The Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center, or SARRC, is expanding as part of the center’s new strategic plan to become a statewide organization. For more, we spoke to Rachel Anderson, the center’s Director of Children Services.
SARRC has over 20 different programs and services. These programs are for people of all ages, young children, teens, and adults. They offer employment and school programs.
One of SARRC’s signature programs, according to Anderson, is its community schools. It’s an inclusive pre-school for children from 18 months old to 5 years old. Children who have autism learn alongside children who don’t in a blended model.
“It starts at a very early age. So in the community school where we have this blended model, we are showing from 18 months old, that differences are part of who we are and they are something to be celebrated, not to be scared of,” Anderson said.
Right now, SARRC has three campuses and one opening in Scottsdale in the late summer. This campus will have a community school and enrollment is currently underway.
With this expansion, SARRC hopes to have 10 campuses across the state by 2030. SARRC also hopes to target more people and different regions of the state by opening up more campuses across the state and having more capacity.