Rob and Jenni Leinbach’s journey to becoming a Multiyear Visionary Partner began in a personal way—their son, Lucas, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) when he was 20 months old.
“When we received Lucas’s diagnosis, I started researching, called all of the ABA [Applied Behavior Analysis] providers on the list [that was provided by the developmental pediatrician] and we were waitlisted everywhere,” Jenni shares. “Nine months later, we got a call from SARRC with a parent training slot.”
The Leinbachs first went through SARRC’s Parent Training Program, then began its Comprehensive Behavioral Program. Their experience proved pivotal to Lucas, who Jenni says was essentially non-verbal when he started receiving support from SARRC.
“As parents of a child with autism, we understand what it takes to support a child on the spectrum; the time, the resources and the energy that our family and the providers at SARRC dedicate to Lucas’s learning, which have had and continue to have an immeasurable impact on his development. This commitment to Lucas on a daily basis has enabled him to develop an extensive vocabulary and attend a typical school with a SARRC clinician. We have also celebrated his emerging sense of humor and his deepening engagement with his family and peers.”
Seeing Lucas’s progress and having intimate knowledge of the financial commitment needed to help a child with ASD, they were motivated to make a multiyear gift.
“We understand that autism is a long-term investment and each year we are building on skills to help Luke reach his full potential. We also know there are many, many children who do not receive the critical early intervention necessary so they too can thrive and reach their full potential. We have become MVPs to help these children” she explains. “The ongoing work that SARRC does with an individual child and their family is invaluable and we want each child with autism to have access to this level of care.”
In addition to the multiyear gift, the Leinbachs have become involved with SARRC’s Annual Community Breakfast, joining the breakfast committee, volunteering their time, and becoming a sponsor. They also hope to inspire others to join in their efforts and therefore expand the impact SARRC can have on the community.
“The work that SARRC does every day to help children and families with autism is so important, but we need more trained clinicians providing services and shorter waitlists,” she says. “I’m excited about SARRC’s strategic plan to expand throughout the Valley and Arizona. We hope SARRC’s reach and ability to raise funds will allow more children and families access to comprehensive behavioral services throughout the state.”
“Our message is simple: There is hope. We have seen amazing progress with Lucas. Because of SARRC’s evidence-based team approach, we have learned techniques to help Lucas at home and at school. He’s thriving in school, developing friendships and his own strong opinions. Even as we continue to work hard every day, we are so grateful and SARRC was our beacon of light.”
Are you interested in making a difference by becoming a SARRC Multiyear Visionary Partner? Learn more here.