Autism Dads Social Club is a Brotherhood of Fathers in Houston, Texas

About Autism Dads Social Club

We are dads dedicated to affirming, supporting, and advocating for our loved ones with autism. We are committed to serving our families and the autism community. Thank you for connecting with us; we look forward to serving and seeing you at one of our meetups or community events!

Tell us more about who you are and what you do?

We are a social club–a brotherhood of dads committed to supporting, affirming, and loving our kids and families with autism unconditionally.

We aim to do something fun and social for dads. We have a monthly dad social at a restaurant, pool hall, bowling alley, driving range, etc.  

We also host fun social events for our families—typically associated with a festive holiday such as Easter, Halloween, and Christmas. We have a family picnic and back to school drive in the summer. Our main goal with all of our events is to help families with autistic loved ones form authentic social relationships. We welcome dads to become members of our social club and assist with the development of our organization and programming. 

  • Jonathan Chism, ADSC Co-Founder

Tell us the reason behind starting your organization?

I and two other dads (Emmanuel and Jesse) with children on the spectrum founded the club in 2022. We want dads to know they are not alone on this journey. There are several support networks for moms. We exist to support and strengthen dads. We also organized the Autism Dads Social Club for our autistic children and families to meet and bond together.  Besides facilitating relationships among dads with autistic loved ones, we want our autistic kids to know each other and to support them in developing social connections. We strive to provide a safe space for dads, moms, autistic kids, and their siblings to gather without fear of judgment.

  • Jonathan Chism, ADSC Co-Founder

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What resources would you like Dads to walk away with when joining your group? 

The primary resource is a sense of community, understanding that there is a brotherhood here to support them through this Autism Journey. Secondly, I’d like dads to have access to the ADSC network of organizations and community service providers, so they have the assistance they need to provide the very best care for their child, with an eye towards their child’s individual needs. We are continuously seeking out partners within private and public sectors to grow and develop this network.

  • Emmanuel Arowolo, ADSC Co-founder

What myths about raising children on the spectrum aren’t true?

It is not so much a myth but a misconception that AU children exist exclusively in an autism bubble and are completely defined by their autism diagnosis. The reality is that autistic individuals are every bit as intelligent, capable, creative, and full of potential as anyone else. Their brains just operate in a different way.

  • Emmanuel Arowolo, ADSC Co-founder

Who is Dr. Chism as a Father?  

I am a father to two beautiful children, Jonathan Jr. (“Jay”) and Jasmine. I deeply value being present in the lives of both my neurotypical daughter (six years of age) and my nonverbal autistic son (eleven years of age). I enjoy cooking vegan pancakes for my daughter, who expects them every single Saturday, playing chase and other games with her, and taking her for non-dairy ice cream. Probably like most dads of girls, my little girl has me “wrapped around her finger.” She has a soft spot in my heart.

Despite his communication challenges, I have a strong rapport and connection with my son. I strive to engage him by doing things he enjoys, such as riding his bicycle or scooter, visiting a trampoline park, rocking with him to his YouTube songs, and playing wrestle on the couch. I am the gentle, but firm male figure in his life who holds him accountable. While his mom handles our daughter’s extracurricular programming, I take Jay to speech therapy, OT therapy, and other extracurricular activities.

With both of my kids, I recognize the priceless value my presence brings to their lives. As their dad, I am honored and thankful to be blessed to engage, love, nurture, teach, and support them throughout their lives.

  • Jonathan Chism, ADSC Co-Founder

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Any advice to other parents raising children on the spectrum? 

Take the time to truly understand your child as an individual, focusing on who they are beyond their diagnosis. It’s easy to become fixated on their challenges but remember to see them for the unique person they are. Identify and nurture your child’s strengths. Regardless of where they fall on the spectrum, every child has talents and abilities waiting to be discovered. As parents, it’s our job to uncover these strengths and help our children harness them to their advantage.

  • DeAndrae Hinton, Executive Committee Member

What’s one thing you’ve learned about yourself as a father since starting your group? 

Being part of this group has taught me a valuable lesson about the importance of connection. Before joining, I realized I had isolated myself, assuming that navigating my journey as a father of a child with autism was solely my burden to bear. However, discovering a community of fathers facing similar challenges has shown me that I’m not alone. Through this group, I’ve found a supportive environment where dads can come together, share experiences, and break the barriers of isolation. This newfound sense of belonging has made a profound impact on both my life and my son’s.

  • DeAndrae Hinton, Executive Committee Member

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What’s been your biggest hurdle when raising a kid on the spectrum, and how did/are you working to overcome that hurdle?

One of the greatest hurdles was not accepting the diagnosis and not understanding it. I found it overwhelming and overbearing. But once I accepted the diagnosis, it no longer felt burdensome. And in time, I learned to take it one day at a time. Establishing goals helps. But while we strive for the established goals, we don’t forget to enjoy the journey as well. And when the work gets hard, because it will, we take a breath, reset, and get back to grinding.

  • Jesse Esparza, Executive Committee Member

Where do you see your organization in 5 years? 

I expect a growth in membership locally. I also see us expanding the organization into chapters across the state and nation. Ultimately, I hope this organization impacts policy, particularly the way families receive services for their children, as no one should be without medical services, ever.

  • Jesse Esparza, Executive Committee Member

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What’s next for your organization, how can people follow you, etc?

ADSC is collaborating with Code Ninjas on Saturday, May 18th, between 2:00 and 4:00 at 9029 Hwy 6, Ste 140, Missouri City, TX. 77459

ADSC is hosting its annual Family Picnic on June 29th between 10 am and 12 noon at Brushy Lake Pavilion (10515 Shipmans Landing, Missouri City, TX. 77459)

You can learn more about ADSC at


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