March 2021 | ISSUE 163
Invest in Autism Services on AZ Gives Day

Next month, April, is Autism Awareness Month, and we would like to invite you to support AZA United's mission to help as many families as possible with individualized supports.
 
Click here to schedule an online donation for Arizona Gives Day on Tuesday, April 6th. 
 
AZ Gives Day is the one day when everyone in Arizona shows support for our state's nonprofits. Funds raised will help us continue with our expansion goals and open a new center in the West Valley! Help us replicate the success of our East Valley Center that has now been serving families for nearly a year.
 
Arizona donors can receive a dollar-for-dollar refund as a state tax credit of up to $400 for individuals and $800 for married couples. Donations made before April 15th can still be claimed on your 2020 tax return.
  
Thank you for supporting AZA United and Arizona Gives Day!

Meet AZA's First Licensed Professional Counselor

Cindy Walker recently joined AZA United as our first Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) to start up our new Resilient Hearts Counseling Program, to provide autism-focused counseling services for our adolescents, teens, adults and their family members. In this program, AZA United will offer a mix of services for individuals, couples, families and groups.

Cindy received her LPC license in 2018 and is a certified Counselor Supervisor for counselors working on licensure. Cindy provided ABA services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder from 2008-2010 before going back to school for Mental Health Counseling. She then began working as a counselor providing Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavior Therapy for children and young adults in a residential and community treatment setting. Many of her clients were in foster care and presented with various neurodevelopmental disorders. Cindy is passionate about helping her clients restore their emotional well-being and overcome difficult life circumstances. She believes we all experience hardships in life which can greatly impact a person’s emotional, spiritual, physical, and psychological well-being. Cindy strives to provide a healing atmosphere so her clients can build their resilience to tackle hardships when life is still difficult.

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

AZA United in the News

AZA United's services were recently featured in a local news segment by Cronkite News on AZ PBS. The segment highlights the importance of our services specially during the pandemic. We are honored to help hundreds of Arizona families on a daily basis with critical programs. We couldn't do it without our dedicated employees who we appreciate so much!

Virginia G. Piper Trust Supports New Diagnostic Clinic

Arizona Autism United (AZA United) is excited and humbled to announce a generous grant from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust to help us launch a new Diagnostic Evaluations Clinic in Maricopa County for children and youth with special needs!  
 
This $265,000 grant will allow us to expand access to diagnostic services and coordinated care by establishing a Diagnostic and Evaluation Clinic for Children with Special Needs. The clinic will offer evaluations and diagnostic services for children and youth who present with a variety of developmental delays or behavioral disorders, including but not limited to autism spectrum disorder. The Diagnostic and Evaluation Clinic will be led by a clinical psychologist that will provide the complex reporting and documentation needed to support access to appropriate services. In addition, this grant will augment our Family Support and Counseling programs in an innovative new model called Support from the Start, providing families with much-needed guidance and hands-on support once a diagnosis is received so they can obtain services and therapies, along with emotional support and practical advice, as swiftly as possible.
 
We know that one of the most pervasive barriers to adequate special needs care is the months-long wait lists that local families must endure before receiving a diagnosis, which is the first, critical step to receiving therapeutic care. For so many families, this means months of missed opportunities for positive growth and change for children with developmental disabilities, often with long-term negative repercussions.  
 
For years parents and caregivers have sought referrals for diagnostic services from AZA United, and we have always felt that if we could provide screenings and diagnoses in-house, this would relieve a significant burden from parents and caregivers, allowing children and their families to receive needed therapies more quickly and easily. This grant from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust will make it possible for AZA United to provide this urgently needed service to many local families. One of our top priorities will be to ensure that all families have access to these diagnostic services without financial barriers.
 
Planning is now underway to develop this new clinic, and we anticipate having the staffing in place to begin offering diagnostic services to the public beginning in late 2021.  We will continue to provide updates to the community on our progress regarding the launch of the new Diagnostic and Evaluation Clinic for Children with Special Needs at AZA United. 
 
From the Board of Directors, staff and families served by AZA United, THANK YOU to Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust for your generous support! 

Announcements

Attention habilitation providers that are interested in moving up in the organization! At AZA, we offer a career path for our employees. We invite you to apply here NOW for our ABA Behavior Technician and Clinical Interventionist positions.


This job includes advanced training in Applied Behavior Analysis, increased pay, and a wealth of new opportunities. 
Upcoming Events

Join us on Saturday, April 3rd 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, March 25th from 5:30-7:00. Click here for information & registration in Spanish.
Link of the Month

The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) has a webpage devoted to keep stakeholders informed of their policies and rules. Being well informed of rights and responsibilities is a great way for members to be effective advocates. This link also lists any policies that are open for public comment as well as other resources.