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  • Writer's pictureGiset King

Autism Dads Creating Change

What is the name of your organization/ work ?

The name of our organization is Autism Dads Social Club (ADSC)

What is the vision of your organization ?

Our vision is to facilitate social engagement opportunities for Houston area dads of children with Autism by creating events for dads to network and support each other. We also aid Houston area ASD children in development of social skills through recreational activities.

What inspired you to start your organization?

We sensed there was a need for dads to have a space where they could meet others like them to engage with and teach and learn from.

What are some obstacles or difficulties you have faced?

Raising money to offset costs of events has been a challenge. Presently, the organization founders and executive committee (Emmanuel Aro, Jonathan Chism, and myself, Jesse Esparza) along with our partners and families have used personal funds to sustain family events. Additionally, other dads also contribute financially to our events. The most pressing challenge, however, is getting more dads to our events and creating an established pipeline of participation.

What has been the most rewarding moment as a Community Leader?

I would say meeting new dads, their families and children on the spectrum has been extremely rewarding. Seeing families interact with one another, without judgement, is also extremely rewarding. Seeing our own children on the spectrum attempting to exercise their own socializing skills is the greatest feeling in the world.

What would you like to achieve with your organization/work in the near future?

We hope to continue to create more and new opportunities for dads in the Houston area who parent children on the spectrum to engage with other dads and to grow our membership and participation. We also hope to foster relationships among our families and provide opportunities for our autistic children to develop their social and communicative skills.

How do you balance work, home and community work?

It's tricky. We are all full-time workers, full-time dads, and full-time community organizers. The group meets once a month but the executive committee meets more than that to plan and organize events. We meet in the evenings between the end of our work days and just prior to running bedtime drills with our children. I have found it useful to establish a routine (such as we do for our children on the spectrum) and stick to that to try to balance work, home, and community. Certainly our partners and family members assist and it is because of them that we are able to establish some form of balance.

Who is someone you admire and why?

I admire children on the spectrum because I see and recognize the hard work they do. And I have seen how that hard work has paid off. I really respect that of our learners and find it inspiring. I work harder because of that. Similarly, I admire the siblings of children on the spectrum. I see how patient and loving they are and it brings me to tears knowing that our kids have a wonderful village that loves them and that wishes them success in all they do.

What will you say to other Special Needs Dads that feel overwhelmed?

I will tell the Dads that might feel overwhelmed parenting children on the spectrum that they are not alone. That they too have a village that they can belong to get any support they might need or want. No one should have to go at it alone. There are countless groups for support. A great place to start is with the Autism Dads Social Club.

Here is the information so you can connect with this wonderful group !

You can find us on Facebook at Autism Dads Social Club. Or you can learn more about ADSC at Similarly, you can email us at

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