News


If you would like to be kept informed of our efforts, news, and events, please take a moment to sign up to receive our Newsletter.


Connections Created: AST April Recap!
April is always our busiest time of year and 2022 was no exception! We started a new cohort of our Path-Building Employment Program, presented to PayPal on Autism Acceptance and Awareness, and our Executive Director was on New York City’s NPR station, WNYC, to discuss women and Autism, and why so many are misdiagnosed(listen here). Our Autistic adult Support and Skills group discussed career interests, cultivating a growth mindset, learning styles, and leadership roles! We wrapped up the month with a very successful 14th Annual Texas Autism WalkWe had an amazing day at Dreamland in Dripping Springs, making connections with over 500 participants and raising $62,500 to support programs for Autistic children, adults, and their caregivers across the state! This was our first in-person walk in over two years and it was wonderful getting to see everyone come together and create connections while supporting the Texas Autism community. Thank you to everyone who took part in this event, we are so grateful. Our highlight of the month is a quote from a participant in our Autism Friendly Business Program, which helps businesses and organizations implement inclusive practices to better serve their neurodiverse employees as well as the Autism community; “I learn something every time I’m around this team.”
Autism Acceptance Month – How To #CelebrateDifferences & Support AST!

The Autism Society of Texas believes that acceptance is creating a world where everyone in the Autism community is connected to the support they need, when they need it. And by everyone, it means every unique individual: the implacable, inimitable, and irreplaceable you. We are asking you to #CelebrateDifferences with us for Autism Acceptance Month!

From Autistic individuals who require robust 24/7 support systems to Autistic self-advocates living fully independent lives, the experiences across the Autism spectrum are myriad. No one experience is the same as another so we make room for the infinite ways in which members of the Autism community can be represented. That’s why we love #CelebrateDifferences because when we celebrate differences, we embrace the diversity of needs, abilities, and experiences in the Autism community through acceptance. Together, we can improve opportunities in inclusive education, employment, housing, health care, and long-term services and supports for individuals with Autism, no matter where they are in life’s journey.

Be the connection and support the Autism Society of Texas today.

Join our Texas Autism Walk and amplify the #1in44 children diagnosed with Autism across the country! 

Register to walk, sponsor, become a resource fair vendor, or volunteer at our Texas Autism Walk on April 24th at Dreamland in Dripping Springs! To celebrate Autism Acceptance Month, register to walk now thru April 3rd at midnight with code ACCEPTANCE to get 20% off! Then share your walk page with your circle to spread the word.   

Funds raised from the Texas Autism Walk go towards our work of creating connections, empowering everyone in the Autism community with the resources needed to live fully!

Use your voice and platform to celebrate, educate and support the Autism community! 

Social media is a great tool to amplify the message of #CelebrateDifferences! You can do this by sharing and engaging with Autism Society of Texas posts or, if you are comfortable, by sharing your own connection with the Autism community and telling your followers why #CelebrateDifferences is important to YOU. 

No individual or family’s story is the same as any other, and the Autism Society of Texas believes the world should recognize the infinite ways the Autism community experiences life. In sharing our unique stories, we are able to highlight the need for acceptance, inclusion and connections that support people on the Autism spectrum throughout life’s journey.

If you haven’t already, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Youtube!

Take action by becoming an AST volunteer! 

From event support to letter writing to outreach, we are able to have a greater impact in the lives of individuals in the Texas Autism Community thanks to our amazing group of volunteers! Sign up for our volunteer list to be contacted whenever we need your help! (Want to volunteer for our Texas Autism Walk? Sign up to volunteer here!)

#CelebrateDifferences by Making a Donation!

Connections Created: AST March Recap!

 

In March we hosted our first recreation event in partnership with Big Thicket National Preserve in East Texas! Ranger Tera is hosting nature walks geared towards the Autism community during our Big Thicket Third Thursdays!

In our Path-Building Employment Program (PEP), participants were invited to create a video resume with a provided template to practice their presentation skills, and they also learned about programs and employment opportunities that they could pursue after their six month program ends! Our Autistic adult groups learned more about dental hygiene from Austin Community College Dental Hygiene program, and another topic covered in March was a discussion on belonging, forming relationships, and personal identities.

Our Parent/Caregiver Connection groups continue to meet online all over Texas, and we are glad connections are being made! We hope you’ll connect with us and get involved!

 

Connections Created: AST February Recap!

February was a great month! We had a lot of fun with volunteers at our Austin Marathon Aid Station, and cheered on our amazing runners for #TeamAutism! Thanks to everyone that participated, we raised over $10,000 and we were able to secure a $10,000 match from The Moody Foundation to use to fund programs! We are so grateful! We hosted our second Seminars Across the Spectrum series, “Sex Ed. Guidance: What Everyone Needs To Know” presented by Dr. Michelle Garcia & Brian Delgado, MA. We heard from many families that they were happy to get such great information on such an important topic! The adult support group learned about the impact that healthy food and good oral hygiene have on overall health, and we launched our new San Antonio parent/caregiver group this month!

Our employment program cohort has been learning about how to manage tough situations that can come up in the workplace. They heard Dana Sayre about the importance of setting good boundaries and the cost of masking at work. They have also been focusing attention on what it’s like to start a new job and strategies for how to plan for the first day of employment.

Our highlight was some wonderful feedback from an attendee at one of our Autistic adult support groups; “Sharing about ourselves, setbacks, successes, & struggles. It’s great to know I have support & help when needed.” AST is excited about these connections! We invite you to join us for an event or group and connect with us!

February 2022 News

Our February Newsletter is out! From our 14th Annual Texas Autism Walk registration opening, to our Seminars Across The Spectrum “Sex Ed Guidance: What Everyone Needs To Know” presentation, there is a lot happening in the coming months!
 
Read our February newsletter here:
https://mailchi.mp/texasautismsociety.org/feb2022-astnewsletter
 
Subscribe to our newsletter here 📬: www.texasautismsociety.org/subscribe/
Connections Created: AST January Recap!

We had a great start to the year with our first Seminars Across the Spectrum, “Preparing Tweens and Teens for Adulthood”! Our team continues advocacy efforts behind-the-scenes, and our Executive Director was quoted in a press release from Disability Rights Texas, “Increased Arrests of School Staff for Violent Restraint of Texas Students”.

Our wonderful staff members, Amiee and Jordan, presented to the University of Texas Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Program on high school to workforce transition and its impact on employment outcomes. Our Path Building Employment cohort learned about interviewing skills. Our adult group and Employment cohort worked on conflict resolution with a Spin-a-Wheel conflict game and were challenged to imagine how they might feel and think, and how they could react to the conflict. Our online Dungeons & Dragons Recreation Group saved the crew of a stranded airship by fighting off an attack by Zombie Gorillas.

Our January highlight was some wonderful feedback from an attendee at one of our caregiver support groups, “I always feel an overwhelming sigh of relief after taking part in these meetings. Connecting with everyone is such an amazing experience.” We hope you’ll take advantage of our groups and events and make your own connections! 

 

Medicaid Coverage for ABA Begins 2/1/22!

After years of advocacy work by the Autism Society of Texas along with stakeholders, partners, and our many families around the state who testified, completed our action alerts, and contacted legislators, we are thrilled that families who rely on Medicaid for insurance coverage will finally have access to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy beginning 2/1/22! ABA Therapy is evidence-based and helps individuals with Autism learn critical skills that lead to improved independence and autonomy.

This benefit is open to children enrolled in Medicaid through age 20. (CHIP is not part of this program).  A recent Autism diagnosis is required (within the last three years) which must also include the Autism diagnostic level (one, two or three). The child must have a referral (like a prescription) for ABA therapy from a medical professional.

We understand an official Provider Directory may be coming, and we will post it here when available. Below is a list we have compiled to help families find providers in their area. Families should also check with their Medicaid plan to get a complete list of approved Medicaid/ABA providers since ABA providers are still undergoing approval.

Texas ABA Providers Accepting Medicaid
Compiled by Autism Society of Texas (Updated 2/22/22)
Business Location Website Status
Absolute Behavior Advancement Houston https://www.absolutebehavioradvancement.com/ Contact for more information.
Autism Behavior Support Statewide locations autismbehaviorsupport.org Currently enrolling clients.
Baucom Behavioral Greater Austin (in-person ABA)/ Parent Coaching (telehealth-multiple locations) Baucombehavioral.com Currently enrolling clients.
Divergent Abilities Austin https://www.divergentabilities.com/ Currently enrolling clients.
elemy Statewide locations https://www.elemy.com/ Currently enrolling clients.
Lighthouse Learning Center Panhandle/West Texas Counties www.lighthouselearning.org Currently enrolling clients.
Mindcolor Autism Statewide locations https://www.mindcolorautism.com/ Currently enrolling clients.
Paso Del Norte Children’s Development Center El Paso https://pdnchildrens.org/programs/applied-behavior-analysis-aba/ Currently enrolling clients.
Radiant Autism Center DFW https://www.radiantautismcenter.com/ Currently enrolling clients.
TeamPBS Statewide locations https://www.teampbs.com/ Currently enrolling clients.
The Outcomes Place Houston www.outcomesplace.com Currently enrolling clients.
True ABA Statewide locations TrueABA.com Currently enrolling clients.
This list was compiled by the Autism Society of Texas. Additional providers will be added as they receive approval to begin enrollment. If you are a Medicaid ABA provider, and you would like to be included here, please complete the form below. Need help? Contact support@texasautismsociety.org.

Are you an approved Medicaid ABA provider and would like to be included? Please fill out this form:https://tinyurl.com/ASTABAProviders

If you need additional guidance or support, or are experiencing issues accessing an ABA provider or with the new Medicaid benefit, please contact our Navigating Autism team at support@texasautismsociety.org, or 512-479-4199, Ext 2- English, and Ext. 3-Spanish.

—————-

Would you like to be included in our Advocacy email list? If yes, please add yourself here! https://tinyurl.com/ASTadvocacy

To hear about support groups and events around the state, sign up for our monthly newsletter here: https://www.texasautismsociety.org/subscribe/

We’re Hiring a Development Director!

Development Director (Part-Time)

Job Description

OVERVIEW:

The Autism Society of Texas (AST) is the state affiliate of the Autism Society of America, which is a non-profit (501c3) organization that works to improve the lives of individuals with Autism by providing education, information, support, and advocacy for people with Autism, their families, educators, professionals, and the community-at-large. The Autism Society of Texas is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

Mission: We create connections, empowering everyone in the Autism community with the resources needed to live fully. 

The Autism Society of Texas’ Development Director position is part time and offers opportunities to engage with the community, its leaders, and potential new supporters in an effort to raise funds in order to support the mission of the Autism Society of Texas.

AST is seeking a professional with a strong background in fundraising, grant writing, and cultivating individual and business donations and partnerships, as well as excellent donor stewardship skills. This is a newly created position which will require between 20-30 hours per week. The Development Director is responsible for planning, organizing, and directing all of Autism Society of Texas’ fundraising initiatives including capital campaigns, planned giving, fundraising components of events, and any revenue generating initiatives and programs. The Director works closely with AST Staff and Board of Directors in all development and fundraising endeavors.  

POSITION SUMMARY:

The Development Director reports directly to the Executive Director. The Director is responsible for knowing the vision and mission of the organization, as well as the strategic plan. The Development Director will design annual development plans based on the direction of the organization. Some evening and weekend hours are required, as well as occasional travel for major fundraisers, events, or conferences. We have a positive work environment and offer a flexible schedule with the option to work remotely for some of the time. At the time of this posting, we are working 100% remotely due to COVID-19, but will resume a mix of remote and office hours at our office in North Austin when it is safe to do so.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Must embrace the mission of the Autism Society of Texas.
  • Strong interpersonal and writing skills.
  • Have knowledge and experience in fundraising techniques, particularly major gift fundraising.
  • Proven experience in grant writing.
  • Possess the skills to work with and motivate staff, board members and other volunteers.
  • Talent and drive for building external relationships.
  • Be a “self-starter” and goal driven to initiate donor visits and fundraising calls.
  • Be organized and exhibit “follow through” on tasks and goals.
  • Display a positive attitude, show concern for people and community, demonstrate presence, self-confidence, common sense and good listening ability.
  • A bachelor’s degree.
  • Minimum of 3+ years experience in professional fundraising.
  • Demonstrated experience with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook. 
  • Donor database management experience preferred.

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES:

  1. Meet prospective donors and supporters on a continual basis to establish effective communications with them.
  2. Grow a major gifts program including identification, cultivation and solicitation of major donors.
  3. Oversee grant seeking including research, proposal writing, and reporting requirements.
  4. Build the planned giving program with a focus on deferred gifts such as bequest expectancies.
  5. Direct the annual fund program, including mailings and annual fundraising drives.
  6. Direct capital campaigns and other major fundraising endeavors.
  7. Coordinate fundraising special events in conjunction with AST staff.
  8. Oversee prospect research.
  9. Work closely with the Executive Director and Board of Directors.
  10. Make public appearances/accept speaking engagements to share information about the Autism Society of Texas when needed.
  11. Attend and coordinate Board Development Committee meetings.
  12. Oversee fundraising database and tracking systems.
  13. Supervise and collaborate with fundraising volunteers and any contracted staff.
  14. Provide content for the creation of publications to support fundraising activities.
  15. Maintain gift recognition programs.
  16. Demonstrate professional conduct at all times.
  17. Occasional travel for major events or conferences.
  18. Perform other related duties as requested.

SALARY:

Range: $22-30/hour. This is a part-time salaried position. 

Salary dependent on experience level and agreed upon part time hours. 

Mileage reimbursed at state rate.

TO APPLY:
Please send resume and cover letter to office@texasautismsociety.org or apply via Indeed.com.

January 2022 News

Read what’s happening this month! We need runners and volunteers for the Austin Marathon, check out our Houston parent/caregiver group, and learn about our upcoming education event, Preparing Tweens & Teens for Adulthood!

Read it here. Subscribe here.