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  • Events | Acn Home

    Events coming up. Featured Event Camp AUsome! Date: We:Play June 24-28 We:Code July 8-12 We:Go August 5-9 Time: Varies by Session Location: The Valero Community Center Annex 535 Bandera Rd. San Antonio, TX 78228 Info: Email katie@acn-sa.org for more information. Get Started About Camp AUsome! Embark on a transformative journey with Camp AUsome! where individuals on the autism spectrum and their caregivers find a welcoming and enriching environment tailored to their needs. Our camp has three distinct sessions led by expert clinicians and trained volunteers ensuring a safe and supportive environment, and are carefully designed to provide campers with unique opportunities for growth and exploration. In June, dive into the sensory wonders of We:Play, a vibrant and exploratory play camp for autistic children ages 5-10. We:Play, held mornings from June 24-28, will allow participants to engage in sensory-based activities designed to foster social communication and discovery of the world around them through interactive play. ​ For neurodivergent middle and high school students fascinated by coding, ACN offers We:Code. In partnership with Youth Code Jam, We:Code is a supportive environment for coders at any level to learn new skills. From July 8-12 in the afternoons, Youth Code Jam's team of highly trained mentors will guide participants through the intricacies of coding, while ACN's program staff ensure an inclusive learning experience for everyone. Finally, We:Go, taking place from August 5-9 at Camp Aranzazu in Copano Bay, Texas, is tailored for neurotypical siblings of autistic children, providing a memorable sleep-away experience filled with fun activities and opportunities for connection. Join us for Camp AUsome! and embark on a journey of discovery, growth, and community! More upcoming events. April 2024 May 2024 June 2024 United Way Kidsfest Autism Community Network will join with community partners from all over San Antonio on April 27 for a certified Fiesta event celebrating kids! It's a fun day for everyone, and ACN is so excited to share the experience with our herd. For more information on how to join the fun, email katie@acn-sa.org . BIG Futures Fam Jam Another Fam Jam is coming your way on May 31 from 5:00-7:00 PM. The theme for this fun family event is "A Celebration of Pets" with our friends at Therapy Animals San Antonio. Coffee and Connections - Spotlight Event Join ACN for a special Coffee and Connections panel on fatherhood, AUsome Dads: A Celebration of Father's Day and the Special Bond Between Dads and Their Children. Facilitated by Dr. Carrie Alvarado and Adrienne Gaither, this unique Coffee and Connections session will be an extra thirty minutes longer than a typical session to make sure our panelists can answer all of your questions. Let's Get Social

  • FAQ's | Acn Home

    Frequently asked questions. How is ACN connected to the neurodiversity movement? ACN identifies as an ally of the neurodiversity movement, promoting empowerment, connection, and communication within the autism community. Our staff engages in regular training regarding implementation of neurodiversity-affirming, strengths-based practices, and many of us have lived experience of having a loved one on the spectrum. Who leads ACN and provides its services? ACN is led by professionals and a dedicated board, many of whom are parents or family members of neurodivergent individuals, ensuring first-hand understanding of caregivers' challenges. How can I get involved with ACN? You can get involved with ACN by attending events, participating in programs, volunteering, or making a donation to support our mission. How can families benefit from ACN's services? At ACN, we empower the family & caregivers to be the best providers they can be. We help guide you and help you show up for your autistic loved one. Families can also benefit from ACN's services by gaining access to early diagnosis, therapies, resources, support groups, and empowerment programs. Is ACN's assistance available in Spanish? (hablamos español?) Yes, ACN provides assessments, therapies, and resources in both Spanish and English to meet the diverse needs of families. Sí, ACN brinda evaluaciones, terapias y recursos tanto en español como en inglés para satisfacer las diversas necesidades de las familias. How can I support ACN's mission? Tell your friends about us and the work we are doing. You can also support ACN's mission by making donations to help us continue providing high-quality services and resources to the autism community. How can I become a volunteer for ACN? Just reach out! Send us an e-mail to info@acn-sa.org. We've got great things coming up and can always use your help! Does ACN collaborate with other organizations? Yes, quite a few actually! ACN prioritizes forming partnerships and alliances with like-minded organizations to create a broader network of support for the autistic community. Reach out if you think we might be a good match for you. How does ACN contribute to the San Antonio community? ACN strives to make the San Antonio community more accessible and supportive for individuals with autism and their caregivers. Our new inner west side campus is here to serve, and we welcome everyone to take part in raising the bar for autism care and inclusivity in South Texas. How does ACN promote autism awareness and acceptance? ACN's programs, services, and events all work towards raising awareness and promoting acceptance of autism within the community. We encourage aunts, uncles, grandparents, teachers, and first responders, everyone to join our herd and create a circle of protection around the autistic individuals that make our world so special. How can I stay informed about ACN's events and programs? You can stay informed about ACN's events and programs by attending Coffee and Connections sessions, signing up for the blog, subscribing to our emails, following us on social media, or checking out our events page. What is the difference between Pre-K and ECSE? ECSE stands for Early Childhood Special Education. It is a program for children 3-6 years old that have received an educational evaluation and qualify for special education services to help transition into the school setting. Pre-K is typically provided to children 3-4 years old. Program admission is based on a variety of factors. If you are interested in your child attending either of these programs, you should speak to your local school district. Does my child have to be toilet-trained to go to school? No. When a child with developmental differences qualifies through educational testing for a classroom called Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), they do not need to be toilet-trained to attend. In fact, goals related to your child’s education will be made specifically for them based on this educational testing, and often, toilet-training is one of those goals. This means that the school staff will partner with you to help get your child toilet trained as part of their individual education plan (IEP). Please note that the ECSE classroom is different than a Pre-K 3 or Pre-K 4 classroom because it falls under the special education umbrella, and children must qualify for the program through individualized educational evaluation. My child has a school diagnosis, do they need a medical diagnosis as well? Your child will benefit from having both a school diagnosis, which is called educational eligibility, and a confirmed medical diagnosis of autism. Educational eligibility will assure that your child is given the correct variety and intensity of educationally-focused therapies and supports, while a medical diagnosis helps your child gain further access to clinical supports that might be recommended. It is important to note that children do not have to wait for a medical diagnosis of autism to gain access to therapy, as even a determination of developmental or speech-language delay might open the doors for your child to begin intervention as early as possible. How do I know if my child has been medically diagnosed? At Autism Community Network, you will receive direct feedback from the doctor and other members of the diagnostic team at the end of your visit. During this conversation, your child’s unique profile will be discussed at length, along with recommendations for support, and you will have ample opportunity to ask any questions you may have. When you receive the full report, this diagnosis will be stated in the document, and you will have the opportunity to schedule a follow-up session with our LCSW to review results and any further questions you may have. How are ACN's evaluations conducted? ACN offers strengths-based autism screenings and diagnostic evaluations tailored to each family's needs, available in both telehealth and in-person formats. Does ACN provide speech therapy services? ACN offers specialized, evidence-based social-communication therapies. What educational programs does ACN offer? ACN offers training, educational programs, and learning opportunities, such as Coffee and Connections sessions, corporate trainings, and professional conferences. What is the goal of ACN's autism screenings? ACN's autism screenings aim to identify developmental differences and provide immediate feedback and recommendations for families. How does ACN's diagnostic evaluation process work? ACN offers various diagnostic tracks and collaborates with a team of specialists to provide comprehensive evaluations tailored to each child. Usually, it starts with a screening request that is sent over from your child's doctor. My child got a diagnosis of autism from a different agency, but I didn't like the testing; can you re-test him/her? Unfortunately, at this time, we do not offer re-evaluations once a child receives an autism diagnosis. Do you provide ABA therapy? Autism Community Network provides rigorously tested, developmental-relational, parent-mediated therapies, proven to support enhancements in child social-communicative functioning that generalizes to varied environments and interactive partners and sustains over time. ACN does not offer ABA therapy and respects each family and individual’s right to explore alternative, science-backed interventions that align with their preferences and values. Does ACN provide OT/ST/PT? Autism Community Network does not provide traditional OT or ST services; however, our specialized services are completed by occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists trained to fidelity in their various autism-specific approaches that can therefore be billed as OT and ST. We do not provide PT at this time. My child is diagnosed. Do you offer parent training classes? Yes! We offer group classes and individual therapies to support parent education. Please see our offerings in the Services section of this website. My child is diagnosed. Do you offer respite care? While Autism Community Network does not provide respite care, we are officing with an organization that does! Please see this website about Special Reach for details. https://www.specialreach.com/ My child is diagnosed with a different provider. Can we receive services within your clinic? Absolutely! As a matter of fact, we often hear from families diagnosed elsewhere that they wish they would have known about all our offerings sooner. We would love for your family to be a part of our herd! What is Autism? Autism is a difference in development which may impact communication, the sensory system, relationships, and social interactions. Autism is lifelong and it is of critical importance to address as early as possible due to the malleability of the brain during infancy and early childhood. What are some common signs of autism? Common signs of autism may include challenges in social interaction, communication difficulties, repetitive behaviors, and sensitivity to sensory stimuli. Is there a cure for autism? There is no known cure for autism, but early intervention and various therapies can help individuals with autism develop skills and improve their overall quality of life. Can individuals with autism live independent lives? Many individuals with autism can lead independent lives with appropriate support, therapy, and interventions tailored to their needs. Are boys diagnosed more than girls? This is a compelling question. While data suggests more boys are diagnosed than girls, girls often present quite differently which requires a very seasoned eye to identify markers typically present in the female phenotype. If you are concerned about your daughter, please reach out to info@acn-sa.com Is autism a lifelong condition? Yes, autism is typically a lifelong condition, but early intervention and appropriate support can greatly improve an individual's quality of life. How common is autism? Autism affects approximately 1 in 44 children in the United States, making it a relatively common developmental disorder. Are there different levels of autism severity? Yes, autism severity differs based on the level of support the individual requires. The technical name for autism is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) because its signs and symptoms vary greatly along a spectrum. My child is sensitive to noises. Does that mean they have autism? No, although most autistic people people experience sensory processing differences, there are also many people with sensory processing differences who are not autistic. My child is showing characteristics of autism. Where do I begin? Come see us. We can schedule your family for a screener where we can help discern your child’s profile and recommend further testing should the clinician deem it necessary. If you have found this website, you are already on your way! We can provide you with many other helpful resources once we get connected. Still can't find what you're looking for? Write us a short message and well get back to you right away! First Name Last Name Email Write a message Thanks for submitting! Submit

  • Training | Acn Home

    Training. The Autism Community Network is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with autism and their families through support, education, and advocacy. Our Caregiver Empowerment Program offers training for familial and professional caregivers, medical residents, student clinicians, education professionals, and the wider community to ensure that everyone who interacts with autistic individuals can provide them with the best possible care. 01 Coffee and Connections. Search Check out our quarterly and register! Coffee and Connection is our weekly virtual series that brings together experts in their respective fields to share insights and best practices on popular topics related to autism. From classes such as “Self-Compassion for Caregivers” and “Whisperings of the Sleep Fairy”, our series covers a broad range of important issues to help support autistic individuals and their families. Join us virtually every Friday from 9-10 am and connect with others in the autism community while gaining valuable knowledge and support. 02 Professional Conferences. Our organization is committed to providing a diverse and enriching array of professional conferences to support caregivers and professionals in the field of autism and neurodiversity. Our flagship event, the Annual Summit, is a must-attend gathering featuring expert speakers and a comprehensive program covering a wide spectrum of topics relevant to your work. Whether you prefer virtual or in-person attendance, this event ensures you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the autism community. For those seeking even more in-depth knowledge, Autism Community Network offers two summer intensive programs, “Neurodiversity University” and “Making ‘Sense’ of Autism.” Both programs delve deeply into the intricacies of autism and neurodiversity. The intensives equip attendees with invaluable insights and strategies to better support individuals on the spectrum. 03 Trainings on Request Search View class offerings At Autism Community Network, we understand the importance of community education and empowerment. We offer a range of training options that can be customized to meet the unique needs of your organization. Whether you require inclusive practices for your business or are seeking continuing education credits, our team can provide comprehensive group training sessions, ensuring that you and your colleagues are equipped with the necessary tools to create more inclusive environments. In addition to our diverse training offerings, we are excited to introduce "My Beautiful Brain," a specialized program designed for neurodiverse youth. This program empowers young individuals to embrace their unique qualities and understand what makes them exceptional. Through a series of engaging and interactive sessions, participants gain self-awareness and a sense of pride in their neurodiversity, fostering a positive self-image and enhancing their self-esteem. Our flexible training sessions can be tailored to your organization's specific needs and schedules, ranging from 30-minute workshops to full-day seminars. Furthermore, our Valero Community Center is available to provide an appropriate and welcoming space for your training and educational needs. We are dedicated to advancing education, awareness, and support in the field of autism and neurodiversity, and we invite you to join us in our mission. 04 Mentorships At Autism Community Network, we place a strong emphasis on mentorship as a cornerstone of professional growth and development in the field of autism and neurodiversity. Our commitment to fostering mentorship opportunities is exemplified through our participation in various programs and initiatives. One such initiative is our collaboration with UTHealth's Profectum DIR BASIC Certification Program, where we actively support and mentor doctoral-level occupational therapy students seeking to obtain certification in the Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationship-based (DIR) model. Our experienced mentors guide aspiring professionals through the certification process, providing invaluable insights and guidance to help them excel in their DIR practice and better serve neurodivergent individuals. In addition to the certification program, we offer mentorship opportunities through our intern and medical residents programs. These programs provide hands-on experience and mentorship for individuals at various stages of their careers, whether they are students, recent graduates, or medical residents specializing in autism-related fields. Through these initiatives, participants gain practical knowledge, refine their skills, and receive guidance from our seasoned professionals, ultimately contributing to the growth of a more knowledgeable and compassionate workforce dedicated to autism and neurodiversity. Our commitment to mentorship underscores our mission to empower individuals to make a meaningful impact in the lives of those affected by autism and related developmental differences. We believe that by nurturing mentorship relationships and fostering a culture of continuous learning, we can create a more inclusive and supportive world for neurodivergent individuals and their families. How to start: Learn more about our training programs. Excited to start learning? Contact us below, and we'll be sure to find the program that fits your specific needs. Enroll Cost of Training Cancellation Policy Cancelling a training requires a 48 hour notice. Our staff are passionate about helping the community. A cancellation may offer another organization the ability to take your place, or open a spot for our staff to work one on one with a family in need. Late Arrivals The policy for late arrivals is program specific, and based on the preferences of your organization and our presenters. If you are going to be late, we ask that you alert the appropriate parties in advance. Cost of training is tailored to your specific needs. For more information, contact Katie Benson at: Katie@acn-sa.org .

  • The Center | Acn Home

    The center. 535 Bandera Rd, San Antonio, TX 78228 Harvey E. Najim Campus The Harvey E. Najim Campus, generously donated by Harvey E. Najim, is dedicated to the service of the autism community. Our new center opened its doors in July 2023 and allows us to provide state-of-the-art treatments and diagnostics for individuals in need. We are also able to scale our services to better meet the needs of the growing population we serve. We are proud to announce that we will begin offering adult services in the near future. Our goal is to ensure the autism community in South Texas has a place to call home with all the support they need. What the new campus means for you. New programs & services Less diagnostic wait time. You have spoken, and we have heard you. Our new campus houses +4 new employees and 2 more observation rooms to handle multiple screenings at once. Our goal is to significantly reduce the time spent on our waiting list. More inclusivity. Our new campus allows us to offer expanded, wrap-around services for the whole family. Additionally, we can now provide more long-term support for our children as they age. Better community integration. Our generous donors at Valero have made it possible to host community events and resource fairs in our fully equipped Valero Community Center. From Camp AUsome! to our sensory-friendly holiday events, we are sparking a flame in the ever-growing autism community. Cozier environments. When you step into our building, you'll notice something special. We've designed it to feel just like home - cozy, welcoming, and peaceful. You won't find harsh fluorescent lights or noisy, echoing hallways here. Instead, we've crafted sensory-friendly spaces, not just rooms. Smarter play. We are huge proponents of learning social skills through play and child-led interactions, so we have created our space to be targeted to the autistic person and their caregivers. From the customizable projections on the climbing wall to the state-of-the-art video rePLAY system, we put play first. Relevant learning spaces. There is a world of opportunity out there, and big futures await. We have added immersive environments dedicated to teaching autistic children and their caregivers daily life skills. We look forward to seeing you in our teaching kitchen or back for Camp We:CODE. Leave your mark. ACN is providing exciting naming opportunities for our new campus. Name a wing, room, or help us pave our entryway with a dedicated brick. You can donate to ACN and support us in our effort to develop an amazing new facility. Donate today and make your mark on ACN! Customize a brick Location location location. Where we are building. Our new campus is located in the inner-west side of San Antonio, Texas. We believe that being in this area provides a centralized location to serve all of San Antonio. We're proud to serve from here and look forward to creating new relationships in the community. Please come by for a visit! Book your next event in our Valero Community Center. ACN's new campus features the amazing Valero Community Center annex space, fully renovated and equipped with a catering kitchen, restrooms, and floor-to-ceiling windows that open to the outdoors. For more information contact: info@acn-sa.org

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