Hope For Three, a local nonprofit, launched a new, free program, Parent Empowerment. The program provides parents, caregivers, and extended family members vital training, tools, and resources to help children on the autism spectrum live their best life possible.
“The interactive program provides people with a starting point after the diagnosis of autism,” said program instructor Samantha Katchy, M.A., BCBA, LBA. “People leave saying they wish they had done this sooner.”
Each of the four courses addresses a topic and covers the varied path of managing life with an autistic family member. The first session introduces and acknowledges the main characteristics of autism and what children may be exhibiting in their behaviors. “After the first session, we find many parents have a better understanding of their child, acceptance, and realization of their life journey ahead,” said Katchy.
The second and third sessions are tools for successful caretaking. Effective communication, recognition cues, positive and negative reinforcement discussed with additional resources provided. “These two sessions are crucial because they teach parents, family, and friends how to understand their child and all the many, different ways they can communicate,” explained Katchy. “The third course is really about finding additional therapies and thinking outside of the box on ways to engage children on the spectrum, like sports or specialized speech or physical therapy.”
The final session focuses on self-assessment as a parent and setting goals of confidence and empowerment. Often this is the session where parents connect and learn from one another. Overall, each session is resourceful and allows parents to network and support one another.
“I learned to lean on other parents because they can be a treasure chest of knowledge,” Sarah Hightower said when sharing her experience about the program. It is also encouraged that caregivers or close friends attend one or more sessions to understand better the dynamic personalities and effective treatments needed to provide a healthy, happy life for all.
The Parent Empowerment sessions are held virtually via Zoom for one hour each Wednesday and Saturday of the month. To learn more, register for the free sessions, or find information on autism resources and upcoming events, visit .
Photo Courtesy of Samantha “Sam” Katchy
Pictured: Samantha Katchy, M.A., BCBA, LBA. Sam worked with Hope For Three since its inception in 2011. She served as the Family Assistance Director, earned her Master’s, and became a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) licensed in Texas (LBA). Her expertise, approach, and relationships with families provide vital tools to navigate the autism journey.
12808 West Airport Blvd., Ste. 375 • Sugar Land, TX 77478 • Phone 281-245-0640 • www.hopeforthree.org