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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Autism, Autism Research, Disabilities, Education, Educational Services, Health, Medical Research

Mission: Established in 1997, the mission of the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC) is to advance research and provide a lifetime of support for individuals with autism and their families.

Results: In 2013, SARRC provided more than 1,500 individualized services and research for children, teens, and adults with ASD; served nearly 3,000 parents, family members, typical peers, and community members; and trained more than 3,500 educational and medical professionals.

Target demographics: advance research and provide a lifetime of support for individuals with autism and their families.

Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2013, SARRC provided more than 1,500 individualized services and research for children, teens, and adults with ASD; served nearly 3,000 parents, family members, typical peers, and community members; and trained more than 3,500 educational and medical professionals.

Geographic areas served: Arizona

Programs: SARRC provides programs that address the needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) of all ages by offering an early intervention program for newly diagnosed children up to six years of age; a four-classroom inclusive preschool for children from 18 months to five years of age; K-12 school consultation services, and school-based inclusion programs to promote peer understanding and acceptance of those with differences; home-based programs; remote telemedicine and parent training for military families and those in rural communities with limited services; community-based life skills and vocational experiences for teens (ages 13-18); and employment services, life skills training, and educational opportunities for adults.

Community Stories

10 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

We love SARRC. We have been served by the most capable, enthusiastic and dedicated staff which which we've ever been exposed. The caliber of professionals at SARRC are without parallel. Our sons both go to the community school and we couldn't be more pleased with the program. We have seen tremendous gains in the behaviors and affect of both our children. This is truly one special organization!

Client Served

Rating: 4

Really enjoyed your community works program! Wish we could do it year-around and not have to take turns on the waiting list.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was diagnosed with high functioning autism. I didn't really know what that meant and was having a very difficult time understanding what autism is. My family signed up for the Jump Start program and it has been a tremendous help! I am starting to understand my son and am better able to work with him and have more patience with him. Also, I have learned how to deal with his behaviors and celebrate the progress that he is making. I am grateful to SAARC for helping me have hope and see that my son can have success. The staff have been so helpful. They are great listeners and work well with the kids. I would highly recommend SAARC to anyone facing the challenge of having a child with autism.

Client Served

Rating: 4

I was horrified to learn the challenges my son was going to have because of the diagnosis we had received. It was a nightmare. I was scared and didn't know what was coming. To educate myself I was glad to find SARRC, meeting the families and staff was the best thing that happened to my family. I met people who said they knew what I was going through because they had been there and they were going to help my family. I received practical teachings and strategies, they engaged me in real conversations about the conditions and I had heart to heart conversations with moms like me who had walked down the road that I was in. I left the building with something in my hands, a tool that I could use at home confident that I was going to make it through another day. Today, my son's progress is amazing, my confidence has grown and my life is much happier. My entire family has grown much stronger through this experience and it was all but that one phone call I made to SARRC that took us through this road.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Phenomenal facility, extremely educated and well versed staff and a truly loving and supporting environment.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was diagnosed with autism at age 2. I was told by my son's pediatrician that SARRC was a great parent resource-and she was right! I enrolled in a parent training session and was provided with detailed information to begin interventions at home to help my son. The training was very specific, there was an opportunity for me to engage in interactive sessions with my son with a SARRC consultant nearby to provide suggestions and feedback. I felt that SARRC was on my side, helping me to help my son. After the trainings, the staff was receptive of my phone calls for additional information or assistance. SARRC gave me the information I needed to avoid any delay in providing intervention therapy for my son. He has made tremendous gains in behavior, speech, and eating. Without SARRC, I probably would have wasted precious time in getting my son the help he desperately needed. The autism community is so fortunate to have SARRC as a resource and research center. Jacque Hale Lara, parent

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great Organization. Best place for parents to get the education they need to better raise their autistic child.

Sarah61

Client Served

Rating: 5

One month before our daughter's third birthday, we heard, "I'm sorry, she has Autism." With many questions and no answers, we turned to SARRC. From our first moment in the door, we found someone who was there to support us, help us, and give us HOPE. Our daughter’s life changed because of SARRC. But her life wasn’t the only one. Our entire family has been blessed by SARRC. They have helped our daughter blossum. Two years ago, she had no way of communicating. She had not spoken ANY words. We never truly knew what she wanted or needed. We had no idea if she was really listening and learning. Since we began at SARRC two years ago, she can now use a talking device and communicate in complete sentences. She has shown us that she knows colors, letters, and numbers, much like other kids her age. We would have never heard her say, "I love Mom." without SARRC. The staff have been nothing short of amazing. They have encouraged, instructed, listened, and cared for us every step of this new journey. They have equipped us with what we need to help our daughter as she grows to be the best that she can be. SARRC has been an answer to our prayers and an avenue to our dreams. Please help SARRC continue to touch the lives of those affected by AUTISM. They have meant the world to us.

Susie6

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had never heard of autism until my son was considered "at risk" for autism at the age of 3. Our first steps was with SARRC. Janet Kirwin, with SARRC talked to me on the phone for what seemed to be an hour. She is a blessing as she lead me in the right directions. My family then took the Jump Start Program at SARRC. We were blessed to meet and talk with Temple Grandin. Over the years, we can still contact Janet for advise and help. From the newsletters to support and knowledge, SARRC really has been one of the best resources we had on this journey. I feel knowledgeable and strong enough to take on the responsibility of being a mom of a special needs child. Yet, I know that this is a journey and I have to keep learning as go. When I get in a pickle, I can contact them, take a class, talk to someone or get direction as to what to do next. Even their website is extremely helpful. I cannot say enough wonderful things about them. Love SARRC!!

Erika H.

Client Served

Rating: 4

I have two children with autism, and they have both been assisted by SARRC. My older son, who is 8, has been through their Jump Start program, and has been involved in a medical research program, through which we have seen great improvement! They are a highly visible organization in our community and have brought a lot of autism awareness to our community. They also work hard to help transition teenagers into the working world through their vocational programs.