Helping Today, Building Tomorrow
January 2017 - Issue #113
AZA logo
In this issue...
Creating a Dream Team
Parent Training
Autism Awareness Training
Job Opening

AZA Online

Link of the Month

Raising Special Kids is a nonprofit organization that provides free information and training to parents of individuals with a full range of disabilities.  


A Program for Siblings to Have Fun
AZA United's Sibshops program is now available to all siblings of children with autism and other special needs, ages 7 through 14, in the valley!  You do not need to be a current AZA client to participate.

These fun and energetic events acknowledge the life-long concerns of siblings and facilitate connections among participants in a relaxed and recreational setting. During these sessions, triumphs and concerns are discussed providing attendees the tools to handle challenging situations that are usually experienced by siblings. 

These events are led by our Sibshops certified clinical staff.  We typically also offer an optional activity for the parents at the same time, such as a support group or a training session.

Our next event will be on Saturday, February 4th from 10 AM to 12 PM at our offices. To register, click here. Space is limited!

For questions, contact or 480-302-5152. We hope you can join the fun!

Creating a Dream Team for Your Child
By Olivia Fryer, Outreach Coordinator

From a parent and professional perspective, I know the struggle that parents endure when trying to find the right habilitation and respite provider for their child. I've been there, I get it. Having to wait to be matched, finding a provider, the match not lasting for whatever reason, and having to be put back on a matching list. Sometimes it feels like just when things are perfect, life happens and changes need to be made within your team. It can be frustrating, but never give up hope. The perfect team is out there! I have a friend who refers to her team as the "Dream Team." So how does one build their own dream team?

For starters, always make sure AZA United (or any other agency you are working with) has your most current availability and current address! Throughout the valley, there is an abundance of families in need of services and, unfortunately, there just are not enough providers. Make sure you don't miss an opportunity to be matched with a great provider because the agency had outdated information.

Of course, you still may end up waiting for that call while the agency continues its search.  During that time, instead of feeling left in the dark, look around! Think about all the people your child encounters on a daily basis, whether at school, daycare or within the community. Your dream team could be right in front of you! Maybe a relative or close friend is interested in working with your child.

If you are not having luck finding a provider from within your community, there are other outlets available. Posting an ad for a position to work with your child often leads to great results and more options for families. Doing your own recruiting allows you to get a feel for potential providers, and rest assured that AZA United will screen any candidate you send our way to make sure they meet all the hiring requirements and have the necessary certifications before working with your child.

Many families have found great success in finding providers from local colleges and universities. Arizona State University offers free job postings, and the Maricopa Community Colleges offer $25 job postings. Many neighborhoods also have their own social media groups. Others utilize websites such as, Nextdoor, the Arizona Autism Network of the West Valley  or their local newspaper classifieds.

It's true what they say, it really does take a village to raise a child. Feel free to contact Arizona Autism United for further recruiting resources. Here's to finding your Dream Team!

Parent Training Classes Start in March
Sign up now for Family Fundamentals, a hands-on program for parents to learn strategies that improve your child's communication, socialization and behavior. 

Parent training is the primary focus of Family Fundamentals
. Parents are trained to implement specific strategies, allowed ample time to practice implementation, and receive immediate feedback by a highly experienced clinician.

The cost of this program is designed to allow any family to participate without financial barriers.  We have scholarships available for any family needing financial assistance.    

Classes begin March 6th. Enroll now - space is limited! For more info and to register, click here .
Autism Awareness Training for the Community
Think of all the different places our children with autism visit on a daily basis and how their experience could be improve. Schools, libraries, after-school programs, day cares, gyms, aquatic centers, sport teams, stores, etc.

Each of these could benefit from AZA United's free Autism Awareness Training . This program helps peers, staff and other members in the community become more aware of the challenges that children with autism can face.  

The goal of our Autism Awareness Training is to encourage members in the community to accept, include and support children with autism in daily activities.  This awareness training gives people the opportunity to learn about autism and encourages inclusive relationships. It is designed to support and complement anti-bullying programs that might already be in place. 

Autism Awareness Training is being offered to public schools in Maricopa County at NO cost
, thanks to generous grant support from Cox Charities, Phoenix Suns Charities, Safeway Foundation and Walmart. We thank you for your support of families in AZ! There may be a small fee for other groups. 
For more information, contact AZA United's Autism Awareness Trainer at . 
New Administrative Job Opening
AZA United is now hiring for an Early Intervention Service Coordinator to help with intakes, scheduling, authorization management, and communicating with families.  If someone you know has a passion for helping autism families, understands ABA and Arizona's service delivery systems, and is an administrative whiz, please share this opportunity!  Qualified candidates can learn more and apply online here.

Picture of the Month
"My grandson loves going for walks with his 21 year-old uncle with autism."   

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