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SARRC Celebrates 25 Years in March!

SARRC Celebrates 25 Years in March!

SARRC was founded in 1997 by two dedicated mothers of children with autism, Denise Resnik and Cindy Schneider, along with their developmental pediatrician, Raun Melmed. The three met regularly at a Paradise Valley coffee shop, sharing their frustrations, discussing conflicting messages from healthcare providers, and shared experiences on the lack of meaningful support. Thus, 25 years ago, SARRC was established out of the need for an organization that could provide better answers and more reliable, comprehensive support for families impacted by autism spectrum disorder. 

“Since 1997, SARRC has been developing and incubating what’s next for autism in Phoenix. We are proud to expand the reach of our fundamental programs, services, and research; create sustainable programs that can be reinvested back into the growth of our mission; and cultivate and empower new supportive, inclusive communities, making Arizona the most autism-friendly state in the world,” says SARRC President & CEO Daniel Openden, PhD, BCBA-D.

Over the past 25 years, SARRC has grown to: 

  • Offer more than 30 programs and services
  • Conduct innovative research initiatives
  • Opened four campus locations in Phoenix, Tempe, and its newest South Scottsdale campus, which opened in 2021
  • Employ 43 Board Certified Behavior Analysts®, the highest number of BCBAs in a single organization in Arizona

“We’re proud that over the past 25 years, each of our programs and services have continued to be guided by best practice models and the most currently available science to produce meaningful outcomes for the children, teens, adults, and families we serve,” says Dr. Openden. “But importantly, I’m profoundly proud of our team members who remain committed and invested in our vision of people with autism meaningfully integrated into inclusive communities.”

For families new to autism or interested in learning more about SARRC’s programs, services or research projects, we encourage you to call our Family Resource Team at 602-606-9806 or visit us online at

Take a look back at all we've accomplished alongside our supportive, inclusive community here.

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Material and experiences may not be reshared or reused without express permission.