Callie and Robert Maxwell were introduced to SARRC in 2019, when their son, Jackson, received an autism diagnosis at 2 years old.
“Jackson’s preschool principal mentioned SARRC and put us in contact with the Community School team,” Callie recalls. “Fortunately, we were able to enroll Jackson in the Community School two months later, and we remained a part of the SARRC family until he graduated from pre-k almost three years later.”
The family’s involvement with the Community School allowed the Maxwells to witness Jackson’s transformation from a nonverbal 2-year-old with limited social skills to a 3-year-old who communicated through an augmentative and alternative communication device. By the time he was four, Jackson had developed verbal language skills and a strong desire to socialize.
“We witnessed our son develop skills he did not have because of the professional, consistent, thorough, and kind attention the therapists at SARRC gave to him,” Callie says. “It was evident that the therapists working with Jackson cared about him and wanted to see him succeed.”
In addition to the Community School, Callie and Robert participated in SARRC’s Parent Training Program, where they received personalized support and one-on-one coaching from a clinician. Through the program, the Maxwells developed strategies to address challenging behaviors and enhance Jackson’s communication skills. Jackson also learned to communicate and play with his younger brother.
Witnessing the critical role of early intervention for children with autism motivated Callie and Robert to become more involved with SARRC. They recently pledged their support to the Multiyear Visionary Partner (MVP) giving program.
“We hope our gift will help SARRC spread awareness and acceptance for individuals with autism,” Callie says. “We also hope our gift will help SARRC reach its goals to expand services to families across the state because all children deserve the support they need to thrive.”
As a mom of two boys, Callie keeps herself busy as she is a part of “ASD Mamas – By Your Side,” a support group for mothers with children with autism. The group was started in part by a coffee meet-up for SARRC parents that has now blossomed into a large community for mothers seeking advice and support.
Callie is an Arizona native and attorney, and Robert is a medical assistant for an orthopedic spine surgeon. The couple plans to stay in Arizona forever since it is one of the most autism-friendly states, and they know Jackson will always have supportive services in a supportive community.
Are you interested in making a difference by becoming a SARRC Multiyear Visionary Partner? Learn more here.