Two-year-old Steven Schwartz barely talked, and his word development was slower than that of other toddlers. It worried his parents, Steve and Krista Schwartz of Scottsdale, who at first thought he might have a hearing problem. "He stopped talking, and other children were," Steve Schwartz said.
The parents began a series of visits to doctors and specialists. One year later, Steven was diagnosed with autism — a neurological disorder that impairs a child’s intuitive thought and social and language development centers.
The Schwartzes are one of many Valley families who found help and support through Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center in Phoenix. The nonprofit agency helps autistic children learn practical life skills, educates families about the disease, conducts research and collaborates with the
Translational Genomics Research Institute.
A charity golf tournament will help the center develop its new Campus for Exceptional Children in Phoenix. Exceptional Golf for Exceptional Children takes place Feb. 26 at Silverleaf Golf Course in north Scottsdale. The event’s title sponsor, National Bank of Arizona, donated $20,000 toward the project, said center founder and president Denise Resnik.
The center will move from its current 6,000-square-foot facility at 1002 E. McDowell in Phoenix to the new building at 300 N. 18th St. early this summer.
The building will be redesigned to meet the needs of autistic children, including use of subdued colors and incandescent lighting, Resnik said.
The new campus will allow for a "cross-pollination" among researchers, children with autism and their families, Resnik said. It expands the center’s space for programs, adds space for research, and provides a central location for work with Arizona State University and the genomics institute.