp.org Physical Address: 2525 Ladd St., Bldg. 3850, Lackland Air Force Base, TX 78236 Mailing Address: P.O. Box 27086, SA TX 78227 A supervised social program for teens and young adults with developmental disabilities, ages 14-40 (with no aggressive behavior); scheduled for one Saturday per month. Activities include dinner, movies, sporting events, concerts, and dances; teens may bring a date. Respite Club membership required. Mission Road Ministries - Mom’s Morning Out 210.334.2437 Web: missionroadministries.org/programs/children/moms-morning-out E-Mail: lbutler@mrmsat.org 8706 Mission Rd, SA TX 78214 Mission Road Ministries offers Mom’s Morning Out *each month. The program allows parents with children with intellectual developmental disabilities (IDD) some much deserved free time - even “me” time. This fun and important program is available to families living in San Antonio & Bexar County caring for a child with IDD. Tuition cost is $40/ child for 4 hours of care and must be between the ages of 6 thru 17. The program is from 9 AM - 1 PM. Program runs 1 Saturday per month and dates are on the website. Respite Care of San Antonio 210.737.1212 Web: www.respitecaresa.org 605 Belknap Pl., SA TX 78212 Families may bring their children (6 wks. To 17 yrs.) with special needs and medical complex conditions. Monday - Friday from 7:30am –6pm; non-disabled siblings (up to the age of 12) welcome. San Antonio Busy Bodies 210.545.2840 Web: https://www.sabusybodies.org/programs.html E-Mail: info@sabusybodies.org 11985 Starcrest Dr, SA TX 78247 Busy bodies is a learning center providing services for children including the development of fine and gross motor skills; balance; ocular motor control; attention span; self-esteem; and social skills. To qualify for the program; the child must attend an initial assessment for $200; in which the doctors determine what kind of treatment the child requires. The following therapy sessions are $35/hour. Busy bodies accepts some commercial insurance; but mainly private pay. Special Reach Inc 210.784.7478 Web: https://www.specialreach.com/ 6851 Citizens Pkwy suite #220, San Antonio TX 78229 Party night is a Special Reach’s unique twist on Parent’s night out. It’s a great opportunity to develop social skills and meet other children aged 6-18. Additional summer program locations are available as well as new programs such as San Antonio Adventure Program. RESPITE CARE Mission Road Ministries - Respite Care 210.334.2437 Web: https://missionroadministries.org/lets-talk 8706 Mission RD, SA TX 78214 Children with Intellectual Disabilities have lived on the campus of Mission Road for nearly 65 years. We know what it takes to care for children who require individualized attention and constant supervision. At Mission Road we can provide your child with a weekend of fun and activity; while giving you the rest and relief you deserve. Your child will spend the weekend in one of our 5 cottages; interacting and playing with other children; all under the watchful eye of trained residential care professionals. A gymnasium; basketball court; sensory room; playground and Open Air Pavilion provide the backdrop for stimulating activities. A menu of meals and snacks carefully designed by our licensed dietitian are served family style. Our on- campus Health Care clinic dispenses any medications your child may need during their stay. Maxim Healthcare Services 210.341.3800 Web: https://www.maximhealthcare.com/ E-Mail: SanAntonioTX@maxhealth.com 7550 IH 10 West, Ste. 1001, SA TX 78229 Contact Person: Angela Barker, Business Development Manager Provides Private Duty Nursing, Companion services, respite care; Insurances accepted: Traditional Medicaid, Superior Medicaid, AmeriGroup, Molina, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, United Health Care, TriCare, Humana Military, Cigna, Care Centrix and most other insurances. Please, feel free to call the office should you need help with a funding source. Ramiro P. Estrada Respite Station - Children’s Hospital of San Antonio....210.704.3497 519 W. Houston, SA TX 78207 A respite program for families of children with developmental disabilities and multiple medical conditions; the program is available to children from birth to 18 years of age who require skilled car and medical support services. Respite Care of San Antonio 210.737.1212 Web: www.respitecaresa.org Davidson Respite House (DRH), 605 Belknap Place, SA TX 78212 Emergency/crisis facility dedicated to caring for children with special needs and complex medical conditions. Children may be placed at the DRH by their families so that they may attend to a crisis. Children are placed by the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services as a result of abuse or neglect; cares for children ages 0 to 17 years of age. The shelter is open 365 days per year, 24 hours per day. Previous Next

  • Programs | Helping Hands

    Our Services Autism Screening & Diagnostics The goal of our clinical services is to provide expert autism diagnostic medical evaluations backed by the latest research to children up to age seven. All assessments are offered in English and Spanish and can be provided in-person or via telehealth. Read More Innovative, Evidence-Based Therapies ACN offers the latest neurodiversity-affirming therapies targeting our clients' individual needs. Working with our expert therapists, you will develop unique goals tailored to your child and your personal family journey. Therapies are available in-person or via telehealth. Spanish may be available upon request. Read More BIG Futures Programming Autism Community Network provides innovative and engaging autism support services to families and individuals living with autism. From Camp Ausome! to our Fam Jams, we provide a way for autistic children and their families to socialize, engage in collaborative projects, and develop meaningful skills and relationships. Read More Training and Mentorship/Educational Programs Every week Autism Community Network provides training, educational programs, and learning opportunities. ACN is proud to be a teaching facility for the future leaders in autism care. Join us every Friday for Coffee and Connections, sign up for our blog, or share our event calendar with your network. Read More

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