The Big 2-0 4

Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center Celebrates Its Twentieth Anniversary

Last year, PBS called Phoenix “the most autism-friendly city in the world,” and a lot of that honor is due to the work of Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC), which celebrates its 20th anniversary this month.

“In 2016, we provided more than 60,000 treatment hours to our clients, allowing nonverbal children to say their first words; school-aged children to transition to the same classroom as their typical peers; and adults to secure and retain meaningful, competitive employment on a path to independence,” says Karen Scott, marketing and communications manager.

She adds that SARRC has grown to become an internationally recognized organization dedicated to autism research, education, evidence-based treatment, and community outreach. Scott also notes that the nonprofit offers a wide range of services for children, teens and adults — from early intervention to programs that help adults with autism live more independently.

“New this year, we’re proud to offer diagnostic services to individuals of all ages, which is in response to the growing need for more qualified professionals who can accurately diagnose autism,” says Scott.

April is also Autism Awareness Month and SARRC has many plans to spread the word, including a radio campaign with KTAR.

“This month, SARRC is partnering with Bashas’ and Food City stores statewide,” says Scott. “Customers have a chance to make a donation at checkout that will go directly back to SARRC’s services and programs.”

Another major highlight is their annual Community Breakfast, which takes place from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Friday, April 28 at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. This year’s theme is “rEVOLUTION.”

“At this year’s breakfast, we’ll be showcasing the revolution and evolution of SARRC over the last 20 years,” says Scott. “We have some exciting highlights, including a special focus on some of the organization’s most revolutionary leaders over time. We’ll also be sharing updates on our latest research initiatives, innovative programs and services, and showcasing successes from the previous year.”

For those who wish to support SARRC, Scott says that the organization is home to a variety of volunteer opportunities, too.

To learn more about SARRC, please visit AutismCenter.org. The 2017 Community Breakfast is free and open to the public but registration is required by April 14.