April 2021 | ISSUE 164
Celebrating Autism Month

April is Autism Acceptance & Awareness Month. At AZA United, we promote awareness, encourage acceptance, and move towards advancement every day of the year through our work, because for families raising a child with autism, every day is Autism Day.

Promoting Awareness
AZA United was founded in 2006 by a group of local families that were in need of quality treatment and services for their loved ones with autism. Since then, our mission to help as many families as possible has been our driving force. Just one year later in 2007, the United Nations General Assembly created World Autism Awareness Day, which lands on April 2 every year and making the whole month of April Autism Awareness Month. Since our founding, our focus has been meeting the needs of local families, and that is still true today. We are privileged to serve so many wonderful families and are grateful for the opportunity to work in partnership with each one. As we continue to promote community awareness to benefit more families through our work, we hope that our growth and expansion plans move the needle towards what we feel should be next.
Encouraging Acceptance
Every child and family that we work with are unique, a valuable attribute that we celebrate. There was a time when, here in our own state, individuals with autism and other disabilities could not live in their own homes with their families. Things eventually changed because people worked together to be heard. Through our individualized services, families achieve small or big triumphs without compromising their essence. We believe that every family and person with autism has their own definition of success, and our job is to help them get there. People with autism and their families want what we all want for ourselves: respect, meaningful relationships, inclusion, equality, and opportunities to achieve success. As reflected in one of our values to Bring People Together, it is our promise to continue our efforts to encourage acceptance, respect and opportunities for those affected by autism. Together we can promote change!
Moving Towards Advancement
We recognize that, while our work is making a great impact in the community, there is still so much more to do. The demand for services increases everyday with newly diagnosed children, as well as with families moving to new stages of their autism journey where few resources exist. Our only option is to steadily and responsibly grow to meet the needs of those for whom we exist: our Arizona families.
A Surprise for You
To every AZA family out there, we wanted you to know that we are beyond grateful for allowing us to serve you. Our team of staff and board members put this video together for you. We hope you enjoy it!
Individual & Family Counseling Services Now Available

We are very excited to announce the launching of our new Resilient Hearts Counseling Program which specializes in helping individuals with autism and related conditions, as well as parents and family members.

Mental Health Counseling
Professional counselors help clients identify potential solutions to problems that cause emotional turmoil. Common goals include improving communication and coping skills, strengthening self-esteem, increasing resiliency, and promoting behavior change for optimal mental health. AZA United’s Resilient Hearts Counseling Program is built upon evidence-based treatment models, such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Services are offered face-to-face or virtually using telehealth video technology. Our team is made up of professionally trained counselors that have experience and expertise specific to the autism population. 

AZA's Unique Approach
We believe resilience is integral for living a satisfying, full and vital life. In the Resilient Hearts Counseling Program, we will work to promote healing by recovering from hardships. Through this we will foster resilience, which is the ability to thrive when life is still difficult. For families receiving other services with AZA United, we provide an integrated care model where clinicians collaborate to ensure that treatment approaches are consistent, and that each program supports the others. We believe that building resilience and supporting the emotional wellbeing of ASD families is a critical part of our mission.

Who Receives Counseling
We offer individual, couples & family counseling for people with autism and related conditions, from adolescent to adult, as well as parents or siblings who may need their own mental health support. Common issues that counseling may help alleviate include anxiety, depression, trauma and stressor related disorders, and relational problems in the social environment.

AZA United accepts all Medicaid health plans (AHCCCS & DDD) and some private insurance plans. Out-of-pocket payment is also available.

If you are interested in learning more about our counseling services, please contact our Family Support Team at FamilyOutreach@AZAunited.org or 602-773-5773
New Blog: Tax Reward

Yes, it sounds too good to be true, but it isn’t! No gimmicks, no catch, no downside. The Arizona Charitable Organization Tax Credit program is yours for the taking. Simply put, the program will repay you for your donation to Arizona Autism United (AZA United), up to $400 for an individual and $800 for a married couple filing jointly. This can be a one-time donation or you can divide it into several donations throughout the year.
How much money are we talking about? The Arizona Department of Revenue reported that more than 165,000 Arizona residents contributed more than $68.5 million to Qualified Charitable Organizations in the tax year 2017. That can do a lot of good!

Recently, the AZ Department of Revenue extended the deadline to file taxes to May 17th so you have a couple more weeks to take advantage of the Charitable Organization Tax Credit and decide where your tax dollars go!

How it Works
Let’s say you make a $400 donation to AZA United, the state of Arizona will take that $400 off your final state tax bill. If your state tax bill for the year is $500, and you donated $400 to AZA United, your state tax bill will be reduced to $100. Without contributing to AZA United (or other qualifying charities), you would still have to pay $500 in Arizona state tax. It all adds up to more money in your pocket and funding that AZA United can use to change lives! Talk about a win-win!

How is a Tax Credit Better Than a Tax Deduction?
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Attention parents: DDD has extended the temporary rule that allows parents to become paid providers for their own children due to the pandemic. Parents can provide habilitation and attendant care for their own children that have been approved for these services through DDD. Click here to learn the details of this opportunity.

If you are ready to become your child's parent provider, click here to begin the speedy and simplified application process.
Upcoming Events

Join us on Saturday, May 1st from 10 to 11 AM for our next Sibshops events for siblings. Registration is FREE and required to obtain the login information. Email or call us at Lauren@AZAunited.org - 602-773-5803.

Our Grupo de Apoyo Unidos en Bienestar (Therapeutic Support Group in Spanish for parents), will meet again on Thursday, April 29th from 5:30-7:00. Click here for information & registration in Spanish.
Link of the Month

D.A.M.E.S. Charities aims to reduce caregiver burnout and build the resiliency of caregivers of children with disabilities by providing them with easy to access tools that focus on mindfulness, education, and community. This wonderful resource is rooted right here in Arizona and has a wealth of free and useful information.