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The Steinmetz Family

Impressed with SARRC’s long-term commitment to their granddaughter and others on the autism spectrum, Kate and Terry Steinmetz have made a long-term promise of their own.

They’ve become Multiyear Visionary Partners, or MVPs, pledging an annual gift for five years or more to be invested in SARRC’s programs, services and research. 

Alivia was just 14 months old when the family turned to SARRC for answers. A diagnosis was made using NODA, the Naturalistic Observation Diagnostic Assessment, which is a smartphone-based system that lets parents record and send videos to SARRC for analysis in advance of an on-site evaluation.

Now turning 5, their granddaughter, as well as their entire family, have received vital support through various SARRC programs. In addition to becoming MVPs, Kate and Terry are active members of the Grandparents Support Group—a network of support that empowers, enriches, and supports its members through monthly meetings.

“Alivia continues to grow and learn, and we are always discovering new things she can do,” says Terry. “One day she noticed a book out [of place] and immediately looked around and took it and placed it on the shelf in the exact location I normally keep it. Now, this is our special game, I move it around daily and she finds it and puts it back in its correct place.”

As a retired physician, Terry also remembers the kindness SARRC’s co-founder, Dr. Raun Melmed, showed his daughter.

“After he thoroughly reviewed Alivia’s diagnosis, he told my daughter, ‘You don’t have to worry, I’m going to take care of her.’”

Originally from the Midwest, the Steinmetz family moved to Arizona in 1984 after he was offered fellowships in pulmonary and critical care. He continues to help doctors and patients deal with difficult outcomes as well as serving as a volunteer teacher for medical students.

“It’s very impressive how everyone at SARRC is in it for the long haul,” he says.

As for becoming MVPs, they want to assure SARRC remains a community asset for the increasing number of children diagnosed with autism.

Are you interested in making a difference by becoming a SARRC Multiyear Visionary Partner? Learn more here.