“Because no one understands the issues involved with raising a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder better than other parents.”
At the Autism Society of Greater Phoenix, we know what it’s like raising a child with autism or Asperger’s because every member of our Board of Directors is the parent of a child on the spectrum. That is why we are so proud to introduce our Parent Mentors. Each of our Parent Mentors has unique experiences and specializes in a different area of need.
Cynthia Macluskie has been an active member of the autism community for ten years. She has an amazing boy who lost his diagnosis of autism and is a typical 12 year old. Cynthia founded and still runs the parent support group ROK (Recovering Our Kids) in conjunction with the Autism Society of Greater Phoenix. She sat on the APIPA Parent Advisory Committee and the Department of Economic Security Autism Workgroup. Cynthia and Susan started the Co-Morbid Medical Education (CME) Project to educate parents and physicians with the support of Autism Society of Greater Phoenix. In 2009 the Arizona American Academy of Pediatrics published and distributed a letter to every pediatrician in the state of Arizona on co-morbid conditions of autism written by Cynthia. In collaboration with Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Arizona State University, Cynthia and Susan’s CME Project was developed into a 26 minute documentary that is being show around the country to educate both parents and physicians. She is currently a board member of ACT Today and the Vice President of Autism Society of Greater Phoenix. She has written articles for Autism File and spoken nationally at the Autism One and Defeat Autism Now conferences on insurance. She currently writes a blog and is a parent mentor for Autism Society of Greater Phoenix providing support and information for parents of children with autism.
Katie Wride is the mother of four children, her oldest son, who is twelve, is on the Autism Spectrum. Katie has been active online and in the Autism support community over the past seven years. She co-founded with two other moms a support group called East Valley Autism Network (E.V.A.N.) which helps provide information and support to families living in the East Valley and is a partner with AS-GP. Katie also serves on the ACT Today board, and is passionate about helping other families on the Autism journey. Katie’s interests are in making positive changes throughout our education system, supporting families in all areas of need, and being a resource for Autism Awareness Education for future teachers, for students, and families. She enjoys sharing information to both families affected by Autism and throughout our communities.
Susan Sunseri has a nine year old child on the spectrum. Susan currently chairs 3 family councils at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and is a board member for the Autism Society of Greater Phoenix. Her interest is in helping parents learn and understand their child’s civil rights under EPSDT and in educating parents and professionals about the co-morbid medical conditions of autism through the CME project. She has experience homeschooling her son with autism.
If you would like to speak with one of our Parent Mentors, please fill out our parent mentor agreement and we will contact you as soon as we receive this form.
The Parent Mentors of the Autism Society of Greater Phoenix help provide the following services:
- Conduct individual/small group consultations at the monthly support group meetings from 6-7pm to answer questions, provide support, etc. Visit our Monthly meetings page for information about our next meeting.
- Provide community outreach at: Events; Schools (contact us for services we provide); Doctor’s offices; Hospitals; Other opportunities as needed
- Provide individual information and support for family members with children or adults on the spectrum via e-mail or phone consultation.
- Speak locally and nationally at conferences, workshops, and trainings on a variety of issues. Please contact us for topics and pricing.
- Work with other community organizations to effectively advocate for families with Autism.
- Help families or organizations throughout the state set up support groups.