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  • Kathryn "Katie" Benson, MPA

    < Back Kathryn "Katie" Benson, MPA Program and Outreach Liaison Kathryn “Katie” Benson has a Bachelors degree from Florida State University, and a Masters degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Non-Profit Management from the University of Texas Arlington. She spent 14 years total in the public education setting as a special education teacher. Ms. Benson’s other work experiences include volunteer coordinating for San Antonio events, directing and over-seeing productions at a local theatre, and managing community programs at another local non-profit. She is excited to be part of the ACN team, where she can use all of her myriad experiences in one place. In her spare time, Katie enjoys trivia and board games with her family, as well as spoiling her two fur babies. Katie is the proud sister to a neurodiverse adult. katie@acn-sa.org (210) 435-1000

  • EARLY CHILDHOOD INTERVENTION | Acn Home

    < Back EARLY CHILDHOOD INTERVENTION About Early Intervention Services Our early childhood intervention resources provide information on early intervention services available for young children with autism. These resources can help families access services that can improve outcomes and help children with autism reach their full potential. BEXAR COUNTY AVANCE - San Antonio 210.270.4630 Web: www.avancesa.org 118 North Medina Street, San Antonio, TX 78207 Meaning "advance" or “progress,” AVANCE serves as a trusted guide to assist under-resourced families of young children in overcoming isolation and lack of opportunity. Using our unique two generation education and relationship-building methodology, we help family members become the best parents, employees, and citizens they can be. Brighton Center 210.826.4492 Web: www.brightonsa.org 14207 Higgins Rd. San Antonio, TX 78217 Throughout San Antonio and Bexar County, Brighton Center provides developmental and educational services to children of ALL abilities. With a holistic, family-centered approach, we offer enrichment and development through an inclusive early childhood education program, as well as therapy services, counseling, case management and special education support Camino Real Community Services 830.266.5500 Web: www.caminorealcs.org 19965 FM 3175, Lytle, TX 78052 ECI Services, Mental Health Services, Intellectual & Developmental Disability services. Center for Healthcare Services - CHCS-ECI, formerly PACES 210.261.3300 Web: https://chcsbc.org/ 5802 S. Presa, San Antonio, TX 78223 Offering a variety of services for parents with children under the age of 3, who are experiencing developmental delays. Services include case management, family centered services, activities in familiar settings, and more. Mo family is turned away because they cannot afford to pay. Free services for children on Medicaid. Other services provided based on family size and adjusted income. City of San Antonio Head Start - Edgewood ISD 210.444.7825 Web: www.eisd.com 5358 W. Commerce St., San Antonio, TX 78237 Serving Edgewood ISD; early Head Start/CCP Program in Bexar County for children ages 6 weeks to 35 months. City of San Antonio Head Start - San Antonio ISD 210.206.5500 Web: www.saheadstart.org 1227 Brady Blvd., San Antonio, TX 78207 Serving San Antonio ISD; early Head Start/CCP Program in Bexar County for children ages 6 weeks to 35 months. Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center 210.614.3911 Web: www.easter-seals.org 2203 Babcock RD., SA TX 78229 Easter Seals provides services, education, outreach and advocacy so people living with ASD and other disabilities can live, learn, work and play in our communities; Intervention strategies for children with ASD – Applies Behavior Analysis (ABA), Developmental, Individual-Difference, Relationship-Based (DIR) and The Education of ASD and Related Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH). You can call to schedule an appointment and a representative will come out to your home for an evaluation. Education Service Center- Region 20 210.370.5200 Web: www.esc20.net 1314 Hines Ave., SA TX 78208 For more information see the following web-site: https://www.esc20.net/apps/pages/special-education Epic Pediatric Therapy 210.226.9536 Clinic: 98 Briggs Ave., Ste. 990, San Antonio, TX 78224 Home Office: 6800 Park Ten Blvd., Ste. 246-E, San Antonio TX 78213 In-home and clinic therapy, services available include speech, occupational and physical therapies, private duty nursing and enteral services (tube/oral). Epic Pediatric Therapy Services is one of the largest pediatric therapy providers in Texas. We provide personalized physical, occupational and speech therapy to children, adolescents and young adults ages 0-21 in our kids-centered clinics or in the non-clinical setting. Family Service Association 210.299.2400 Web: www.family-service.org 702 San Pedro Ave., #102, SA TX 78212 Serving Northeast, Northside, Southwest, Judson, East Central, Fort Sam Houston and South San Antonio ISDs San Antonio ISD 210.554.2200 Web: www.saisd.net 141 Lavaca St., San Antonio, TX 78210 Serving San Antonio ISD; Pre-K and Head Start Small Hands Big Hearts Pediatric Therapy 682.738.3056 Web: http://shbhtherapy.com 404 Racquet Club Blvd. Bedford, Texas 76022 In-Home sensory integration therapy, camp, and Parent’s Night Out activities. Accept most major insurances as well as well as traditional Medicaid and CHIP. HILL COUNTRY Boerne Homespun 830.249.6067 216 Market Ave., Suite 120, Boerne, TX 78006 Provides home-based services for children age 0-3 years who may be needing therapy or service coordination. Children may qualify if they have a medical diagnosis, developmental delay, or atypical development. Fredericksburg Homespun 830.997.9503 Web: www.hillcountry.org 1328 S State Hwy 16, Fredericksburg, TX 78624 ECI Services, Mental Health, Adult Residential Services; Serving Gillespie, Kimble, Llano, Mason, Menard Counties; accepts Medicaid, CHIP, Private Insurance Hill Country MHDD-ECI Homespun 830.741.8083 Web: www.hillcountry.org 728 18th St., Hondo, TX 78861 Mailing Address: PO Box 433, Hondo, TX 78861 ECI program serves families with children birth to 36 months with developmental delays or disabilities, also providing family support and specialized services to strengthen family’s ability to access resources and improve their child’s development through daily activities. Kerrville Homespun 830.257.2277 Web: www.hillcountry.org 313 Leslie Dr, Kerrville, TX 78028 ECI Services, Mental Health Adult Residential Services, serves Kerr County; accepts CHIP, Private Insurance, Medicaid Uvalde Homespun 830.278.6261 Web: www.hillcountry.org 324 Crystal City Hwy., Uvalde, TX 78801 ECI Services Mental Health Adult Residential; Services Kinney, Real, Uvalde Counties; accepts Medicaid, CHIP, Private Insurance Previous Next

  • 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 Feb 9 1 min ACN is Hiring: Join our Amazing Team! 160 0 Post not marked as liked Kathryn Crane, OTR Jan 26 3 min Co-Regulation and How it can Help Your Child 109 0 2 likes. Post not marked as liked 2 Corey Livingston Mar 26, 2023 7 min The ACN logo story. 88 0 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1

  • Valero Community Center | Acn Home

    Our Valero Community Center is your next spot . The valero cc offers 986 sqft of Check Availability About the Valero Community Center Amenities Degree University Name Briefly describe your degree and any other highlights about your studies you want to share. Be sure to include relevant skills you gained, accomplishments you achieved or milestones you reached during your education. Scheduling Degree University Name Briefly describe your degree and any other highlights about your studies you want to share. Be sure to include relevant skills you gained, accomplishments you achieved or milestones you reached during your education. Table of Fees Degree University Name Briefly describe your degree and any other highlights about your studies you want to share. Be sure to include relevant skills you gained, accomplishments you achieved or milestones you reached during your education. Rental options. 2 day rental I’m a paragraph. Double click me or click Edit Text, it's easy. Book now 1 day rental I’m a paragraph. Double click me or click Edit Text, it's easy. Book now 4 hr Rental I’m a paragraph. Double click me or click Edit Text, it's easy. Book now Valero supports ACN you can too! As a non-profit, ACN depends on the support of companies like yours. No matter the size, your gift makes a difference. Donate

  • Our Donors | Acn Home

    Thank you to our founders. Founding Donor Kronkosky Foundation The focus of the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation is to support programs, projects and collaborative efforts that reach as many people as possible; involve the persons served in developing solutions; raise expectations; build self-esteem; develop personal and organizational capacity; encourage innovation; and make use of technology. Founding Donor Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio is committed to honoring God and their Baptist heritage by fostering and funding health initiatives in our community. Founding Donor Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. is a private, faith-based, not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating access to health care for uninsured and low-income families through direct services, community partnerships and strategic grant-making in 74 counties across South Texas. Founding Donor USAA Foundation, Inc. USAA, USAA Bank and The USAA Foundation, Inc., strive to increase positive impact by providing financial support to organizations that align with our corporate responsibility focus areas. ​ ​ In local communities where USAA has a significant presence of employees, we provide financial support to causes that address needs that align with our local focus areas. Founding Donor Spellman Charitable Fund of The San Antonio Area Foundation The San Antonio Area Foundation serves as your most trusted and impactful philanthropic partner to close opportunity gaps for the people in San Antonio who need it the most. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Founding Donor / Capital Campaign - Platinum Valero Energy Foundation The Valero Energy Foundation -- a public charity and Valero's philanthropic arm -- funds nonprofit agencies that serve predominantly disadvantaged children and families. In 2019, the Foundation contributed appoximately $40 million in assistance in the communities where Valero has major operations. Founding Donor Gordon Hartman Family Foundation Gordon Hartman Family Foundation is dedicated to help bring about positive trans­formation in the lives of our friends with special needs, their families and caregivers. They strive to achieve this by investing their financial support, their time and their energy into organizations that serve individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities. Founding Donor Shield-Ayres Foundation The Shield-Ayres Foundation strengthens organizations that effectively meet the basic human needs of the most vulnerable members of our community, provide access to educational opportunity and the arts, advocate for social justice, and promote land and water conservation. ​ ​ Founding Donor St. Luke's Lutheran Health Ministries St. Luke’s Lutheran Health Ministries, Inc. is a non-profit foundation whose philanthropic focus is funding healthcare ministries that will benefit the San Antonio regional community, including direct and indirect healthcare services (medical, dental, mental health care and protective health services); health education; preventive services; wellness initiatives; and healthcare equipment and supplies that are critical to the delivery of direct care. Founding Donor Zachry Foundation The Zachry Foundation is a private, family foundation in Bexar County, Texas, founded by H. B. Zachry and sustained by family business entities. It seeks to help people improve their lives and communities by contributing to nonprofit organizations in the fields of the arts and humanities, education, health and social services. Founding Donor Myra Stafford Pryor Charitable Trust Myra died in 1943 leaving Frost National Bank as the trustee of her estate valued at $750,000 (over $10 million today) for the purposes of “a trust created for charitable purposes in perpetuity.” Today, this Trust has over $25 million in assets and annually gives over $1 million to charities and non-profit organizations. Among the many wonderful initiatives funded by Myra’s generosity are full time tutors and mentors for San Antonio’s underpriviledged youths, funding for trainers for Guide Dogs of Texas, and new state-of-the-art technology for the Mays Business School at Texas A&M. Her legacy in San Antonio lives on! You are in good company. Donate

  • Our Diagnostic Pathway | Acn Home

    Our diagnostic pathway. ACN provides access to strengths-based, individually tailored autism screenings and medical diagnostic evaluations catering to children with referrals 0-5 years and 6 months of age and their families. Evaluations are offered on-site or via telehealth and can be completed in Spanish or in English. 02 Diagnostic Evaluation Currently, ACN offers two different diagnostic tracks dependent upon the unique presentation of the child and family determined at their screening. Diagnostic teams at ACN may be comprised of any of the following neurodiversity-affirming clinical specialists: a developmental-behavioral pediatrician, a pediatric neurologist, a psychologist, an occupational therapist, a speech-language pathologist, a behavior analyst, and/or a clinical social worker. All diagnostic appointments are completed within one day to make the process as convenient as possible for the family. Autism-specific developmental screenings Initial screenings, offered via telehealth or on-site, are performed by an expert autism clinician. Our screeners globally assess to determine developmental strengths, developmental delays, and/or neurodevelopmental differences that may impede the child’s ability to function and thrive. The screening assures that each family will receive immediate feedback and recommendations for supporting their child’s development. If determined to be necessary, the family will be guided in scheduling a diagnostic appointment with ACN tailored toward their individual needs. Additionally, the provision of this screener allows families an accurate idea of their child’s developmental profile and offers recommendations for other supportive services and/or therapeutic interventions while the family waits for full diagnostic evaluation. 01 03 Earliest Connection Clinic Our Earliest Connections Clinic (ECC) was launched in January 2019 with startup funding from Philanthropitch, and continues to flourish through funding from the United Way. ECC provides surveillance and diagnostic assessment for children between the ages of 6 and 36 months of age who are demonstrating developmental differences. Evidence suggests diagnosis of autism can be quite stable as early as 14 months of age (Pierce, 2019). Families noting early developmental differences in their children no longer need to “wait and see", but can team up with ACN to “watch and support”, empowering them to understand and connect with their child and to harness the malleability and neurological plasticity of a developing brain. 04 Case Management Following the diagnostic appointment, our social work team will reach out to help you navigate the “How are WE” and "What's next?" questions. We work with you to determine supports that may be added to scaffold each member of the family’s needs and to create a uniquely tailored plan for next steps your family may consider. Our goal at ACN is to serve as a continuous platform of support for families pre-, during, and following diagnosis. We invite you to the many quality-of-life resources made available to you through our organization. Additionally, we connect you with external resources that may supplement support for your family as you begin navigating your journey. At ACN, the family is our client, and we find that when the family system is supported, the neurodiverse child can thrive. How to start: Download our diagnostic referral form. To schedule an appointment for an autism-specific developmental screener, download our ACN Referral Form for your pediatrician to complete. Download Cost of Diagnostic Services We accept many forms of medical insurance, including Medicaid. Contact Vanessa Amaya at: vanessa@acn-sa.org Cancellation Policy Appointments with ACN are in high demand, therefore, we require a minimum of 48 hours notice for cancellation, which affords us the opportunity to offer the time slot to another patient. Late Arrivals Delays happen, however, if you arrive more than 15 minutes past your scheduled appointment time we will have to reschedule your visit.

  • Caregiver Ambassador Program | Acn Home

    Caregiver Ambassador Program (CAP) ACN offers a Caregiver Ambassador Program designed to connect new and more practiced autism caregivers. Through the program, participants are able to share resources, discuss best practices, and learn from each other’s experiences. This program provides support, guidance, and education to families who are new to autism caregiving. Additionally, it helps experienced caregivers stay up-to-date with the latest research and advancements in autism care. 02 What do I ask my ambassador? Feel free to ask you ambassador anything you think might help. If you are unsure about where to go to sign up for Medicaid waiver programs, or if you need help with finding a great place for haircuts, our CAP's will share with you what has worked best for them and other resources they may have heard about. All CAP's are familiar with ACN's services and can get you to the right place if they don't have an answer. 01 How CAP works. The Caregiver Ambassador Program pairs families new to our herd with caregiver volunteers of our organization. The program helps give families and caregivers a friend who has experienced similar circumstances, successes and struggles and is further along on their autism journey. 03 What else do ambassadors do? CAP's are volunteers for the organization and may be found representing our ACN family at special events and resource fairs handing out swag and educational/promotional information. CAP's are leaders of the herd, families who have a special passion to support other autism families in any way possible. How to start: Contact our CAP Team. Autism Community Network wants to pair you with the right ambassador. Whether you are a grandparent, father or mother, we have someone who can keep it real with you, guide you to real answers, and celebrate real victories! Request An Ambassador

  • New Parents | Acn Home

    Does my child have autism? To know for sure, you should have your child screened . We do offer both screenings and diagnostics. Getting Started in 3 Easy Steps 1) Watch this video These are characteristics of children on the autism spectrum compared to children who might have developmental delays. Can you identify the differences? 2) Know the signs Our friends at Autism Navigator have created a pretty great checklist that details the signs to look out for in your child. Bring these behaviors up to your child's doctor if you notice more than one or two of them. View Checklist 3) Give this form to your child's doctor. If you are done with steps 1 and 2 and noticed several similarities in your child's behavior it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with your child's pediatrician. Below is a referral form for them to fill out so that we can schedule a screening. Download Form Our Services Get Support for Your Autism Journey at Autism Community Network Explore

  • 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® 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 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 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 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 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

  • Camp AUsome! | Acn Home

    Camp AUsome! Camp AUsome! is a great opportunity for autistic children to connect with others and have fun in a safe and inclusive environment. Our week-long programs are affordable and specifically designed to meet the unique needs of the neurodiverse community. The experienced staff is equipped to handle a variety of needs, ensuring that every child has a fun and successful camp experience. We also offer opportunities for neurotypical siblings. Check out Camp WeGo! 02 Camp We:Code. Camp We:Code is designed to inspire middle and high school students on the autism spectrum to explore the exciting world of computer science. Partnering with Youth Code Jam, we offer a five-day program focused on getting children excited about coding and the endless possibilities it offers, including future career paths. Join us for an innovative experience which will inspire, challenge, and delight your child! But wait ... there's more! We are now partnering with Youth Code Jam to offer coding opportunities to younger autistic children. Third through fifth graders are invited to join us for an hour, once a week, for a series of 26 weeks, in the Valero Community Center annex on our campus, as a part of our new collaborative After School Coding Club. After School Coding Club. This club is a safe space where any young coder can be comfortable having fun and being creative with code. Contact adrienne@acn-sa.org for more information about Club We:Code. 01 Camp We:Play Camp We:Play is dedicated to providing a safe and fun-filled environment for children developmental ages 5-12. Our unique sensory-based activities offer a balance of exploration play and structured activities, ensuring that your child learns while having fun. Join us at our own Valero Community Center and let your child experience a summer camp they'll never forget! Contact adrienne@ 03 Camp We:Go. Camp We:Go offers a special experience for neurotypical siblings to come together and create lasting memories. Our 5-day sleep away camp, held in partnership with Camp Aranzazu in Rockport, Texas, is an opportunity for kids ages 7-10 and 11-16 to bond with each other while experiencing traditional camp activities and nature. Our experienced staff is dedicated to making this a special and memorable experience for every camper. How to start: Apply for Camp AUsome! Autism Community Network is begining to take applications for our summer program and we want you to get in because spaces will be limited. It all starts by filling out the following form... Enroll Cost of Camp Cancellation Policy In the event of a cancellation, ACN asks that you notify us at least a week in advance, so that we may offer the spot to another camper and return your investment. Failure to notify ACN will result in the forfeit of your fee for camp. Late Arrivals We understand that delays can happen however we ask that you notify us if your camper will be more than 10 minutes late to camp, so that, if necessary, we can adjust locations and activities accordingly to receive them. To find out more information about Camp AUsome pricing, please email Katie Benson at: katie@acn-sa.org

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