Meet the Team
Board of Directors
My name is Kelly Andrus. I have two boys, and an incredibly supportive husband. My older son was diagnosed with classic autism at 18 months. We didn’t have anyone in our friend and family circle that had autism or even knew much about it when Bradley was diagnosed, and I felt very lost and alone. I just started pounding the internet looking for a group to join. I found a couple of women with newly diagnosed children in the DFW area and reached out to them. We were all in different parts of the metroplex, but we wanted to badly to have other mom friends to relate to that a little traveling to see each other and have dinners didn’t matter. We would text and email each other, but sometimes it got confusing and sometimes we wanted to share funny autism stories and pictures with each other. So I decided to start a group on Facebook where we could do that. That group grew from 6 moms to where we are now in just a few short years! It really showed me how important this group is. I have heard time and time again "I didn’t have anyone who really understood until I joined this group". That is what makes the time and effort worth it. We now have our 501c3 status, a GREAT board of directors, volunteers and an incredible group women that are here for each other. The future holds great thing for us.
As for myself personally, I am a working mom. I’m a graphic designer for a large home builder. We are active with several different rescues in the DFW area. We have 2 fur babies of our own. We fostered and ran a rescue for 10 years before we had kids and it is still a big part of our lives. Admittedly, AUsome Moms takes up the majority of my free time, but we love filling up our weekends with playdates, gymnastics, equestrian therapy, birthday parties, movies and family fun. We are so lucky to have so many AUsome Moms in our immediate area. It’s rare that a weekend passes that we don’t do something with one of them and their kiddos. The women of AUsome Moms are definitely my second family. My sons are Bradley, who is 9 and ASD, and my 4 year old stinker Wilson, who is neurotypical. I have been married to my husband for 19 years, Brandon, who supports AUsome Moms behind the scenes in more ways than anyone knows. Most of my family lives close and we are beyond blessed to have such a supportive one that cares about us and Bradley’s progress and beautiful spirit.
Board of Directors
Hi, I'm Francheska Medina, Wife, Mom, advocate, Essential Oil hippie.
My husband and I have a beautiful little boy, Christian-who has autism. He was diagnosed at age 3 on the moderate-severe end of the spectrum. In spite of the prognosis given to him, we have watched our boy defy incredible odds. He also inspires me daily to pursue my greatest purpose in life; fighting for him.
In the four years since Christian's diagnosis, I have spent every moment pursuing answers for our child. Although my job title is "Stay at home Mom", a majority of my day is spent outside of the home. My work encompasses shuttling Christian to his 6-day per week therapy schedule, constant research for the best care, doctor's appointments for the co-morbid conditions that accompany his diagnosis, attending medical seminars, and generally fighting for my child to have the best life possible. All of this fighting and living with autism, comes with an emotional toll as well, so I am so incredibly grateful for the amazing support group of women that make-up AUsome Mom's. I am also so proud to be a part of the Board of Directors, and truly hope to make a meaningful impact in the autism community.
Prior to making the decision to be a "stay-at-home Mom", I worked as an LVN, and am currently working toward obtaining my Bachelors degree in Nursing.
Matt and I live in Carrollton, TX with our son Christian.
Board of Directors
Hi. My name is Vanessa Avila and I am married to a wonderful man named Micky. We have two amazing little monsters, Nathan, our AUsome 5 year old and Joslyn, our 2 year old diva in training. My career is in the financial services industry and I am currently the Director of Client Reporting for an asset management firm in uptown.
Our journey started when our son was diagnosed at 2.5 years old. I hit the ground running the day he was diagnosed and haven’t stopped since. But I felt like I was trying to drink from a fire hydrant. So when I saw information about the AUsome Moms Facebook page in Thrive Magazine, I was excited. Here is a local group of other mom’s who have been where I am.
The moms in this group are incredible ladies. Everyone is so willing to share their experiences, the good and the bad, to help other moms. We all come from different beliefs and backgrounds, but we all share a unique bond. We celebrate each other’s triumphs and pick each other up when we’re are having a rough day. It is a safe place for mom’s who get it and I am incredibly lucky to be part of this sisterhood.
I have also been blessed with a strong and supportive extended family. I don’t know where we would be without my parents. They watch my kids while we work and shuttle Nathan to and from therapy. They are just so understanding and words could never express my gratitude for them. My sister, who is always willing to watch the kids and probably loves them like her own. My grandparents, in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins – have all been supportive in our journey.
“Autism was a journey I never planned for. But I do love my tour guide.”
Hello! My name is Rocio Pardo and I am a proud AUsome mom.
I grew up in Peru and moved to the United States in 2000. I have always had a passion for education and working with little children and God blessed me with three wonderful children of my own: Two NT boys ages 16 and 13 and my AUsome girl who is 10. We live in Flower Mound, my children attend Flower Mound schools and I work in a bilingual Prek at a school in the LISD district.
My journey with Autism started when my daughter was 2 and, similar to many AUsome parents, I started this journey not knowing much about Autism.
We have come a long way since we started. The past eight years have been a roller coaster with many rainbows and some rain but this journey brought so much knowledge and understanding and most importantly has allowed me to meet amazing people who are an important part of my life now. I am excited to be part of this wonderful organization and to have the opportunity to connect and support other AUsome moms through my position in this board.
My name is Jennifer Erp, and I am a single mom to one amazing guy! My son, Braden, was diagnosed in 2001 at the age of 3 so I have been on this journey for many years We have gone through elementary, middle, and high school and are now navigating the exciting world of adulthood. I am a single parent and I work full time as an elementary school counselor. We currently live in Plano.
Our journey started shortly before Braden’s third birthday, when he was evaluated for PPCD. Back in 2001, it was hard to find resources, ABA therapy was financially out of reach for a single parent on a teacher’s salary, and support groups were hard to find. We forged our own way and I made autism mom friends through online support groups spread out across the world, but local support was something I had not figured out how to find.
I have been so blessed to find AUsome Moms and make amazing friends. Braden and I like to stay busy and active, as I have found getting him out into the community to be one of the best “mom therapies” for him. I am excited to join the AUsome Moms team planning fun events for teens and young adults!
Beth is a wife of 15 years to Shane, and mom to two boys on the spectrum, Micah (14) and Brian (12) whom she home schools. She is passionate about supporting other AU moms, and making sure children with Autism feel they have a place to belong.