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Who We Are

The Autism Society is the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization. We work to increase public awareness about the day-to-day issues about people across the spectrum, advocate for appropriate services for individuals of every age, and provide the latest information regarding treatment, education, research, and advocacy.

At the Autism Society of Greater Phoenix, we know what it’s like raising a child with Autism or Asperger’s because almost every member of our Board of Directors is the parent of a child on the spectrum. We offer many ways to support individuals through the life journey of Autism. We provide information, resources, and support to families affected by autism and helps families who have just received the autism diagnosis by providing information on effective treatments.

We are dedicated to helping other parents, families, and adults affected by autism

What We've Done

Resources for Families

  • Parent support group meetings around the valley (4 different support groups for families in the West, East, North and Central Valley), AZ ASSIST Program (2 meetings and one social event a month in the East and West Valley) and we support two adult groups in the valley.
  • Autism 101, a FREE class held monthly in four parts of the valley for newly diagnosed or new to Arizona families and is open to the public. We also have the class online and can schedule additional Autism 101 classes as needed.
  • Rural Advocacy Training is part of our mission. We travel all over Arizona giving free training on how to access all services for families affected by autism. We target outlying areas that are lacking in support and information. We have also filmed this training and posted it online so families can access it at their leisure.
  • Advocacy for families who are struggling to get into Medicaid and DDD. We also assist families in getting services needed to ameliorate their child’s condition according to EPSDT.
  • BE SAFE Interactive Screenings are a newer program we started about three years ago. We train people with disabilities including children, teens and adults on the spectrum how to be safe with law enforcement. We work with law enforcement to provide education on autism and we work with law enforcement and the autism community to build a bridge of communication and form strong community connections. We have conducted over 30 free BE SAFE Interactive Screenings and held two BE SAFE Certification Courses with the creator of BE SAFE.
  • Lego Clubs are a great way for the whole family to have fun. We currently have 8 Lego Clubs including 4 in the valley and 4 in the rural outlying areas. We actively work to accumulate more Lego donations so that we can continue to start Lego Clubs for families affected by autism all over our state.
  • Public awareness and outreach is part of our mission. We speak for free to a variety of groups including schools, medical professionals, teachers and children so that they better understand autism and children and adults with autism. We educate hundreds of people a year.
  • Treatment grants for children on the autism spectrum whose families met the grant criteria.
  • Social activities for families including 2 family picnics, Sensitive Santa Events, monthly Lego nights around the valley, monthly Mom’s Meet Up’s around the valley, sporting events, Mom’s Night Out events and AMC Theater Sensory Friendly Films monthly across the valley.
  • Educational opportunities for families including workshops and our annual conference where over 250 people attend each day.
  • Revamped website to provide more resources for services, providers, treatments and advocacy including access to video webinars for our members.

Awareness

  • Thousands of Autism Awareness brochures distributed to pediatricians, therapists and schools across the valley.
  • Distributed Autism Awareness brochures at a variety of events around the valley including the Zoo Walk for Autism, Autism Speaks Walk, etc.
  • “Children Suffering in Silence” documentary developed and distributed by Autism Society of Greater Phoenix.
  • “Autism Insurance” and “Medical Care” CD created and distributed by Autism Society of Greater Phoenix.

Outreach and Training

  • Training for over 200 professionals including teachers and therapists at conferences and workshops.
  • Autism Society of Greater Phoenix participated in several IEP Partner Trainings.
  • Trainings for 2 Pow Wow Cub Scout Trainings, Arizona State University Teacher Prep Class training and 2 Charter school trainings which resulted in the education of over 200 professionals and dozens of children.
  • Training over 1000 people with our BE SAFE Program

Advocacy and Government Relations

  • Participated in the Governor’s Council on ASD. Our Vice President was appointed to the committee and serviced on the committee and two work groups. Our President serviced as workgroup member of one of the committee’s.
  • Assisted parents in navigating the Department of Developmental Disabilities, AHCCCS and Long Term Care systems from enrollment to preparing for the Fair Hearing process.
  • Champion state and federal legislation that will benefit children and adults with autism, in collaboration with the Arizona Autism Coalition.
  • Assisted hundreds of parents in navigating the special educational system and provided referrals to local advocates when intense assistance was needed.
  • Created Fair Hearing Files to assist families with the process. The files included potential exhibits for the fair hearing as well as potential responses to motions filed by the DDD. Templates for letters of medical necessity were created to assist pediatrician’s document medical necessity for autism therapies for their clients. Templates were created for the courtroom process (i.e.: opening arguments, closing arguments, cross examination, etc.).
  • Participated in the creation of the White paper for Arizona Academy of Pediatrics
  • Informing every pediatrician in Arizona on the co-morbid conditions of
  • Helped pass legislation that formed the Seclusion and Restraint Task Force
  • Held candlelight vigil on capitol lawn in support of Steven’s Law
  • Participated in several DDD/AHCCCS/DES Autism work groups
  • Worked with PCH on Autism Neuro Institute family council
  • Worked with UMDF to set up grand rounds
  • Part of Arizona Autism Coalition insurance work group.