Our Mission is to help as many families as possible with individualized supports.

AZA Staff Collaborates; Providing Critical Assistance to a Desperate Family

Together, they explored options, made difficult decisions, and paved the way for a brighter future. It wasn't just about getting through the day; it was about creating a foundation for lasting change. In the heartwarming journey of life, sometimes all it takes is a little support, a guiding hand, and a community that truly cares. This is the story of Tatiana, an 8-year-old girl, and her family, who experienced first-hand the compassionate care and unwavering dedication of the team at AZA. In a world that sometimes lets families slip through the cracks, AZA not only caught them but held them close, showing them a path forward.


When we first met Tatiana

8-year-old Tatiana came to AZA struggling to communicate. Her silence was a wall veiling her thoughts and emotions from the world. She wasn't just facing communication challenges – her aggression towards herself and others painted a vivid picture of her distress. It was evident that this family had been navigating their challenges in isolation, without the support they so desperately needed.

But at AZA, they found more than just a diagnosis; they found a circle of support that would not only provide much-needed services, but the team at AZA took the time to listen, to understand, and to walk alongside this family as they began their journey forward.

How we approached the family’s care:

From the very beginning, it was clear that Tatiana needed more than a one-size-fits-all approach. She needed a tailored plan, a guiding hand, and a support system that would help her thrive. The first course of action was connecting them with our Family Support Team, who helped determine what they needed and to put these pieces into place so they could start receiving services. As a result, the Clinical Family Coaching team was quick to jump into action, recognizing that Tatiana was a perfect candidate for their specialized care. It was not just about clinical expertise; it was about understanding the unique needs of this family and offering them a lifeline of hope.

AZA's commitment to family care went above and beyond. They didn't just diagnose and leave; they embraced this family with open arms. Recognizing the importance of holistic care, they ensured that the family had the resources they needed, from case management to insurance communication. It was about more than just therapy; it was about giving this family the tools to rebuild their lives.

One of the most beautiful aspects of AZA's approach is their emphasis on supporting the entire family. They recognized that the journey of healing doesn't just involve the child – it encompasses the entire family unit. In this case, it meant supporting Tatiana's father as he navigated the complexities of the healthcare system and sought the best possible care for his children. Once Tatiana was on her services journey, the focus shifted to doing the same thing for her two brothers so the entire family could access services together and learn to operate as a cohesive family unit.

Dr. Erica Skepnek, Director of Diagnostic Evaluation Services at AZA:

"It's not about how many hours we can bill for, but how many people we can truly help."

This philosophy underscores the heart and soul of AZA's mission. It's about making a real, lasting impact on lives – about lifting families up when they're at their lowest and helping them rise to new heights.

The story of Tatiana and her family is just one shining example of the incredible work being done at AZA. Dr. Skepnek's vision to expand and reach even more families, to offer them the full circle of support they deserve, is a testament to the unwavering dedication that drives AZA's mission forward.

Stories like Tatiana's remind us that a community of caring hearts can change the course of a family's life. It is a testament to the power of support, and it serves as a heartwarming reminder that we are never truly alone when we have a circle of support to guide us through life's challenges.

AZA United's Family Support Team provides support and guidance for families facing any number of challenges as they navigate the Autism journey. This service is available at no charge to all members of the autism and developmental disability community. You may make a phone appointment that works with your schedule by visiting

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