The roots of our organization began with two women with hearts full of enthusiasm, innocence, and a lot of support from family and friends. Tammy, who has a child with autism, was planning a concert dinner with her friend to benefit a school for children with autism. She discussed this idea with her friend, Jeannie, who felt that a one-time fundraising event was not enough. The two women talked extensively about topics related to autism and the struggles that families affected with autism encounter. They expressed frustrations over the lack of awareness and funding for autism.
Tammy, a Houstonian, business owner, and graduate of University of Houston Law Center, found herself lost and confused when her child was first diagnosed with autism. The search for treatments was complicated and frustrating. It required a tremendous amount of time and resources to get help for her child. But she discovered that there is an extensive network of well-qualified professionals, locally and nationally, who are ready to take on the challenge of treating children with autism. She wanted to share her experiences in order to help provide a roadmap for the families of children who are affected by autism. Her goal was to help make the journey for
other families a little easier. Together, Tammy and Jeannie formed The KNOWAutism Foundation to increase autism awareness and to help families affected by autism by providing education and resources.
The two women charged into unfamiliar territory; forming a non-profit organization, promoting awareness, and fundraising for their new cause. As with the start of all great things, the co-founders were faced with many challenges and obstacles. But they were also being blessed with encouraging friends, supportive families, and a group of well-qualified professionals who were willing to commit their time and expertise to getting the Foundation off the ground. Most importantly, they were blessed with spouses who supported and believed in them and their cause. Since its start in 2013, the KNOWAutism Foundation has grown tremendously and continues to seek greater opportunities to change the lives of children and families impacted by autism.
Note: Jeannie resigned her position as co-founder and board of director at the end of 2013 to focus more time with her family and on her career. She will continue to support children with special needs at her church.