Updated 6-17-11 Updated 7-10-11
Heart of Texas Autism Network
The Heart of Texas Autism Network, a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation based in Waco Texas,  aids children and
adults affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), their families and the community in the Heart of Central Texas
area. Our mission is to empower individuals, families and communities touched by ASD to inspire a higher quality
of life.

We work to develop and improve resources to help people with ASD live, work and participate as fully  and
independently as possible in our society. We have no dues or membership fees.  Activities and programs are
provided for free or as low cost as possible.

                    Examples of what Heart of Texas Autism Network helps provide
                           for parents, professionals and the community include:

Adult Job Coached Internship Program: The Job-coached Adult Internship program is a free program which assists
with identifying the specific vocational strengths of adults on the spectrum and helps to build the skills associated
with those talents, to place the individual in a paid job position or volunteer position to provide the adult on the
spectrum with a fulfilling life of pride and functionality, giving back to the community.

Advocacy training for parentsFree workshops for parents to help them learn to advocate successfully for their
children receiving special education services in the public school system.

The Annual Mardi Gras Celebration of Art , begun in 2011, is a regionwide art competition for  student artists of
ALL ages and abilities, to raise awareness, inspire a creative outlet in all students including and especially those
with life challenges, and show the power of the arts to connect us all, beyond the limits of language.  Proceeds
benefit HOTAN's
Adult Job Coached Internship Program,  

The Annual Walk for Autism raises awareness and funds to help programs benefiting families and individuals in
the area who are affected by ASD.

Annual Winter Wonderland event is a holiday party for families with activities, refreshments, and lots of fun!

Art experiences for kids/youth on the autism spectrum: Weekly art sessions stimulate expression and creativity
(led by professional art teacher).

Gardening activities for kids/youth on the autism spectrum: Participants interact with each other and with
Nature. They experience the therapeutic properties of nurturing living plants, take part in caring for  Waco’s WE
CARE Community Garden and donate their harvest to Caritas, our local food bank (led by Texas Master
Naturalist/Master Gardener).

First Responder/Law enforcement autism training for area law enforcement and the community.   

Monthly meetings : potluck supper with speakers on topics relevant to autism. Past speakers have included:
advocates, and more. Free childcare is provided, with RSVP.

Monthly Supper Clubs for kids/youth: Groups of kids, youth and young adults with autism meet at local
restaurants or other locations; in addition to having fun, they also learn independent life skills and social skills.

Networking and referral to resources, information and services: The Heart of Texas Autism Network partners
with other nonprofits and disability groups to provide information, resources and assistance for events,
conferences, and activities .. examples of current and past collaborators include:

  • Arc of McLennan County
  • Autism Society of America, Greater Austin Chapter
  • Baylor Autism Resource Center
  • Baylor Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Baylor School of Educational Psychology
  • Childrens Special Needs Network
  • Education Service Center Region 12
  • First Friends for Autism (Killeen)
  • Grande Communications Community Ticket Program
  • Heart of Texas MHMR
  • Partners Resource Network PATH project
  • Waco Cultural Arts Fest
  • Waco Mayors Committee for People with Disabilities
  • Waco Police Department

Speaking to organizations, etc:  HOTAN members speak with groups of employers, agencies, educators, churches,
civic organizations and others about autism to raise awareness and understanding.

We have talented and dedicated families and individuals who are passionate about improving the quality of life for
people living with autism. We have members in the community who see the value of our contributions to society
and want to help further our mission.

Most importantly, we have -- we are --
families and individuals who live with ASD.  Some of us have just begun
the journey, and need a companion and guide as we find our path. Some of us are nearing the end of our own
walks, and need assurance that our loved ones will continue on safely and in good company.  We are here to help
each other, to find hope and build a better future -- for ourselves, our children, and the wider community.

We  look forward to seeing the hopes and dreams of today become tomorrow’s reality.
Join with us, and help make those dreams come true!