When AZA’s leadership team set forth on expanding our autism therapies and services into Maricopa County’s West Valley, a run-of-the-mill, average facility was never a consideration. Led by AZA Founder and President, Dr. Aaron Blocher-Rubin, we held a vision of a state-of-the-art center that would integrate best practices, innovations and elevate autism therapy services across the state of Arizona.
With an expected opening date in the spring of 2023, AZA’s West Valley Center, located in Avondale near the I-10, has multiple rooms, spacious grounds and highlights and features:
- Therapy rooms which have windows, cameras, and open doors to promote total transparency, collaboration, parent involvement, and child-led therapy treatment
- Modern lighting system that adjusts blue light during the day and promotes better sleep
- Natural light through skylight solar tubes in the central hallway
- Functional bathrooms equipped with showers, changing tables for all sizes, and a washer and dryer
- Controlled access security system to ensure all guests are authorized and clients are safe
- Architectural design features four themed “neighborhood” areas of the building with a central cubby area for backpacks
Numerous autism treatment therapies will take place in our well-planned facility; each room with its own purpose to provide our clients individualized supports.
- Throughout this building there are rooms of different sizes for individual and group ABA Therapy (Applied Behavior Analysis), which teaches a wide variety of functional skills. We practice child-led, play-based approach to ABA that focuses on motivation and positive reinforcement to learn new skills and maximize each child’s potential. Goals are centered around parent priorities, school readiness, and achieving developmental milestones.
- Treatment plans will be tailored to the child’s strengths and needs by addressing communication, socialization, behavior challenges, self-help skills or other living skills that improve quality of life for the family and child.
- AZA United believes in a family-centered approach to services in which parents and professionals work collaboratively to develop and implement effective treatment and compassionate care.
- Our ABA program is also accredited by the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence, which is the leading national accreditation body for ABA provider organizations. AZA United received a 3-year accreditation award in 2020, which is the highest level available and based on metrics of clinical excellence and client satisfaction.
- Speech therapists teach children how to communicate in any way that is effective for them: speech, gestures, electronic device, etc.
- Speech therapy helps improve verbal, nonverbal, and social communication skills for all levels.
- When children are first learning to communicate, this environment is designed to be highly motivating and rewarding, so we can teach them how to tell others what they want or need.
- OT helps clients learn developmental and life skills, focusing on sensory and motor regulation skills.
- Goals may include things such as climbing, handwriting, adapting to high or low sensory environments, keeping a safe body, and performing daily self-help tasks.
- This room will include specialized equipment, such as different swings and climbing structures.
- We offer mental health counseling for individuals, couples, families.
- Most of our clients are adolescents, teens or adults on the autism spectrum, or family members.
- We are one of the only organizations in the state that has an autism-focused counseling program, which requires a different approach and unique perspective to be effective.
- Particularly important to not overlook mental health needs of parents, siblings, and family members—this is where they can learn coping strategies to meet their own mental health needs and to best support their loved one with autism.
- Our Family Support Team provides free help for families at any stage to get connected with services, find resources for their child, and navigate the systems of care that are needed to access therapies and supports.
- Family Support Specialists also provide emotional support and guidance from someone who understands and can relate to their struggles.
- This service is provided in coordination with any diagnostic evaluations as well, so that newly diagnosed families have an immediate support system and a trusted partner to help them with the journey ahead.
- Getting a diagnostic evaluation is the first step in a family’s journey and is required to access services and different funding systems that pay for a child’s therapy.
- Getting an accurate and timely diagnosis is critical.
- There are a limited number of psychologists with expert training in diagnosing autism.
Multipurpose Room & Kid’s Kitchen Area
- This room is facilitated to mimic a school classroom, so children can learn skills that would be needed in a school setting. A variety of activities will occur here with a socialization focus.
- Next to this room is the kid’s kitchen area, where they can learn to prep their meals.
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 azaunited.org/supportcall
Staffing is critical to AZA’s continued success and high standards. In fact, we outlined five ways to tell if someone is a fit for #TeamAZA in this recent blog. Further, we are excited to be recruiting for ABA Therapists for our West Valley Center; details of which can be found on our Careers page.
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