About Us

Our Goal

The goal of Autism Lifeline Links is to increase service capacity and eliminate wait times and barriers for individuals on the autism spectrum throughout their life. We are committed to doing this by working collaboratively and transparently to create a comprehensive person-centered system of awareness, early diagnosis, treatment and services to improve the opportunities and outcomes for individuals with autism and their families.


Autism Lifeline Links

Empower people with autism and families who care for them

  • Empower individuals, families, caretakers and the community with the knowledge and tools

Collect comprehensive data to inform community practices

  • Share plans, commit time and maximize resources to prioritize needs
  • Identify gaps in services and barriers to care

Serve the whole community through an enhanced system of care

  • Streamline the process for access to services and care
  • Build capacity to serve people with autism

Build awareness about people living with autism

  • Engage the entire community in participation, celebration and support of life events and milestones
  • Work to impact public policy and advocacy

Who We Are

Autism Lifeline Links is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2016 through an initiative funded by the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation. Autism Lifeline Links provides services in Bexar County and surrounding areas and is comprised of a group of community agencies providing care coordination, diagnostic services, behavioral support and therapy services, education and support groups, financial assistance for medical expenses and basic needs, respite care, registration with long-term support programs, and much more. Autism Lifeline Links is a coalition of agencies and organizations working together to provide quality services, resources and care for individuals, families, caregivers, educators and others in the autism community.

Guided by a steering committee comprised of community leaders, Autism Lifeline Links is committed to cooperation, collaboration and communication to provide individuals living with autism streamlined solutions to address needs and simplify access to services and support from diagnosis throughout life.

Our Story

Autism Lifeline Links’ referral agencies and community partners joined together to identify barriers that individuals, families and caregivers face in accessing resources and adequate care for their loved ones on the autism spectrum. We meet regularly and work in concert to better understand the scope of need and the gaps in service related to autism in Bexar County and surrounding areas, so we can continuously enhance and expand available resources and services. As part of these efforts, the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation commissioned an assessment around the current supply and demand for professional subspecialties serving individuals on the autism spectrum. This study was conducted by Capital Healthcare Planning and is now available as a community resource.You may access the full report here.

Referral Agencies

Autism Lifeline Links is a coalition of agencies and organizations working together to provide quality services, resources and care for individuals, families, caregivers, educators and others in the autism community.

ALL's referral agencies are part of the information sharing and referral platform designed to streamline and simplify connecting individuals and families with agencies and organizations that provide services geared to ASD.

The Alamo Local Authority for Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities in San Antonio, Texas is one of 40 MRA’s located throughout Texas and serves residents of Bexar County. The Alamo Local Authority for Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (ALA for IDD) provides the following community services and supports for eligible adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in Bexar County: Eligibility Determination; Consumer Benefits Screening; Service Coordination; Medicaid Waiver Programs such as Home and Community-Based Services (HCS) or Texas Home Living (TxHmL); General Revenue (GR) funded services; Assisted Residential Living; Present Community Options.

The mission of Any Baby Can is to serve families with children and youth facing serious health or developmental challenges. Any Baby Can services are provided at no cost – regardless of income – to families who have a child/ individual with a chronic illness, disability, developmental delay or health risk. Any Baby Can provides support services to access community resources and access to a crisis fund to pay for tangible items needed for the family or child. A health & wellness program supports families that want to improve their nutrition and increase exercise. Individuals are supported to access community recreational programs through adaptations with an ultimate goal of inclusion. The Autism Services program provides training that focuses on ABA, improving communication & reducing behaviors. Parents also have access to group and/or individual counseling, toilet/hygiene training, Safety Training, Parent Night Out and Parents Empowering Parents support and education group. Individuals and their families can access sibling support, prescription assistance and The Birthday Social Club. The child/ individual must reside in either Bexar, Atascosa, Bandera, Blanco, Caldwell, Comal, Edwards, Frio, Gillespie, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Hays, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Medina, Real, Uvalde or Wilson County.

The Autism Service Center of San Antonio is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2008 through an initiative headed by a consortium of healthcare funders concerned about the growing prevalence of autism and the rapid rise in the demand for qualified diagnostic services. The center does business as the Autism Community Network, a name which emphasizes the focus on community collaboration and networking.  The primary goals of the Autism Service Center of San Antonio are to provide interdisciplinary diagnosis and treatment for young children with autism spectrum disorder; education and training for autism service providers and families touched by autism; and comprehensive information and networking for our autism community.

The mission of the Autism Treatment Center is to assist people with autism and related disorders throughout their lives as they learn, play, work and live in the community. ATC is a private, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) corporation providing its services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Services include residential, educational, therapeutic, adult programs and research.

Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Our vision is to provide quality innovative services to help them achieve their maximum potential. The Arc of San Antonio was founded in 1954 by parents who wanted to create a network of support and services for their children with special needs. Throughout our history, The Arc has responded to the changing needs in our community by developing programs and partnerships that address the most critical issues facing people living with disabilities, including the growing population challenged with an autism spectrum disorder. Today, The Arc offers one of the largest continuum of services for children and adults with a broad range of intellectual and developmental disabilities, to include two adult day activity centers, an after-school and summer child care program, and a comprehensive case management staff to assist families throughout the San Antonio area.

Throughout San Antonio and Bexar County, Brighton Center provides developmental and educational services to children with disabilities and/or developmental delays from birth to age 22, along with family and community education. With a holistic, family-centered approach, we offer child enrichment and development through a learning center, home-based therapy services, counseling, case management, family support services and more. We seek to empower every child we serve with the necessary knowledge and skills they need to prepare for a bright future.

The Center for Health Care Services

The Center for Health Care Services (CHCS) improves the lives of people with mental health disorders, substance abuse challenges and developmental disabilities. CHCS is committed to excellence through continuous quality monitoring and improvement in a comprehensive performance measurement program. CHCS operates a wide range of psychosocial and medical programs in Bexar County whose target populations include individuals with behavioral health disorders and intellectual disabilities. CHCS also provides care and respite for the homeless population and those recovering from substance abuse problems. It is a public entity and political subdivision of the State of Texas, deriving its authority from Section 534.001 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, and, more specifically, from its Interlocal Agreement with the Bexar County Commissioners and the Bexar County Hospital District who license and oversee its operations. Originally referred to in its charter as the Bexar County Board of Trustees for Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services, the Center for Health Care Services conducts its nationally recognized programs under the expert guidance of its Board of Trustees and leadership team.

Children’s Association for Maximum Potential (CAMP) has been providing safe and fun-filled recreational experiences for individuals with special needs since 1979. Summer Camp is a series of six-day overnight summer camp sessions for children and adults with special needs who may not be eligible to attend other camps due to the severity of their disability. CAMP offers two sessions for individuals with mild to severe autism at their Camp CAMP location in Center Point, Texas. Campers experience typical summer activities, such as horseback riding, swimming, canoeing, outdoor cooking and arts and crafts. School-year programs consist of 9 monthly weekend camps designed much like the summer camp program, 9 monthly evening events (Parent’s Night Out) that offer fun and safe enrichment activities for children with special needs, and their siblings, and 9 monthly teen and adult outings (Teen and Adult Day Adventure) that offer individuals with special needs the ability to socialize and enjoy age appropriate recreation at sporting events, amusement parks, museums, and festivals.

CHRISTUS Santa Rosa has a long history of caring for the children of San Antonio and South Texas. For more than 50 years, The Children’s Hospital has developed and grown services that meet specific needs in the community – and will continue to do so well into the future. The CAP Clinic at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio offers evaluation and management services for children with autism. If your child needs a diagnosis of autism or needs a diagnosis verified, our multidisciplinary autism clinic evaluation (for diagnosing autism only) is a six hour, full evaluation every Thursday. This consists of evaluations from Neurodevelopmental Pediatrics, Child Psychology, Speech/Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Social Work, and Audiology. If your child has already been diagnosed with autism, we offer outpatient treatment and etiological work-up.

The mission of disABILITYsa is to educate, advance, and engage individuals with disabilities by sharing information, creating opportunities, and strengthening organizations that serve them. disABILITYsa connects people with all types of disabilities and their families to information about local resources, programs and opportunities that promote independence and inclusion where they live, work and play.

The purpose of the Down Syndrome Association of South Texas is to empower and support individuals with Down Syndrome and their families in order to help them find access to resources, be engaged in their community, and progress toward self-actualization. Down Syndrome Association of South Texas is to provide lifelong services and support to children and adults with Down syndrome and their families in South Texas in order to optimize well-being, develop rewarding relationships, and foster inclusion in the community.

Respite Care of San Antonio, Inc. provides direct childcare services to families caring for a child with a developmental disability. Through the provision of safe, nurturing childcare based in routine and predictability ALL children can reach their fullest potential. Parents/Guardians have an opportunity to attend work, school, tend to household and family demands as well as socialize and/or spend time with other family and friends. Respite Care’s full time child development center with RN support, Friday night, Saturday day, holiday and summer care are essential respites and reduces the incidence of child abuse and neglect while strengthening and supporting the family.

Southwind Fields builds a sense of community and provide empowerment for adults with special needs through connection, meaningful experiences, spiritual growth, and fulfilling mission work. finding purpose through meaningful experiences.

The Southwind Fields programs provide adults with learning differences the opportunity to make an impact in their community. Working alongside one another, in "Community Impact Teams", Southwind Day Program as well as the Southwind Fields Tiny House program, locals are offered the opportunity to be contracted Southwind Fields employees, being hired onto Local Work Teams, earning a steady paycheck while being active participants in an employment setting of their choosing within our organization. We are committed to our locals' highest level of independence and authenticity.

Special Reach Inc. was founded out of a desire to enrich the lives of children with special needs in San Antonio. To this end, we provide summer enrichment programs and after school programs where children with special needs can have a fun and safe experience, foster independence by building social skills, improving physical fitness, and developing healthy outlets for stress reduction through structured fun activities. These activities afford parents and caregivers a well-deserved break while the children participate in stimulating and engaging activities. Our ever popular programs include: Party Night – This program is our unique twist on Parents’ Night Out. It is designed for children with special needs (such as autism) and their siblings, and it runs ALL year. Summer Enrichment Program - This program is designed exclusively for children with special needs and runs during the summer months. Our programs are provided by trained and experienced staff who are committed to the total development of each child.

Leadership

Established and guided by community stakeholders, ALL is committed to providing individuals living with autism streamlined solutions to address needs and simplify access to services and support from diagnosis throughout life.

Cara Magrane, Executive Director

Cara Magrane, a forward-thinking, team spirited and insightful executive with more than 20 years of hands-on non-profit management experience, joined Autism Lifeline Links in February as its new Executive Director. She has substantive experience developing and successfully implementing strategic plans in operations, program development, administration, staff training and development, asset management, and general business management. Cara's professional skills were honed in a fast paced, high growth, non-profit where her focus spanned grant administration, fundraising, external affairs and special event execution. She has a proven ability to build successful strategic, long-term relationships with key stakeholders and positively influence individuals drawn from diverse backgrounds and with a range of personalities. Cara received her MBA from The University of Texas at San Antonio, Center for Professional Excellence; a BA in Sociology from Manhattanville College, and is a Licensed Child Care Administrator (LCCA) and Licensed Child Placing Agency Administrator (LCPAA).

Board of Directors

Carroll W. SchubertCarroll W. Schubert, JD serves as President and CEO of Professional Contract Services, Inc. (“PCSI”), a non-profit corporation providing support services to hospitals, military installations, and border security locations throughout the United States. Operating under AbilityOne—a federal initiative for employing people with disabilities—PCSI staffs its award-winning service teams with disabled veterans and other people with disabilities. Mr. Schubert’s distinguished career includes prior service as: San Antonio City Council member (2001-2005); Chief Deputy District Attorney for Bexar County (1983-1986); Director of Government Affairs and Community Relations for Valero Energy Corp (1979-1982); and Executive Assistant to Senator Lloyd Bentsen (1975-1978). Mr. Schubert is a longtime supporter and advocate for organizations serving people with disabilities.
Steve Enders Steve Enders served as the CEO of The Arc of San Antonio from 2010-2011. He continues as a board member of The Arc of Texas. Prior to his work with The Arc, he was the Sr. Vice President for Ambulatory Services for the University Health System, San Antonio’s public hospital and clinic system. He worked with the University Health System for 31 years and has a Masters Degree in Health Administration from Texas State University. Steve is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Leslie Neely Leslie Neely is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Coordinator for the Behavior Analysis Program. Dr. Neely is also a Doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D). She earned a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology (emphasis in Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis) and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (emphasis in Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis) from Texas A&M University. Dr. Neely’s research focuses on the application of applied behavior analysis to the treatment of problem behavior for individuals with autism and developmental disabilities. Her research also evaluates ways to improve the acquisition and sustained use of evidence-based practices by parents, teachers, and other interventionists working with individuals with developmental disabilities. Dr. Neely serves as the UTSA Director for the San Antonio Applied Behavior Analysis Project.

Founding Steering Committee

Thank you to our steering committee for their support and expertise. Their guidance was instrumental in making our program a reality.

Community Partners

Achievers Center for Education

Achievers Center for Education (ACE), based in San Antonio, Texas, is the only accredited, regional private school recognized by the Texas Education Agency that serves students functioning two or more grade levels below age appropriate. ACE provides a positive, safe learning environment for those students to reach their full potential. We feature a low student-to-teacher ratio and hands-on teaching methods that are producing amazing results. These teaching strategies have proven to be effective for many students with special needs, including autism, ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, significant learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, Tourette syndrome, anxiety and/or depressive disorders, mild to moderate cognitive challenges, and Down syndrome.

Education Service Center, Region 20

The Education Service Center, Region 20 (ESC-20) is one of 20 regional education service agencies within Texas which assist school districts in improving student performance and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of school operations. We are a non-regulatory agency; our relationship with school districts is collaborative and supportive. ESC-20 positively impacts the learning community through high quality, cost effective products and services. Our vision is to be the definitive choice for leadership, innovation, and the advancement of learning. Quality performance is a commitment to excellence by each employee — achieved through teamwork and a process of continuous improvement. We believe: in service first; our employees drive our success; collaboration maximizes results; in purposeful and effective communication; change is opportunity; in cultivating strengths; and learning is life-long.

Foundation School for Autism

Foundation School for Autism is an open-enrollment charter school, meaning that students without autism may attend, although virtually everything at the school is done with autism in mind. Classrooms have a certified special education teacher, a behavior technician and an assistant. Speech and occupational therapists and a specialist in Applied Behavior Analysis also meet with students throughout the week.

NEED LOGO

Kinetic Kids are children from ALL walks of life who experience the daily struggles of life-long challenges including but not limited to cerebral palsy, spina bifida, down’s syndrome, autism, Asperger’s syndrome, brain tumors, cancers, or other neurological disorders. These children have the desire to perform age-appropriate recreational and sports activities like their typically developing peers. They are children who may use wheelchairs as their primary mobility or they may use a walker or crutches. They may also be independent with mobility but for other reasons, are limited in their participation from recreational activities with their peer group. Our organization was established to provide health, recreational, and educational services to these children and their families. Our mission is to provide unique experiences through physical and creative activities in a supportive environment to children with special needs who may otherwise be excluded.

Mission Road Ministries

Mission Road Ministries is a non-profit organization serving more than 825 children & adults with intellectual & other developmental disabilities each day with residential, day services & vocational programs in San Antonio, Texas helping clients reach independence, productivity & inclusion in the community. Mission Road Ministries' children's programs provide residential care for children ages 3-17 years of age who have moderate, specialized or intensive levels of an intellectual developmental disability. Mission Road serves children from ALL over Texas. Mission Road Developmental Center provides residential care for adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities through the ICF-MR (Intermediate Care Facility-Mental Retardation) program and the HCS (Home and Community-Based Services) programs. Vocational programs are provided by The Unicorn Centers, Inc., located near the medical center in Northwest San Antonio. Fully governed under the direction of Mission Road Ministries, The Unicorn Centers provides both residents of Mission Road community homes and those living elsewhere, with vocational and social activities appropriate for adults living with intellectual developmental disabilities.

Reaching Maximum Independence (RMI)

Reaching Maximum Independence, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. RMI's mission is to assist children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to reach their individual maximum level of independence. Our group homes, supported apartment programs and foster care services allow individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to choose the residential option that best meets their needs. RMI's Life Enrichment Day Program and Alamo Heights Adventure Club provides opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities to learn, work, volunteer and have fun as an active member of the community. RMI welcomes opportunities to share information or provide expertise on issues that affect people with developmental disabilities. Our professional staff are available for resource fairs and presentations to educators, healthcare professionals, human service providers and families. 

SA Clubhouse

The San Antonio Clubhouse is dedicated to the recovery of men and women with mental illness and developmental disabilities by providing opportunities for our members to live, work, and learn, while contributing their talents through a community of mutual support. The San Antonio Clubhouse is a part of the international Clubhouse movement. We are a professional self-help program, operated by men and women recovering from mental illness, in collaboration with a caring staff. The emphasis at the Clubhouse is on relationships — member to member, and member to staff. Members engage with each other to regain their productivity and self-confidence, resume their lives, and re-enter society. Members also take part in promoting their rights, and in erasing the stigma that often separates them from their neighbors.

UTSA's Teacher Education Autism Model Center

UTSA’s Teacher Education Autism Model (TEAM) Center is a university-based applied behavior analysis (ABA) clinic to serve the needs of children with autism and other intellectual disabilities in South Texas. Students and faculty at the TEAM Center apply the principles of behavior analysis to address the challenges of autism and related disorders through research, teaching, and service.

The Data

What are the numbers?

30K+

people currently living with ASD in the San Antonio CBSA*

$2B

overall economic impact in the San Antonio CBSA

4K+

students receive special education support for autism today

237%

projected annual increase in the number of children needing service

And the numbers keep growing…

* San Antonio Core Based Statistical Area (Bexar, Bandera, Comal, Kendall, Atascosa, Guadalupe, Medina and Wilson Counties)


Caring for ASDs has significant cost throughout a person’s life. In the CBSA, the estimated overall economic impact of dealing with ASDs exceeds $2 billion


Ages 0-17

  • Special education expense is the most significant cost of caring for children with ASDs.
    • For children with intellectual disabilities, this expense is estimated to be over $60,000 per year, over 50% of total costs
    • Decline in Special Ed costs for older children may be a “reality” versus optimal…costs may be significantly higher
Component Cost per Year: SA CBSA (In Millions)
With ID Without ID
Residential Care $10.2 $7.6
Special Education 156.6 117.5
Services
  Medical 39.9 29.9
  Nonmedical 32.3 24.2
Productivity loss (parents) 53.1 79.6
Total Costs 292.1 258.9
Pediatric Total 550.9

Ages 18+

  • The yearly costs attributed to ASD do not substantially decrease when a child transitions out of school (Costs are estimated to increase by $2,336 per year for individuals with ID)
  • Productivity loss to the individual with ASD is a significant portion (31.3%) of the overall yearly cost
    • According to Autism Speaks, 16.8% of the population living with disabilities are employed
Component Cost per Year: SA CBSA (In Millions)
With ID Without ID
Accommodations $336.3 $252.2
Employment Support 6.6 4.9
Services
  Medical 252.5 189.4
  Nonmedical 105.9 79.4
Productivity loss
  Individual with ASD 83.5 125.3
  Parents 10.6 15.9
Total Costs 795.4 667.1
Adult Total 1,462.5
SA CBSA Total 2,013.4

The Case for Early Intervention

Effective early intervention beginning before age 3 can dramatically increase a child’s success in attending kindergarten with typically developing peers. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, this can reduce the cost of education by more than $10,000 per child per year contrasted to those who do not receive early intervention.

As noted by Autism Speaks,

“…toddlers and preschoolers on the autism spectrum who receive intensive behavioral intervention through Applied Behavior Analysis (“ABA”) benefit from significant boosts to their IQ and social-communication skills, and improvement in underlying brain responses to social cues. This type of high-quality early intervention more than pays for itself, leading to long-term cost savings and a reduction in the subsequent need for therapy and educational support services.”

Currently, Medicaid does not pay for ABA therapy in Texas. Autism Lifeline Links supports a legislative agenda advocating for Medicaid coverage of ABA therapy, and to make the case for equitable access to this intensive and effective intervention for families.

Autism Lifeline Links Privacy Statement

Your privacy is important to us. This privacy statement explains the personal data we collect from you and how we use it. We encourage you to read the summary below and to contact Autism Lifeline Links if you'd like more information.

Autism Lifeline Links is a network of clinicians, social services and other entities providing services to individuals with autism. These services are provided, in part, through a web-based HIPAA-secured platform operated by TAVConnect, which meets rigorous standards for data protection. Your personal information is gathered for demographic purposes only and may be shared between one or more of the agencies/entities participating in Autism Lifeline Links for the purpose of providing services or referring you to an ALL referral agency.

To find out more about participation in Autism Lifeline Links, please contact us.