The Texas Autism Council advises and makes recommendations to the HHSC executive commissioner to ensure that the needs of persons of all ages with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families are addressed and that all available resources are coordinated to meet those needs. The council was established September 1, 2016.

Primary Responsibilities

The Texas Autism Council performs the following functions:

  • makes recommendations to HHSC through regularly scheduled meetings and HHSC staff assigned to the council; and
  • other tasks consistent with its purpose that are requested by the executive commissioner.

Council Report

Not later than November 1 of each even-numbered year, the council prepares a report to the executive commissioner, governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the House of Representatives summarizing requirements the council identifies and recommendations for providing additional or improved services to persons with autism.

Council Members

The Texas Autism Council consists of no more than 24 members. All members must have knowledge of and an interest in autism spectrum disorder.

Each public member is appointed by the executive commissioner for a term of two years. The majority of public members are family members of persons with autism spectrum disorder.

Each ex officio member is appointed by the commissioner or executive head of the represented agency.

Public Members:

  • Melinda Bird, M.Ed., BCBA - Big Spring
  • Donna Dempsey - Fort Worth
  • Wesley H. Dotson, Ph.D. - Lubbock
  • Daniel Durany - Haltom City
  • Nicole L. Fanguy - The Woodlands
  • Ann Hart - Austin
  • Pamela Rollins, Ph.D. - Dallas
  • John Roppolo - San Marcos
  • Byron Ross, Ph.D. - Houston
  • Stephanie Sokolosky, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LPA, LSSP – Harlingen
  • Leisa M. Stewart, BSW, LBSW – Beaumont
  • Tonya Taylor – Breckenridge
  • Hsuying C. Ward, Ph.D. – Rancho Viejo
  • Ivy Zwicker – San Antonio

Ex officio Members:

  • Dana Williamson - Texas Health and Human Services Commission
  • Jennifer Kaut - Texas Workforce Commission

Ex officio members represent the following agencies:

  • Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
  • Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
  • Texas Department of State Health Services
  • Texas Health and Human Services Commission
  • Texas Education Agency
  • Texas Workforce Commission

Ex officio members have not yet been appointed

For More Information

Contact the Texas Autism Council at (512) 377-0580 or

Watch live or archived meetings.

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