About us

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!

Cofounders - Jonathan Chism, Emmanuel Arowolo, Jesse Esparza

Executive Committee - Jonathan Chism, Emmanuel Arowolo, Jesse Esparza, and DeAndrae Hinton

Jonathan Chism, PhD

Jonathan is married to Dr. Courtney Miller-Chism, a hematologist oncologist at Baylor College of Medicine. They are proud parents of Jonathan Jr. and Jasmine. Jonathan Jr., aka Jay or Jaybear, was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 years of age. He loves hugs and is a music enthusiast. He is currently in elementary school. We appreciate the support received from family, ABA speech therapists, teachers, and our village over the years. Jay is nonverbal and has been working hard to learn new words and sounds and to use his communication device to express his needs and wants.


Jonathan Sr. is also an Associate Professor of History at the University of Houston-Downtown and a fellow of the Center for Critical Race Studies. He is passionate about grassroots organizing and has demonstrated a strong commitment to serving marginalized communities. From 2008 to 2014, he founded and served as Director for the Path to Freedom Prison and Reentry Organization at St. John’s Downtown United Methodist Church. As a faculty member at UHD, he has also partnered with the Urban Enrichment Institute from 2015-2020.

Emmanuel Arowolo, Esq.

Emmanuel and his wife, Tari, parent Preye, their 9-year-old daughter, who was diagnosed with moderate to severe ASD at age three. Preye has a neurotypical baby brother, Michael, age 7. Preye loves music, movies, and Art. She loves to make her own comic books and has stated many times that she wants to be an illustrator.  Her favorite treat in the whole world is a chocolate fudge scoop with rainbow sprinkles from Baskin Robins. Preye also loves swimming and is always willing to go to the pool or a beach with her best bud Michael! She just started learning the Piano and continues to surprise her parents with her kindness, intellect, grace, and determination. 


Emmanuel is also a Senior Business Immigration Attorney with Houston-based Immigration law firm, Foster LLP. He joined Foster as a legal assistant in 2012, after working as a paralegal with Boutique firms in Atlanta and Washington DC.

Jesse Esparza, PhD

Jesse and his wife, Susie, parent Mateo, their 11-year-old son, who has been on the spectrum since he was three. Mateo loves music, dancing, and cuddling. His favorite foods are pizza, tacos (of any kind), chicken strips, and popcorn. Mateo also enjoys swimming, bubbles, and playing with his marble run set. He is in the Reach 1 program in the schools for Alief ISD and will return to ABA therapy in the Fort Bend County area. Mateo has three older siblings who help in their own way to care for their little brother.


Jesse is also an Associate Professor of History and the History Graduate Program Director at Texas Southern University, where he has taught since 2009. His area of expertise is the history of Latinos in the United States, emphasizing civil rights activism. Jesse received his B.A. and master’s degree in History from Southwest Texas State University and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Houston.

DeAndrae Hinton

DeAndrae Hinton, a devoted father, and Special Education Department Chair in the Houston Independent School District (HISD), skillfully blends his personal experiences with his professional expertise to champion the cause of students with special needs. Drawing inspiration from his son Dillon, who is on the autism spectrum, and his daughter Daja, DeAndrae obtained a Bachelor's degree in Special Education from the University of Houston-Clear Lake and a Master's in Educational Leadership from the University of St. Thomas. His initiatives emphasize inclusivity, diversity, and quality education, creating a nurturing environment for students, educators, and families. Beyond his impactful role in HISD, DeAndrae is deeply involved in community outreach to support autism awareness, demonstrating his commitment to enriching educational and societal frameworks. 

Additionally, DeAndrae is the author of My Favorite Mistakes: Lessons I've Learned Through Accountability, a reflective work that delves into the power of personal growth and professional integrity. This book, available wherever books are sold, offers insights into embracing mistakes as stepping stones to success, further highlighting DeAndrae's multifaceted contributions to education and personal development.

Strethen Eliot Townsend

Strethen Eliot Townsend

ADSC Memberships Coordinator

Jonathan Parker

Jonathan Parker

ADSC Social Media Coordinator