This year, on September 23rd we're participating in NTX Giving Day and the Big Give, a one-day online giving extravaganza for our whole region. We are excited to be a part of the movement again this year!
Click an image below to learn more and donate.
Last spring, ATC launched a fundraising campaign to build a teaching garden for our San Antonio school. Thanks to the generous individuals who contributed to this project, our students are now “digging” their new outdoor classroom. Special education teacher, Rashele Hoyer, has developed a curriculum that uses garden experiences to teach math, language, art, and, of course, science.
The first plants to go in were herbs - lavender, basil, mint, rosemary, lemon thyme, and many more. Students are not only learning how to care for the plants, they are learning to enjoy them, too. Bryan (below shown watering) loves to eat basil so much he often chooses to go to the garden and pick fresh leaves as his preferred activity when he completes an assignment.
The garden was professionally designed by one of our friends, Annette Paulin, who included features like wicking tubs that would help students learn about ecology and water conservation. Annette also helped our staff, their family members, and other community volunteers build the garden, overseeing every detail and providing follow-up support to make sure the plants got off to a good start.
The purpose of the garden is about so much more than teaching our students to grow plants. Gardening helps them build confidence and develop independent living skills they’ll need to live and work in the community after they graduate.
Like many of the tools and resources ATC uses in our programs, this garden was made possible by the monetary gifts, in-kind donations, and volunteer service from our friends in the community. To learn how you can help with other projects that improve the lives of children and adults with autism, contact Carrie Nelson in Dallas (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Cynthia Hamilton in San Antonio (email@example.com). There are many ways you can make a difference!
Anna Hundley, told me she would give me 60 days, and then evaluate me. I’m still waiting for that evaluation!
What has kept you at ATC for 40 years?
Honestly, it was the individuals who took my heart. My love for the kids kept me here. My motto is “give them the best quality of life possible,” and I have just always wanted to be around to make sure that happened. Also, I loved watching Cedric interact with the kids. He’s now the Environmental Coordinator and Contact Tracer for ATC.
What do you enjoy doing outside of ATC?
I love traveling! I collect jewelry and watches, as well as art from all the places I travel. I’ve been to Africa, Australia, Europe, and most recently (before the pandemic) on a trip to the Virgin Islands. I also collect masks (about 75 now) from all the countries I visit. I want my next trip to be to Dubai after the pandemic is over. I also want to travel around America in my retirement.
Thank you, Tuffy, for your years of service and the lifetime of love you’ve given our individuals!
Several of the adults in our Dallas program enjoy volunteering in the community, but due to the pandemic all activities were put on hold for the past year. We are all very excited to get back out there and have begun volunteering with Meals on Wheels again!
We asked a few of the adults: Why do you like volunteering with Meals on Wheels?
"I like it because I like to get out and help the older ladies." - BP
"I like to help the handicapped." - LW
"To help the older people and homeless people." - LL
When the COVID-19 vaccine became available for the general public, we heard from parents who were concerned their child's challenging behaviors would keep them from getting the vaccine.
Thanks to our partners in Dallas and San Antonio - DMS Pharmacy, Tom Thumb, The Perot Foundation - we are providing sensory-friendly vaccine clinics in both communities for youth and adults with autism and their family members. For dates and registration information on upcoming ATC vaccine clinics, visit www.atcoftexas.org/vaccine
We know how hard the children and parents in our programs have worked towards their goals and it has been a priority to make sure the progress that has been made isn't lost. We appreciate the patience and support of the clients and families who have put their trust in us.
Each of our 3 therapy clinics are now open.
Lydia has had a great school year and we have loved getting to know her!
Lydia joined our program a little over a year ago and has made wonderful progress with social behaviors and conversation. With her behaviors improved, we can now see how strong her creative side is.
Lydia has shown great interest in artistic expression and we love to see her creations! To help her utilize this interest, her teachers are giving her more opportunities to work hands-on by learning to apply vinyl decorations to mugs and tumblers. With her new skills, Lydia is creating unique items for herself and to sell in the ATC retail center. In addition to being more expressive, she is learning valuable skills to increase independence and build confidence. Lydia also loves fashion, writing in her journal, going on walks with her peers, and getting manicures and pedicures to relax. We're so proud of Lydia and look forward to seeing how she learns to express herself more and more. Everyone at ATC agrees that her amazing enthusiasm will brighten your day!
A Mobile Wonderland
Although Morgan's Wonderland, San Antonio's ultra-accessible theme park, is closed for the rest of the season due to COVID-19, they are continuing to bring joy to people with disabilities.
On August 17th and 24th, ATC students and residents enjoyed a Morgan's Wonderland parade that visited our homes and school with music and lights. The parade featured the Morgan's Wonderland bus, vintage cars, and police vehicles from the San Antonio Police Dept. They were greeted with signs, cheers and lots of excitement from the ATC spectators!
1st Class Divas Drive-Thru Parade
We have wonderful new friends in the 1st Class Divas volunteer group. ATC has been chosen as their adopted charity to receive needed funds, supplies, and fun surprises! We were happy to invite the group over when they asked to hold an event at our Dallas location. The Divas set up a drive-thru parade and spent the day handing out goodie bags full of activities and gifts, autism awareness buttons and bracelets, and even brought a special cake to enjoy. Everyone at ATC had a wonderful day and we are pleased to welcome the 1st Class Divas into the ATC family.
This is the Leek family. Monica (seated) is the eldest daughter of Len and Patty Leek and lives in one of ATC's Dallas area group homes. This is the first time in 6 months that the family has been all together.
When the world came to a halt in March, so did family visits. Due to Covid-19 many difficult restrictions and procedures were put in place by the State/County to protect our residents, their family members, and staff. This meant that families were no longer allowed to visit their loved ones in our group homes. Phone and video calls were arranged, but we all know that just isn't that same as a nice face-to-face chat.
As restrictions eased the team began working on a way to bring our families safely back for long overdue visits. We are so excited to now be able to welcome our families for outdoor visits! It has been a long road and we are grateful for the patience and support of the Leek family.
These photos also show our first patio makeover to provide a comfortable place for families to enjoy their time together. We have 17 more homes that will be getting a patio upgrade thanks to donations made during North Texas Giving Day.
Celebrations of birthdays and other milestones are very different for everyone right now, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be special. ATC team members work together to make sure every resident’s birthday is an occasion to remember. Direct care staff decorate the home and organize a party with the birthday boy or girl’s favorite meal and dessert to share with housemates. A special thanks to Princess, one of our Case Managers, who took time to shop for presents and deliver them wrapped in time for the big day. For ATC, caring for our residents means more than keeping them healthy and safe, it means creating and sharing moments to celebrate with them.
We still need your help. It is often difficult to purchase for all of our homes due to quantity restrictions. Click here to see how you can help keep the children and adults in our homes happy and healthy.
Parking lot pep rally!
We celebrated local teenager AJ Ortiz with a parking lot pep rally! During the time of COVID-19, AJ decided to fundraise for and donate more than 140 hours of service, in just 3 weeks, to create almost 200 handmade Autism Awareness key chains. He chose ATC as one of its benefactors, and presented a check of $576, having donated 30% of the proceeds to the ATC’s residential program for children and adults with autism. Click here to buy one of AJ’s puzzle keychains.
Check it out! There are 191 people who have named ATC as the charity to benefit from their Amazon shopping. You can too!
Click here to make ATC your AmazonSmile charity. Thanks for supporting ATC while you shop!
Donations will be used to purchase therapy equipment, classroom supplies, and PPE for staff, and will help create comfortable visitation spaces for families at our 24 group homes.
Plano Magazine is partnering with My Possibilities to feature #ChangeMakers in the disabilities community. Our very own Dr. Carolyn Garver is featured this month! She truly is a change-maker at ATC and everywhere she goes.
“I’ve never had two days alike here. I like seeing people achieve things; I like to see people succeed. Our individuals need our help, but they can achieve things we wouldn’t have thought possible,” Dr. Garver shared. “With the right support and education, you don’t know what they could achieve. Don’t count anyone out.”
Click here to read the full article
What a great day!
An amazing group of ATC staff and Roundup for Autism volunteers visited our community group homes (from a safe distance and with masks on). Our friends at Roundup provided a BBQ lunch and invited local musician Joshua Ingram to provide some entertainment. It was a special day for everyone! A big THANK YOU to all who helped make this happen.
A Ton of Kindness (literally!)
Mary Helen Flores and family donated 2,000 pounds of fresh produce (of which ATC received 500 lbs!) to area group homes and nonprofits who support South Texas families and individuals with developmental disabilities. Her son's, Chef Michael Flores and Tommy Flores helped coordinate the pick at River City Produce of fruits and vegetables for our 7 group homes.
Thank you, Mary Helen, for your generous gift and all this healthy food our residents will be enjoying this week!
Getting through this together! We have had so many wonderful supporters stop by with donations of food, supplies, and money they have raised to support our needs at this time. Here are just a few! Our friends with the Order of the Alhambra Caravan #269 delivered a check to ATC for $1,000 (left). A board member donated 4,000 rolls of toilet paper (middle)! Several members of the community have stopped by with donations of needed food and household supplies (right). We are so grateful for the continued support from our community!
Standing Together at ATC
Though our school, day programs, and therapy clinics are closed at our main campuses our dedicated staff continues to provide essential services to 128 children and adults who live in our community group homes.
Our teachers have prepared lesson materials for at-home learning for our students and our therapists are using computers and iPads to provide speech therapy sessions online.
Personal Care staff who live in our 24 group homes are making sure everyone is healthy and safe while organizing learning opportunities and fun activities. Days are filled with board games, puzzles, and time outside in the backyard.
We truly could not carry on without our amazing team!
We are excited to announce that the San Antonio Area Foundation has awarded ATC a $50,000 grant to train more Board Certified Behavior Analysts on how to provide telehealth ABA services.
Having more trained professionals providing therapy online will increase the number of families who are able to receive help. We can't wait to get started!
Click here to learn more about the COVID-19 Response Fund and the caring businesses, donors, and foundations who have made this gift possible.
ATC received a $50,000 grant from The Dallas Foundation Covid-19 Relief Fund for supplies, staffing, and technology needed during this crisis. We are so thankful for this amazing support!
Rock N Roll Fundraiser
We had a great time at the Elvis Birthday Bash on January 12th! A BIG thank you to all our sponsors, volunteers, guests, and donors who made it such a special evening.
We raised $7,000!
Do you hear what I hear?
The 2019 Berkner High School "Encore" Choir stopped by our Dallas campus to sing Christmas carols with our students and adults. We're grateful for this talented group of students. What a wonderful surprise!
In May 2019 the Imagine Beyond Foundation hosted the 3rd Annual Tread Blue 5k Walkathon & Fun Run benefitting ATC. In a sea of blue shirts, volunteers, sponsors, and participants gathered at the Warren Sports Complex in Frisco to raise funds and awareness of autism.
The runners and walkers all had a great time and raised $15,700! A big thank you to the Imagine Beyond Foundation for their amazing support of ATC!
Congrats to our 2019 Grads!
ATC congratulates our 2019 graduates, William and Jalen, on their dedication and hard-earned success! Congratulations also to the teachers, staff, and the entire support team for their tireless work to Change Lives and Build Futures everyday.
Grand Opening in San Antonio
In May 2019, ATC cut the ribbon on our brand new 20,000 sqft. Learning & Opportunity Center!
Check out our video from the celebration on our facebook page. We were honored to have opening remarks from U.S. Representative Will Hurd, Councilman Clayton Perry, District 10, and John Courage for District 9 .