Receiving an autism diagnosis can bring about a mix of emotions for parents. It's important to acknowledge these feelings and take proactive steps to support and empower your family. The journey begins with educating yourself about autism, as well as available treatments and support services.
A critical step in that journey is connecting with a trustworthy, supportive and family-oriented resource in the community. Family-oriented autism organizations play a vital role in providing comprehensive assistance, education, and emotional support. By taking a holistic approach, these organizations guide families toward a more hopeful future.
AZA United is a nonprofit organization that has been serving Arizona families since 2006. Our mission is to help as many families as possible with individualized supports. Our priorities are to listen to the needs of our community, share accurate information with families, and ensure our team members are well equipped to be empathetic and supportive of each family’s individual needs and concerns.
Here are some specific ways we support families in the autism community:
- Family Support Team
Our Family Support Team provides support, answers, and guidance for many challenges that families face here in Arizona (and beyond). This service is available at no charge to ALL members of the autism community, and phone appointments can be made online at the family’s convenience.
- Access to Expertise
Families in the community benefit from our clinical experts in the field. With this expertise, we can accurately diagnose and develop tailored treatment plans for individuals on the autism spectrum. This enables families to gain a deeper understanding of how autism affects their child and how to implement effective interventions.
- Guidance through Systems and Services
Navigating the systems of care to access important programs and services can be overwhelming. Family support services help caregivers access the most beneficial resources for the entire family unit, ensuring comprehensive care for all involved.
- Facilitating Treatment
Family-oriented organizations connect families with qualified professionals offering proven therapies such as Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Applied Behavior Analysis ("ABA Therapy").
- Support Groups
Coping with autism-related challenges is made easier through shared experiences and concerns. One example is our Triple P program, also knows as the Positive Parenting Program.
- Behavior Coaching for Family Members
Coaching sessions help family members learn behavior change techniques to address problematic behaviors exhibited by autistic children. This coaching can occur in the comfort of your home or within the community. AZA United offers a unique model called Clinical Family Coaching to support families experiencing behavior challenges.
- Social Opportunities
Autism support organizations facilitate social groups for autistic children and their siblings, as well as parents and family members. These groups promote communication and social skills development, fostering positive social interactions. Special programs like Sibshops create a supportive network for siblings of autistic children.
- Raising Awareness
Family-oriented autism organizations contribute to increasing awareness and understanding of autism within both affected families and the broader community. This increased awareness reduces stigma and improves interactions with autistic individuals.
- Financial Assistance
Raising a child with autism can come with significant financial challenges. Family-oriented organizations help families discover affordable or free treatment and support options in their local community, ensuring that every child can access necessary services.
- Community Activities
With our annual events such as the Run for Autism, the Autism Conference, Sensory Movie Nights and other special events, we provide a safe and inclusive environment where families can connect with other families, professionals and other community members.
We know that supporting families in the autism community needs to be a multi-faceted approach that encompasses education, therapy, emotional support, and community engagement. We do this so families can navigate the journey more confidently and provide their children with the best possible care and opportunities for growth.
AZA's Family Support Team provides support, answers, and guidance for many challenges that families face. This service is available at no charge to all members of the autism community. Make a free virtual appointment that works with your schedule: AZAunited.org/supportcall
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AZA United is thrilled to have received the honor of being named one of the first top-rated awards of 2023 from Great Nonprofits. Our vision is to integrate best practices and innovations to elevate autism therapy services across the state of Arizona. We thank all of you who contributed to this recognition that we are on the right path in achieving our mission!
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