AUGUST 2018 | ISSUE 132
Visiting the Largest Autism Charity in England

Dr. Aaron Blocher-Rubin, CEO
 
This year, I received a very special honor when the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust accepted my application to be a Piper Fellow.  This unique program provides grant funding for organizational leaders with at least 10 years of nonprofit experience to design a yearlong "fellowship" experience to enhance individual skills and organizational impact.  We at AZA United are focusing heavily on expansion planning to grow existing services, add new programs for all ages, and open new centers around the state.  Therefore, I thought the best opportunity for me would be to go visit some of the most well-known autism organizations in the world to see what they do, get some ideas, and make new connections.  
 
In June, I completed my first trip to the world famous National Autistic Society (NAS).  They are headquartered in London, but they serve all four countries in the United Kingdom.  Their programs span all ages from "early bird" (newly diagnosed toddlers) to elderly.  They have schools, homes, day programs, support groups, a scientific journal, an international helpline, accreditation programs...they do a LOT.  Maybe that's not surprising, considering they have existed for over 50 years!  One of their co-founders was Lorna Wing, the parent and researcher who first identified the idea that autism exists on a "spectrum."  NAS also has a strong public policy influence, including a recent law passed with the support of the Autism Parliamentary Group requiring all university programs that train future general education teachers to include a class on autism.  Wow! 
 
In general, they have a strong mission focus on autism awareness and building a more inclusive society.  They do many campaigns to educate the public, including a large one called "TMI" that was all about helping people understand what it's like to experience sensory overload (too much information...), and how that affects a person's ability to participate in the community.  One specific program they have that I would love to see happen here in the USA is the "Autism Friendly Award," which certifies businesses who take specific steps to make their companies more welcoming and supportive for people with autism and their families.  What a great idea!
 
If you'd like to learn more about NAS, you can listen to several interviews that I recorded with some of their directors for AZA United's new "Sr Plus" podcast.  

Sandra Day O'Connor High School- Change for a Cause

Arizona Autism United would like to thank the students and faculty of Sandra Day O'Connor High School! After meeting with our Outreach Coordinator, Olivia Fryer, and learning about autism and AZA United, the school's Psychology Club and Brain Bee Club were motivated to raise funds to help support families in needs of services. Through a collection drive, a garage sale and a candy sale, the clubs were able to raise $1,000! Thank you to the students for all their hard work!
Fix your Windshield and Support AZA United

Are you driving around town with a chip or crack in your windshield? Our friends over at Jacksons Car Wash can help! Jacksons Car Wash is a proud supporter of AZA United. Through the Jackson Cares program, for every windshield replaced, they will donate $50 to AZA United! Simply schedule an appointment and use the referral code: AUTISM! Most replacements are covered by insurance. Jacksons Car Wash has 11 Valley locations and they are a mobile company, so they will come to you!
Announcements

Have you checked out AZA United's new podcast for BCBAs, autism professionals, and leaders of human service organizations? "Sr+" is the scientific term for  positive reinforcement .

Search for "sr plus"
on Apple, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn or wherever you get your podcasts.




Upcoming Events

Join us on Saturday, September 1st for our next Sibshops event! The event will take place from 10am to noon at the offices of AZA United. Sibshops are intended for sibs 7-14 years old. Registration is required.

For more information contact  familyoutreach@azaunited.org
or call (480) 302-5152 
Link of the Month


Looking for tools to help your child succeed this school year? The Autism Helper, Inc. is dedicated to empowering those who support individuals with autism by providing resources, tools, and the methods to measure success. They support teachers, parents, clinicians, and administrators. 



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