Helping Today, Building Tomorrow
October 2017 - Issue #122
Arizona Autism United (AZA United)
In this issue...
2017 Caring Hearts Luncheon
Meet Our New CFO
Opportunities for Habilitators
Our Case for Support

AZA Online

Link of the Month 

Ten Halloween tips and ideas for families with children with autism at the Autism Speaks website.          


2017 Caring Hearts Luncheon
On October 3, 2017, over 500 supporters of Arizona Autism United joined together for our largest and best yet Annual Caring Hearts Luncheon. The theme was We Love Families. Those in attendance heard the powerful stories of parents, a grandmother, and a mother and daughter team detailing their own unique and personal autism journey.  
Neely Burkhardt, Luncheon Chair, shared with the audience, "While most children were enjoying the freedom of exploration and play, our son was working many hours on things that would seem so simple to some--things like learning how to speak, play appropriately with toys and engage with other children. My husband and I often struggled to find the balance between being therapists executing interventions and being just a mom and a dad....and a husband and a wife.
"If it hadn't been for AZA United's early intervention program, I really don't know where my son would be today. Everything from the skilled trained therapists that worked closely with us in our home nearly every day for years, to specifically develop, execute and measure each milestone and the training and support that AZA offers the whole family. My son would not be who he is today without the help of AZA, his wonderful school and our caring family and friends."
We are truly thankful to everyone who participated, as well as, to our sponsors BMO Harris Bank, Southwestern Provider Services,  Fry's Food Stores, Design Works Gaming,  Sunland Asphalt,, Mutual of America, Lovitt & Touché, Bryan Cave, Cuningham Group, Concepto Grafico, the Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia, AZ Sugar Fairy Cakes and Sweets, and the Mais Family.
We would like to extend a very special thanks to our Elite Sponsor,   Magellan Cares Foundation .
With nearly 89 percent of each donation going directly to helping families in need, AZA United is confident that we can continue our mission of helping as many families as possible with individualized supports. If you were unable to attend but want to support AZA, please click here to make a secure online donation.
Photos of the event, courtesy of Klewicki Photo, are available by clicking here.

Meet our Newest Management Team Member
We are very pleased to welcome Joe Schaller to our team as the organization's first Chief Financial Officer for Arizona Autism United.   
Joe  has an extensive background in budgeting, forecasting, financial analysis, and designing systems for efficient growth within healthcare organizations. Joe also has vast knowledge in health insurance management, behavioral health systems, Medicaid and Medicare.
Prior to joining the our team, Joe worked as the CFO for Health Choice Arizona, as well as CFO and COO at Equality Health.  We are excited to add this position to our management team as we prepare for valleywide expansion beginning next year.  Welcome to the AZA United family, Joe! 

Attention AZA Providers - More Work is Available!
We often hear about the many wonderful things and see all the great work that you do for our AZA client families, and we want to offer you more opportunities! Every day we talk to new families in need of quality providers. Word has spread that AZA has amazing habilitation providers and families all over the Valley are inquiring about providers for their own children. AZA strives to recruit and retain the highest quality people, and provide the best training and support. We do that by building a solid client base for our current employees to ensure you're getting the experience and work hours that you need.

W e have additional clients for you! AZA families need your help.  Please update your availability by completing a quick survey here. Submissions are checked daily. We will identify a family and get you matched as quickly as possible. If you have questions, please contact our office at 602-773-5773 or

Thank you for all the work that you do!
Our Case for Support: We Do It for the Families
Nothing can be compared to a parent hearing their child say
I love you for the first time, or seeing
their child make their first friend, or learning how to get dressed independently. For many children with autism, learning these and other simple, but meaningful, skills could take thousands of hours of therapy, a team of dedicated clinicians, and a loving family.
Arizona Autism United has provided therapy and services to thousands of individuals with autism and their families since 2006. The mission of Arizona Autism United is to
help as many families as possible with individualized supports.
When an individual is diagnosed with autism,
it affects the entire family. This is why Arizona Autism United's focus is to treat and support all members of the family. We have programs that address the needs of the parents and grandparents through parent training and behavioral coaching. We also have a program dedicated to siblings who are a critical part of the family as a whole.
Your donations are critical
With 1 in 64 children in Arizona diagnosed with autism, it is challenging to keep up with the demand for our services. We need to continue to expand and grow our programs and locations to reach underserved communities.
Treating a child with autism can cost approximately $70,000 a year for comprehensive treatment. This is without a doubt, not accessible for families of middle and low income level.
Donors like you can really make a difference for
families living with autism. Your donation can be the funds a family needs to teach their child to say I love you, or the reason a child learns how to interact with peers to make their first friend, or the avenue for a family to teach their child living skills like getting dressed independently. You can be the caring heart that gives a parent the opportunity to attend a parent training course or a sibling the ability to interact with other siblings of children with autism.
In an effort to expand our reach to underserved families in pursuit of our mission, AZA United has big plans for expansion. We need your donations more than ever to open centers in locations where quality comprehensive treatment can be made available to families living with autism. Be the champion that makes this possible!

To view AZA United's "Case for Support" online, visit:

Picture of the Month
Halloween came early to AZA!    

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