RAK Magazine September 2019

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raisingarizonakids.com SEPTEMBER 2019

THE “SUPER HOUSE” Raising two sons with spina bifida


2019–20 Performing Arts Preview





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September 2019 FEATURES


SUPER HOUSE Bryce and Allison Lefebvre know real joy raising their three sons — two of whom were born with myeloschisis, the most serious type of spina bifida.



2019-2020 PERFORMING ARTS PREVIEW Here’s a breakdown of local onstage performances you may want to note on the family calendar: Timeless theater classics, animated favorites, children’s books brought to life and plays that prompt conversations with kids.









Special Needs Resource Fair is Saturday, Sept. 7

• Great Wolf Lodge opens Sept. 27 • The Arizona Diamondbacks’ $100,000 School Challenge • “Sesame Street” puppeteer to speak at Raising Special Kids Symposium • National Car Seat Check Saturday is Sept. 21 • Sari on Science: Super-secret spy messages


• Using Common Sense: What parents should know about TikTok • The joys of grandparenting • Storytimes for Families with Special Needs • Starting a special-needs trust • The language of disability


FAMILY TIME! • Top September events • Around Arizona • Onstage family performances • Fun runs and walks



FIRST PERSON Parenting together: Let’s be the “village” it takes RaisingARIZONAKids.com SEPTEMBER 2019



SEPTEMBER 2019 | VOL 30 | NO 6 Publisher Karen Davis Barr Editor Kara G. Morrison



IT’S BEEN FIVE YEARS since Raising Arizona Kids magazine started hosting an annual Special Needs Resource Fair, and it’s always a fun and meaningful day. We hope you’ll join us at this free event, which will be held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at the Ability 360 Sports & Fitness Center in Phoenix. Special Needs Resource Fair offers a relaxing, enjoyable way for families to discover the Valley’s vast array of resources for children with physical, intellectual, cognitive or behavioral disabilities and/or learning differences that require educational support. New this year, families can take advantage of free kids’ vision and hearing screenings offered by the Arizona Department of Health Services. These screenings can be key to the early detection of conditions that can affect a child’s learning. An extremely popular offering at Ability 360 is its 35-foot rock-climbing wall, and Ability 360’s staff will be supervising free climbing for kids of all abilities during our event. In addition, many of our participating vendors — most of whom are listed in this month’s Special Needs Resources Directory — provide fun, hands-on activities to keep little hands busy while parents and caregivers ask questions. The center’s gymnasium will be filled with representatives who can answer questions about disability law, disability-specific services, parent-support organizations, special-needs schools, education-support services, transitionto-adulthood services, respite care and much more. Raising Special Kids, the state’s official Parent Information Center, will also be on hand to provide individual consulting to



families that preregister for a time slot. Registration is recommended (raisingarizonakids.com/special-needs-resourcefair), but walk-ins are absolutely welcome. Ability 360 Sports & Fitness Center is located at 5031 E. Washington St., across the street from the new Valley Metro Rail line station. If you aren’t familiar with Ability 360, it’s an amazing facility offering programs to empower people with all disabilities, including youth and adult adaptive sports teams, wheelchairaccessible pools and exercise equipment and much more. FOR THIS ISSUE, Karen Barr, publisher and founder of Raising Arizona Kids, writes about a delightful family caring for three beautiful sons — two of whom have a severe form of spina bifida. You will love spending time with the Lefebvres and their “super house.” Fall also brings a look-ahead for the local theater scene, and Calendar Editor Carrie Wheeler spent hours curating categories of family shows you won’t want to miss in 2019-20 — from plays that prompt important conversations with our kids, to children’s books brought to life and animated favorites making their way onstage. Next month, we look ahead to cooler weather, fall fun and our annual birthday parties guide.

Kara G. Morrison, Editor kara@RAKmagazine.com

Calendar Editor Carrie Wheeler Copy Editor Debra Citron Contributors Sari Custer, Ellen Greenblum, Jennifer Kupiszewski, Illana Lowery, Maggie Zehring Art Director Michèlle-Renée Adams Cover Photography Rick D’Elia Operations Manager Tina Gerami-Bynum Marketing Consultants Shannon Cornall, Kate Reed, Mary Vandenberg


R aising A rizona K ids magazine (ISSN 1051-4295) was created to connect Valley families to local resources and share real-life stories about the challenges and joys of raising children. Copy­right © 2019 by R aising A rizona K ids, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Subscription price is $20 for one year or $35 for two years. Back issues are $6 per copy. Make address changes on our website or mail changes to our office. Content guide­lines are avail­able at raisingarizonakids.com.

@RAKmagazine on Twitter; RAKmagazine on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Pinterest. Contact Us: editorial@RAKmagazine.com familytime@RAKmagazine.com advertising@RAKmagazine.com subscriptions@RAKmagazine.com 5229 N. Seventh Ave. #102 Phoenix, AZ 85013-1974 P: 480–991–KIDS (5437) F: 480–991–5460 raisingarizonakids.com

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They start school. You start saving.

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RaisingARIZONAKids.com SEPTEMBER 2019


az grown good to know

“SESAME STREET” PUPPETEER TO SPEAK STACEY GORDON, the Phoenix puppeteer who performs on “Sesame Street” as Julia, a curious 4-year-old with autism, is one of several local and national speakers on tap for the third annual Raising Special Kids Symposium in Phoenix on Thursday, Oct. 24. Gordon owns and operates Puppet Pie, a downtown Phoenix puppetbuilding studio. She began her journey with the autism community in 2001 as a habilitation specialist and draws from that experience, and her experience as a mom, to bring Julia to life in an authentic, respectful and loving way. Gordon also teaches puppetry to a neurodiverse audience. Opening the event — the theme for which is “Systems and Strategies for Managing Behavior” — is keynote speaker Michael Gurian, a marriage and family counselor in private practice and the New York Times bestselling author of 32 books, including “The Wonder of Boys” and “The Wonder of Girls.” Gurian pioneered efforts to bring neuro-biology and brain research into homes, schools, corporations and public policy. OTHER PRESENTERS INCLUDE: • Lori Baudino, PhD, who specializes in dance/movement therapy to support children with cancer, special needs or terminal illness. • Erin Callinan, an ASU graduate and author of “Beautifully Bipolar: An inspiring Look into Mental Illness.” • Dan Davidson, a behavior-training specialist at Kaibab Behavioral Services in Flagstaff. • Eva Marie Shivers, PhD, a third-generation south Phoenix resident and nationally recognized researcher on issues related to culture, community and family and child development.


at Raising Special Kids Symposium

• Jami Snyder, director of Arizona’s Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). • Ehren Werntz, PhD, clinical director for family and community services at Arizona Autism United, who focuses on the treatment of challenging behavior. Raising Special Kids is a 40-year-old Phoenix nonprofit that provides information, resources and parent-to-parent support for families of children ages 0-26 with disabilities. IF YOU GO: Raising Special Kids Symposium, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24. $85-$225 (A limited number of scholarships are available for family members and self-advocates.) Desert Willow Conference Center, 4340 E. Cotton Blvd., Phoenix. Register at rsksymposium.org


opens in Scottsdale this month GREAT WOLF LODGE, an indoor water park and resort, will open Sept. 27 — nearly a month earlier than first expected — near Salt River Fields in Scottsdale. The 350-room, all-suite hotel will feature an 85,000-square-foot indoor water park and will be the first Great Wolf Lodge in Arizona and the 18th in North America. When open, the resort will debut a brand-new slide — a first-of-its-kind, four-person highspeed raft ride called Diamondback Drop. “Great Wolf Lodge Arizona will be the first water park in the world to offer this slide, and we think families will absolutely love this thrilling new addition,” Murray Hennessy, CEO of Great Wolf Resorts, said in a statement. “This new, daring Diamondback Drop slide will even further fuel the level of anticipation for our new resort, which is already extremely high. The pace of bookings is the fastest we’ve ever experienced for a new resort.” In addition to a water park, the lodge features Great Wolf Adventure Park, where families can explore ropes courses, play miniature golf and go bowling. It will also feature MagiQuest — Great Wolf Lodge’s exclusive live-action adventure game — and an arcade. Visit greatwolf.com/arizona



STEM az grown

D-BACKS seek applications for



Make sure your CHILD’S CAR SEAT is properly installed this month Child Passenger Safety Week is Sept. 15-21, and National Car Seat Check Saturday is Sept. 21. The events draw attention to the fact that car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 13 and younger, and that those deaths and injuries are often preventable with the proper use of children’s car seats, boosters and seat belts. On average, two children under age 13 were killed per day in 2016 while riding in cars, SUVs, pickups or vans. Safe Kids Maricopa County — which has educated parents and caregivers about keeping kids safe around water, while walking or riding bicycles and while riding in vehicles — is now under the umbrella of Child Crisis Arizona. Visit childcrisisaz.org to learn about Car Seat Safety events hosted by Safe Kids in Mesa, Peoria and Avondale Sept. 21-Oct 12. At press time, locations were still being finalized.


SUPER-SECRET SPY MESSAGES...VIA BANANA! By Sari Custer MY DAUGHTER STARTED kindergarten this year, so I’m packing her daily lunches for the first time. As I was admiring our new collection of bento boxes and character lunch bags, I started brainstorming other ways to make her lunches extra special. I love the idea of including a personal Post-it note, but I needed an idea for a little one who can’t yet read. I recalled this fun activity, which creates a secret science opportunity for any age. So grab a banana! We’re about to have a bunch of fun using science to create super-secret spy messages. Supplies: • Banana(s) — yellow with no brown spots work best • Bamboo skewer or toothpick • Timer (optional) • Imagination (required!) Directions: 1. Gently lay a banana on its side, giving you the broadest surface to write on. 2. Use a skewer to carefully scratch a message — or pictures — onto the banana skin. It’s not necessary to break the skin; pressing on it gently will do the trick. 3. Watch your banana as the message or image


THE ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS FOUNDATION is accepting applications for its $100,000 School Challenge, presented by University of Phoenix. The program is open to all K-12 Arizona public, private and nonprofit charter schools. Teachers and administrators are encouraged to submit online applications by Sept. 27. Having received more than 3,800 applications in seven seasons, the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation has given out $950,000 in grants to more than 200 schools since 2012. The grants, worth up to $5,000, have helped schools from across the state with innovative programs ranging from an all-inclusive playground to a flight simulation program, a school garden and an electronic response system. For details, visit dbacks. com/schoolchallenge

begins to emerge in dark brown or black. Optional: Use a timer to track how long it takes for the message to develop. 4. Slip the banana into your favorite person’s lunch box for a surprise. What’s happening? When the cells of the banana skin are damaged (cut, bruised, scuffed, etc.), the cells release a chemical called polyphenol oxidase, which reacts with oxygen to produce brown pigments. Bananas also produce ethylene gas, which speeds the ripening process by breaking down cell walls, continuing the browning process as the banana ripens. Try comparing how long it takes a banana with a message to go completely brown versus an unmarked banana. Is there a difference? Did you know? Bananas are among the most popular fruits in the world, running neck-and-neck with tomatoes. Sari Custer is a lifelong science junkie, chief scientist at Arizona Science Center, and mom to daughter Carson (5). Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @SariOnScience.

RaisingARIZONAKids.com SEPTEMBER 2019


az grown technology


What parents should know about TIKTOK By Ilana Lowery

LET’S SEE A VIRTUAL show of hands: How many of you as parents are thoroughly confused — and somewhat overwhelmed — by the wide array of smartphone apps, video games and online media that bombard your kids every day? It’s hard to keep up, and even harder to scrutinize each app children download, play or watch. Still, there are a number of apps and social networks that have gained enough popularity to be on most parents’ radars. One of those is TikTok - Real Short Videos. TikTok is a free social media app for sharing user-generated music videos. It lets you watch, create and share short (up to 15-second) videos — often to pop-music hits — right from your phone. It used to be called musical.ly in the United States, but was rebranded after merging with TikTok last year. With more than 100 million users, TikTok is incredibly popular, owing in part to its slick mash-up of features from other favorite apps for kids. As on the now-defunct Vine, kids can create short, shareable videos ranging from funny to serious. And just like YouTube, TikTok is an interactive world that lets kids connect with friends and admirers through likes, comments and even duets. While TikTok videos are mostly harmless, creative fun, there are real concerns about kids using the app. As with any social network, you have to adjust the privacy settings to limit how



much information you and your kids are sharing. Kids can post stuff without reviewing or editing it first. And yes, there have been reports of online predators using the app to target younger users. This year, TikTok paid millions of dollars to settle with federal regulators who charged it violated child privacy laws. As part of the settlement, Tik Tok created a separate section of the app for users under age 13 that only lets them view curated videos. Kids can’t comment, search or post their own videos, and their data isn’t collected. Common Sense Media recommends the app for age 16 and up, mainly because of privacy issues and mature content. TikTok users often livestream via LiveMe - Live Video Chat, directly interacting with online audiences through chat. And because the app features popular music, the lyrics can include profanity and sexual content. Although the videos Common Sense Media reviewed showed only some revealing clothing, some families have encountered sexually suggestive or even explicit material. As of last August, a Digital Well-Being setting within the app allows parents to set two-hour screen-time limits (locked with a password), and a new Restricted Mode (also password protected) can help filter out inappropriate content, according to Patricia Monticello Kievlan, a writer and educator based in Houston, who has reviewed websites,

apps and games for Common Sense Media and Common Sense Education since 2013. The settings allow users to share their videos with specific friends or the general public, but setting accounts to “private” does nothing to eliminate previously obtained followers, Kievlan cautions. The newest version of the app focuses on themed challenges, encouraging kids to make videos of themselves doing things like editing two videos together or working out to ’80s music. Parents should note that the app has its own celebrities, and kids may be using it in hopes of becoming popular and even famous. Keep in mind that users can’t delete accounts themselves and must request a delete code from the developers after submitting their phone number. Make sure to read the developer’s privacy policy for details on how your (and your kids’) information is collected, used and shared, and keep in mind that privacy policies and terms of service can change frequently. FOR A SHORT VIDEO explaining TikTok, visit commonsensemedia.org/videos/what-is-tiktok

Ilana Lowery is the Arizona director for Common Sense Media. She can be reached at ilowery@commonsense.org.


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RaisingARIZONAKids.com SEPTEMBER 2019


az grown relationships


Grand ATIONAL parent s is SU N



T. 8



Ellen with Aviva.

By Ellen Greenblum

WHEN I GAVE BIRTH to twin daughters 32 years ago, I never imagined my babies becoming parents. It seemed light-years away. But in the nonstop busyness of growing up, milestones stacked up rapidly into bigger and grander moments, until one daughter gave birth, then three months later, the other. I wasn’t totally new at grandparenting. Jayden, my daughter Amelia’s stepson, has trained me over the past four years. Jayden and I have weekly Thursday date nights. I can be selectively exempt from the rule enforcement that is his parents’ job. Occasionally I can bare my soul to him, so he can practice the reciprocal nature of relationships and share stories about things we have in common. He tells me when my daughter loses her temper and complains he’s not clean enough. Jayden is a typical grimy, frog-catching 8-yearold, and my daughter has obsessive-compulsive disorder. Her OCD was difficult for me when I was raising her, and I can sincerely empathize with Jayden. I can also tell him he can be pretty



The ability to PARTICIPATE AS A CAREGIVER in a small or large capacity could be a WIN-WIN SOLUTION to the emergent needs of a family. darn gross, and he needs to work on that. The babies are now 16 and 19 months. I remember understanding love at a completely new level when I gave birth and saw my daughters for the first time. I remember

thinking I would never love anyone so much ever again. That tidal-wave feeling washed over me anew as I witnessed them give birth to their own children. Holding their tiny babies was such an undiluted moment of joy that almost two years later, I am searching for words that capture the experienced sense of completeness and wonder. A baby’s development is fast. As a mother of twins, I was so sleep deprived I couldn’t appreciate every milestone and individuating nuance. Now, I have the luxury of gushing at every cute and brilliant thing the grandbabies do. Rachael recently texted a photo of her daughter, Aviva, standing proudly next to their Aussie-mix Sela, who was all wrapped up like a mummy in toilet paper. The caption read, “I only left the room for a minute.” Once upright, Amelia’s baby Violet skipped walking and went straight to dancing. She twirls in circles while clapping her hands, shrieking sounds of selfapproval. I am so fortunate to be part of this family

constellation. We are mutually dependent in a wide spectrum of ways. As I grow older, my daughters’ families are a reason to stay young. My 95-year-old mother, who lives a few miles from me, tells me her incentive for living is having something to look forward to like the fun of the next “party” (any event that includes any number of her offspring and their offspring). Having met many, if not most, of my career goals, my priorities are shifting, and my mother’s sentiments are relatable. My daughters’ families need me as well. It is a very difficult time to be a parent. The cost of living outpaces increases in minimum wage. Jobs do not guarantee health insurance. Households with two working parents often can’t afford the daycare needed to maintain jobs. Singleparent families have it even tougher. Families are increasingly vulnerable in a society where school shootings, bullying, racial and economic and gender inequities are part of life. My daughters consult with me on difficult issues that affect them personally. We discuss best options for childcare, schooling and health care, based on the individual needs of the child, the family as a whole and the logistics of finances. I confess to still paying for their phones, because I honestly don’t know how they cover all of their bases with what they have. Ongoing research shows that active grandparenting benefits the grandparent as well as the parents and grandchildren. As senior adults have fulfilled many of their career and personal life goals, the importance of staying active is a critical consideration for mental health, cognitive health and quality of life. The ability to participate as a caregiver in a small or large capacity could be a win-win solution to the emergent needs of a family. Intergenerational exchanges of knowledge offer grandparents exposure to new ideas, ways of thinking and connection to the here and now. The experiences and stories that a grandparent can share help connect the younger generation to history, making the past more accessible. My mother, a Holocaust survivor of Nazi Germany, has been able to share her story with three generations. History as context for the development of identity, values and future pursuits is foundational in making sense and meaning in one’s world. A 19-year-study out of Boston College showed that emotionally close ties between grandchild and grandparent considerably reduced depressive symptoms in both groups. Additionally, the more significant relationships children have growing up, the healthier and more successful they may be as adults. The saying, “It takes a village to raise a child” is something all parents realize almost immediately when the overwhelming feeling of responsibility arises along with the bubbling surges of love for a new baby. Meanwhile, grandma and/or grandpa might be well-positioned to help and thrilled to still be an important member of the family. Ellen Greenblum, a.k.a. Oma to her grandkids, is a proud grandmother and chairs the Arts and Humanities department at Prescott College in Prescott.

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for Families with Special Needs

Lots of fun, plus one-to-one emotional support By Debra Citron


UBLIC LIBRARIANS are awesome. They are the most versatile, eclectic members of the helping professions, and books are just a small part of their purview. Librarians specialize in providing access to knowledge. Pragmatic, resourceful and responsive, they recognize — and work to remedy — conditions that impact our community’s ability to obtain and utilize knowledge. That is why you will find public librarians managing art and music collections, teaching children to code and use 3D printers, providing homework help and after-school snacks to hungry kids, offering job training and newbusiness or tax-preparation courses, and holding storytimes and literacy classes.



Jill Harrell, children’s librarian at Phoenix Public Library’s Agave branch in north Phoenix, is one of these highly committed professionals. About five years ago, she noticed that some of the children who attended her regular storytimes had problems adapting to the large, often crowded group settings. Different kids, different problems. Some were overwhelmed, some overstimulated; some couldn’t focus, others were bossy. Parents of those children were struggling, too, when their kids would act out or behave inappropriately. Harrell wondered what type of program would allow these kids to get the most out of storytime and learn skills that would eventually allow them to successfully transition back to the larger venue. She wanted a place where distressed parents could relax a little and not

feel that peers were silently critiquing their parenting skills. She realized that a smaller, quieter space was a good first step. Then she worked with occupational, speech and music therapists and the staff at Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center for pointers on how to develop her program. A “sensory storytime” movement designed specifically for children with autism was getting started around this time and offered some excellent resources, but Harrell knew that kids who aren’t on the autism spectrum also have issues that keep them from adjusting to regular storytimes. (At least one child in 20 in Arizona has one or more disabilities, according to Cornell University’s disabilitystatistics.org.) Her goal was to give


all parents and children “strategies and skills to help them participate in typical library programs and to help integrate them into the larger community with their peers.” Harrell made her case before the library director, and her inclusive view prevailed. Storytimes for Families with Special Needs began in 2015. The program is offered at 11:30 a.m. Fridays in the smaller-sized Babytime room at Agave. Storytimes for Families with Special Needs is for “children with all types of developmental disabilities — including developmental delays, speech delays and sensory issues or behavior challenges — who are at the preschool level of development, regardless of their chronological age,” Harrell says. Because of the sessions’ focus on inclusivity, Harrell doesn’t ask parents to provide her with disability labels. The child’s name and what he or she needs in order to successfully attend social programs is enough. Harrell is not a therapist and doesn’t provide treatment. Her small storytime group is built around language, play, social skills and sensory needs, because she believes the role of library staff is to “supplement, enrich and extend children’s literacy development.” I visited Storytimes for Families with Special Needs recently and loved it. The carpeted venue is modern in style, but inviting and visually engaging — asymmetrical walls, tiny colored spot lights, comfortable banquette seating and a corral full of big squishy bean bags and plenty of toys. A white board parked inside the entrance holds an early literacy tip for caregivers: “Keep reading fun and playful. Give your child something to hold. Stop when it’s no longer fun.” The board sports manilla paper pockets, each labeled with one of the session’s activities. Later, when each activity begins, a child is chosen to remove the proper card from the proper pocket, then return it to the “done” pocket when the activity is finished. Bubble-blowing — a sure-fire attentiongetter — is the warm-up act and gets the children on the same page. Harrell personally meets and greets every visitor (seven kids from ages 2-8, four caregivers and two observers the day I visited), and everyone is introduced. Then the “Hi, Hello” song, to the tune of “London Bridge,” starts the session moving — literally. Almost every element of the program involves movement along with vocalizing and touch.

Harrell has the calm, balanced presence of a Zen master; low-key but spirited, dignified yet funny, focused but flexible, patient yet disciplined. She is a marvelous teacher, totally in the moment. Children respond to her kindness and obvious respect for them. Her program is beautifully orchestrated. After the opening, there is another familiar song, “The Alphabet Song” with sign. Magnetic letters — all Ps, the letter of the day — are handed out, followed by pig, panda, polar bear and parrot hand puppets. Purple-painted Ps are plastered to paper plates. (Try saying that five times, fast!) All handouts are put away after Harrell’s gentle warning countdown. Then it’s time to read a picture book: “Bremner and the Party,” about a pufferfish who is anxious about going to a party. He’s afraid he will be afraid, puff up and ruin the celebration. The kids listen attentively, and Harrell expertly draws them out, getting them to think and talk about how the situations in the story might make them feel if they were Bremner. (The book is by Carrie Bolin and Jessica Firpi and illustrated by John Graziano.) Next, it’s time for more songs and movement. The children drive a fire truck and zoom to the moon; act out “The Wheels on the Bus” and dance up a storm with elasticized ribbons on their wrists; play a counting and jumping game and finish up with more bubbles and a chorus of “Wonderful World” and good-byes. Storytimes employ many techniques found in the special needs best-practices playbook — visual, auditory and tactile stimulation; dependable, repetitive routines; multiple communications modalities (print, graphics, speech and sign); interactive hands-on materials, and above all, responsive one-to-one emotional support. After the regular session ends, Stay and Play begins for those who can. It is less structured, so everyone mingles and chats. A different assortment of tactile and visually stimulating toys and puzzles emerge from the corral, along with the pièce de résistance — a big wood-and-plastic fan-powered contraption that launches sheer, colorful scarves into the air. Everyone wants a turn on both ends of the launcher, and the space is soon filled with laughter and floating bits of rainbow color. Harrell works with the kids, asking questions, demonstrating how to feed the launcher or running interference when needed. The moms and caregivers swap

stories and tips. As various kids get hungry or restive, playthings are put away and the get-together breaks up. “Build it and they will come” isn’t as simple as it sounds. Program development, approvals, funding, scheduling, staffing, community awareness — each takes time and hard work. And once it’s built, and they’ve come, and you’ve seen that it’s good, you want to grow it and share it. Because Harrell is a passionate champion of this program, which is obviously near and dear to her heart, she welcomes observers and works with Phoenix Public Library librarians as well as representatives from Maricopa County, Glendale and Scottsdale libraries, hoping that they will set up special needs storytimes in their communities. It’s tricky, though. Librarians who conduct these story sessions need the right temperament in addition to proper training; and sessions, to be effective, need to be weekly to establish a useful routine. Attendance numbers — so important in gauging the success of regular programs — aren’t as important in special needs programs, because of the more challenging circumstances of the participants. Some days are better than others. Some days, it’s impossible to get out of the house. The success of special needs outreach programs should be measured by their own three Rs — resources, results and relationships. Harrell has created what she modestly calls “a positive, supportive, encouraging environment that is predictable and structured for the children,” and she has seen her child- and family-focused program develop valuable, trusting relationships among families, library staff and services. What I saw were happy, engaged kids who think learning and libraries are fun, and relaxed, re-energized parents who enjoy a special space to share their concerns with other caring adults —thanks to the efforts of an awesome librarian. I’d say that’s success by any measure. Storytimes for Families with Special Needs 11:30 a.m. Fridays at Agave Library, 23550 N. 36th Ave., Glendale (in north Phoenix) Debra Citron is a Phoenix writer, editor and lifelong supporter of children’s literature and literacy.

RaisingARIZONAKids.com SEPTEMBER 2019



Jennifer Kupiszewski with Airleigh







wo years ago, my sister Cheryl, who is in her 40s, discovered she was pregnant. Her only child was 26, and she had been told she could not have more children. So the pregnancy was a shock, but a welcome one. Our family was on a new journey. Shortly after learning she was pregnant, Cheryl was told the baby had a heart condition, and likely Down syndrome. The diagnosis was confirmed a few weeks later. Then Cheryl developed pre-eclampsia, and Airleigh was born two months premature, weighing 5 pounds, 5 ounces and sporting a full head of spiky, black hair. She spent two months in the neonatal intensive care unit. We constantly worried about Airleigh’s health, even after she had a successful open-heart surgery at the tender age of 8 months. As an attorney whose professional life involves guiding families through the legal and financial challenges of raising a child with special needs, I also worried for my sister’s family’s financial future. There are so many unexpected expenses for a child with special needs. Many of the healthcare expenses are covered by Arizona Long Term Care insurance (a Medicaid program) if the child is eligible, but it doesn’t cover everything. I wanted to help my sister focus on her daughter without fear for their future. I spoke to Cheryl, her husband and our family about drafting a special-needs trust. The idea was that family and friends would contribute monetary gifts on Airleigh’s birthday and Christmas, and we could direct any inheritance gifts there, too. We could build savings over time to protect her future. When properly drafted, a special-needs trust is a way to give money to someone on government benefits without affecting their eligibility for those benefits. That means when Airleigh turns 18, and her financial assets are reviewed to determine her eligibility for need-based Medicaid or Social Security programs, the government can’t consider any money held for her in the special-needs trust. Without such a trust, adults applying for benefits cannot hold more than $2,000 in money or assets without losing their eligibility. Everyone in our family was excited about the opportunity to do something that would make a meaningful difference for Airleigh. We have set up what’s called a “third-party special-needs trust” because all the money comes from our family — a third party. A first-party specialneeds trust is needed when the beneficiary is receiving funds directly.




By Jennifer Kupiszewski, Esq.


For example, someone may have received compensation for debilitating injuries suffered in a car accident. This distinction is important: If something were to happen to Airleigh, the government cannot claim the money from a third-party trust. It would have a claim on funds from a first-party trust. Airleigh still gets gifts to open on her birthday and at Christmas, but we also put cash gifts in her trust. Each member of our family contributes what they can. Our goal is for the trust to grow while she is young and has adequate healthcare coverage. When she is an adult, these funds can be used for her postsecondary education, dental care, to go on a trip or to cover many other expenses not covered by government programs. Some caveats: • Creating a special-needs trust by downloading forms off the internet can be dangerous. If done incorrectly, it can result in a person being denied benefits to which they are otherwise entitled. • Once there is money in a special-needs trust, the amount must be reported to agencies, such as Medicaid, that provide benefits to the recipient. An annual review is required to to ensure funds withdrawn are being used properly. A special-needs trust does not have to be expensive and is usually done as part of an estate plan. It can be an amazing gift toward providing a future for a child with special needs while also providing a measure of financial relief for parents so they can focus on their child. For those of you whose take-away is that I gave my beloved niece the most boring baby gift ever, I feel a need to defend myself. I also have bought adorable unicorn swimsuits, a super-cool stroller/car seat, a Fire tablet and more fun stuff. But the special-needs trust ensures that Airleigh will continue to have what she needs — and more — in the future. Jennifer Kupiszewski, Esq., is a managing partner at Kile & Kupiszewski, LLC, a Scottsdale-based law firm specializing in special needs and ALTCS planning, guardianship/ conservatorship, probate and trust administration, estate planning and probate litigation. She is also president of the board of directors for Raising Special Kids, a nonprofit that provides parent-to-parent support, resources and advocacy training for families.

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DevereuxAZ.org RaisingARIZONAKids.com SEPTEMBER 2019





Words matter; but getting this right isn’t always easy By Amy Silverman


used to love the term “mouth breather.” I loved it so much that I once stopped reading a column my then-boss had written for the newspaper where I worked, stood up mid-paragraph, and marched to his office to compliment him in person for calling a member of Congress a mouth breather. Hilarious. So clever! I chuckled for days. Many years later, I stood over a crib and watched my sweet baby girl sleep. Her mouth was open, tongue hanging out. This is not unusual for Sophie. People with Down syndrome tend to have small openings (like nostrils and ear canals) and tongues that don’t quite fit their small mouths. I watched Sophie and felt my stomach drop, as I realized just what “mouth breather” means. And to whom it refers. I had to sit down. I worked for a paper that prided itself on taking no prisoners, telling it like it is, championing the truth. Pick your cliché. We did good work, but the worst thing you could call someone in our newsroom was politically correct. Sophie is now 16 years old. She has been my greatest teacher. And one thing I’ve learned in the classroom of life is the power of language. “Just because you can say it doesn’t



mean you should,” is what I tell my writing students these days. Language and how we look at it has changed quite a bit since my then-boss wrote that column in 1997, and in a lot of ways, it’s more complicated than ever. Particularly when it comes to disability. I still use the f-word, but I’ve abandoned the r-word. Most of us know by now not to use the word retarded, but really, there’s not much agreement beyond that. Even the word disability is fraught, as I learned in the summer of 2018, when I was hired to edit a style guide on disability language. The guide is published by the National Center on Disability and Journalism, housed at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. The center has been housed at ASU since 2008; the guide is older than that. It had been updated several times over the years, but needed a thorough scouring. I spent months interviewing experts, scouring Twitter for relevant conversations and talking to people with disabilities. Because language changes so quickly, especially in this arena, the guide will likely need another overhaul soon. NCDJ’s guide is

designed for use by journalists, and it’s sorely needed because the bible of the industry, the AP Style Guide, doesn’t address much of this. Turns out other people need it too, and in the year since I completed this project, I’ve had requests from all kinds of people who wonder just how they should be talking about disability. There are more than 200 terms discussed in the guide (ncdj.org/style-guide), so I can’t tell you about all of them. But I can give you some key points that might help you navigate this arena — and advise others who struggle. • Ask the person with the disability what term he or she prefers. Don’t assume; attempt to ask directly. You can’t always do this. Perhaps you can’t get in touch. Or maybe the person has a disability that makes it difficult to communicate a preference. If direct communication is impossible, ask someone close to the person. • Use person-first language. You want to prioritize the person, not the disability. So you would refer to Sophie as a young woman with Down syndrome, not a Down syndrome woman. Avoid everything from “a diabetic” to “an

albino.” It’s a man with diabetes, a girl with albinism. (Most rules have exceptions. Many in the deaf community want to be referred to, simply, as “deaf.” And there’s a lot of debate in the autism community. Some use “person with autism” while others very much prefer “autistic person” or “autistic.”) • Be gentle. We all need to be careful not to be the word police. I think it’s important that this guide is published by journalists, who really appreciate the value of freedom of speech. In our zeal to say the right thing — and to get others to follow suit — we often attack someone who misuses language. It’s important to acknowledge that the rules are constantly changing in this arena and that nothing is black and white. Person-first language is relatively new. Not so long ago, the term “special needs” was widely considered the most sensitive way to refer to a person with a disability. That description is now facing scrutiny, as evidenced by the recent #NotSpecialNeeds social media campaign. I do understand the desire to control others’ language, particularly for parents of children with disabilities. When you have a disability or care for someone who has one, you often have so little control over your world. You might not be able to get your kid a school placement that works. The airline might damage your wheelchair. Medical issues can be impossible. But language is something you can always take charge of — and sometimes, for me, the best way I can feel like I’m in charge of my world and Sophie’s world is to call someone out for using the word retarded, or referring to her as a “Downs kid.” I get it. But I’ve tried to pull back lately, to offer polite corrections instead of angry admonishments. We run a real risk that if we aren’t gentle, people will stop talking about disability altogether. And we don’t want that, either. Amy Silverman is a longtime Valley journalist and is on the advisory board of the National Center on Disability and Journalism. She is the author of “My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love and Down Syndrome,” and is working on a second book about what it means to come of age with an intellectual disability. Learn more at amy-silverman.com

From the initial diagnosis through school-aged years and beyond, individuals with Down syndrome and their families face a wide range of challenges and often complicated journey to learn how to best support and nurture their loved ones. Down Syndrome Network helps every step of the way.

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RaisingARIZONAKids.com SEPTEMBER 2019





“SUPER HOUSE” Bryce and Allison Lefebvre know real joy raising their three sons, two of whom are extremely medically fragile. By Karen Davis Barr ❚ Photos by Rick D'Elia


SEE THE SIGN FROM THE STREET, before I get out of my car. Before I walk up the sidewalk to the front door. Before my feet crash into the aluminum ramp I don’t see, because I am so focused on the sign. Is it some sort of caution? Hardly. The words, neatly printed in purple marker, couldn’t be more reassuring: “super house.” The simple phrase is punctuated by happy, colorful ink-stamped images: flowers, starbursts, puppy prints, hearts. Slowly, I release my breath. This home, where the edge between life and loss is razor sharp, is not sad or scary. It’s strong. It’s joyful. Weston Lefebrve runs to open the door. He’s the oldest of Bryce and Allison Lefebvre’s three young sons, and the artist behind the “super house” sign. As Weston shyly retreats, I walk into the cozy living room of this modest, north Phoenix home. It is filled to the brim: comfy, overstuffed furniture; a whitewashed upright piano, children’s toys. Family photos cover every wall. It’s all very typical of a household with children between the ages of 2 and 6. Some things, however, are not typical. Miles, 4, is in a wheelchair, attached to tubes that feed him and help him breathe. Caleb, 2, scoots around the living room floor with the help of a child-sized walker. And there are two extra adults in the house — caregivers on a team that provides 24/7 medical support and supervision to these two boys, both of whom were born with myeloschisis, the most serious type of spina bifida, a neural tube defect. This isn’t the kind of life the Lefebrves expected when they fell in love, married and started their family. But it’s a life they embrace each day with endless grace and gratitude — despite the wheelchair, the walker, the breathing tubes, the feeding tubes, the closet shelves crammed with medical supplies, the frequent surgeries and hospitalizations, the ever-present nursing support, the difficulty of taking their three children on a family outing, the tough decisions to leave one or two of them at home. And of course, there is the constant threat that one of their boys will suddenly stop breathing.

THE LEFEBVRES lived in Chicago when they got married in 2011. They loved the city, where Allison worked in corporate event planning and Bryce was an associate for the business consulting firm PwC. They were delighted when Allison became pregnant with Weston. Because Allison has Type I diabetes, her pregnancy was considered high risk. Several doctors urged her to deliver early, by C-section, to prevent complications. She fought for a natural birth; Weston arrived healthy and without incident. The Lefebvres happily began life as a family of three. They soon felt a pull to return to the Phoenix area. Allison was raised in Washington but graduated from Arizona State University and loved the desert sunshine. Bryce’s family traveled a lot as he was growing up — thanks to the pro baseball career of his dad, Jim Lefebvre — but considered Phoenix home base. Bryce played college baseball at the University of California Santa Barbara, then transferred to Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, where he graduated with a degree in accounting. “We’re just West Coast kids,” Allison says. “You’re drawn to what’s familiar.” Soon after they moved back to Phoenix, Allison started a small business called AZ Momtourage (like “entourage”), a blogging and social/educational networking group for moms. “I think it’s pretty typical for any stay-at-home mommy to want to nurture the business side,” she says. Her business took off, fueled by a singular passion: “I could never stand the thought of anyone feeling lonely for any reason.” Then she became pregnant with her second son, Miles. Within weeks, an ultrasound confirmed the baby was in trouble. An opening in his back was exposing his spinal cord and neural tissues to damaging amniotic fluid in his mother’s womb. The child faced partial paralysis, immobility, bladder and bowel dysfunction, intellectual disabilities and more. “Getting the diagnosis was shocking,” Allison says. “That was by far the darkest moment of my life. I remember driving home in a daze. I went to pick up Weston, who was 16 months old. It was hot.

RaisingARIZONAKids.com SEPTEMBER 2019


THE FACTS • Spina bifida occurs when a baby’s neural tube fails to develop or close properly. The literal meaning of the word is “split spine.” • Spina bifida is the most common, permanently disabling birth defect in the U.S. • The birth defect typically occurs within the first 28 days of pregnancy, while the neural tube is forming, and often before a woman knows she is pregnant. • Pregnancy screening tests that can detect or flag concerns about a possible spina bifida diagnosis include the alphafetoprotein blood test, an ultrasound and amniocentesis. • The causes of spina bifida are not fully understood. The possible roles of genetic and environmental influences need further study. Current recommendations to reduce the risk include taking 400 micrograms of folic acid every day during a woman’s childbearing years. • For parents of a child with spina bifida, the likelihood of having a second child with the condition is just 3 percent. –Sources: Centers for Disease Control, Spina Bifida Association

LOCAL SUPPORT The Spina Bifida Association of Arizona offers resources, programs and events to support children and adults with spina bifida. 1001 E. Fairmount Ave., Phoenix. Call 602-274-3323 or email office@sbaaz.org



I stopped to get gas and accidentally locked my keys in the car. I had to call the fire department! I don’t know where my head was.” That night, she and Bryce sat in silence for awhile, then went for a walk. Allison had never seen Bryce so low. “All I ever wanted was a normal life,” he said. “Well, you’ve got an extraordinary one,” she replied. It was one time in many yet to come when their emotional dynamic as a couple — rarely are both “down” at the same time — helped them move forward. The full emotional impact hit Allison soon after. She remembers two weeks of lying in bed, crying into her pillow. “I was walking around like I was a ghost,” she says. “I didn’t know what was happening around me.” She wanted to cancel a baby shower that was being planned. “I guess I was thinking, I don’t get to celebrate this. But wonderful friends said, ‘We’re having the baby shower.’ ” That kind of understanding and support continued after Miles was born. Family, friends and members of their church offered donations, meals, Instagram fundraisers. Though much appreciated, the help wasn’t easy to accept, especially for Bryce. “He is more private than I am, so it’s more difficult for him,” Allison says. “But people do really want to help.” Somehow they adapted to their new normal: multiple surgeries and hospitalizations for Miles, training in resuscitation and other medical techniques for them, sleepless nights and too many hours away from Weston, who received plenty of loving care from others during each crisis. As the seemingly impossible became routine, the Lefebvres longed to add to their family. “I was told the chances [of a second child with spina bifida] are so nominal, I shouldn’t worry about it — though I did,” says Allison. “I was getting IV folic acid therapy, paying thousands of dollars [for it], eating all the right things. If someone turned the microwave on, I would leave the house.” That’s how hard she worked to avoid every possible negative environmental influence. “I was still a little bit feeling like it was my fault [Miles has spina bifida],” she says. “As a mother, you’re carrying that child, you have those feelings. I thought if I can control one environmental factor, this birth might have a very different outcome.” Despite the precautions, pregnancy tests showed Caleb, too, would be born with the rarest and most debilitating form of spina bifida. “I’m sure some people were thinking, ‘Why did they have another child? They’ve already got one with such severe disabilities.’ We know what people think,” Allison says. “Our support with Caleb ran deep, not wide, but the people that came back the second time were there for us, there for good.” With this pregnancy, however, the couple convinced doctors to undertake a rare, in-utero surgery that had the potential to mitigate the effects of the damage. The procedure involved cutting Allison open and performing neurosurgery on the baby. It posed great risks to both baby and mom, but Allison was determined to give this child the best possible chance for a higher quality of life. The procedure helped. Caleb hasn’t escaped scary complications, brain surgeries, hospitalizations or limitations, but he is much more mobile than his big brother. For now, Caleb doesn’t need a tracheostomy, though he has on occasion stopped breathing and required CPR. On optimistic days, his family dreams Caleb may someday be mainstreamed in a typical school classroom. “I wouldn’t trade Caleb for the world,” Allison says. “Even if I’d known [before getting pregnant] that he was going to have spina bifida, I would still absolutely have him.” She has a good example for that resolve. “My mom had me,” says Allison, whose older sister has a milder form of spina bifida. (The close connection makes her question common wisdom that the defect is not genetic.) The example her parents always set — “they roll with

Page 16 (clockwise from top): Allison holds Caleb (2) and plays with Weston (6); Bryce and Caleb; Caleb; Miles (4). Page 18 (left to right): Miles, Allison, Caleb (standing) and Weston. Page 19: The Lefebvres’ primary home nurse, Alma Sanchez, with Miles.

the punches” — would come to serve her well. And her experience as the sibling of a person with disabilities gives her great empathy for Weston’s unique and challenging life experience. “Weston is forced into very much of a nurturer role,” Allison says. “He is so tenderhearted. It’s a great quality. He’s been asked to be a helper at a very young age, and he does a great job of it. Hopefully the consequence of all of this is he’s going to have a level of moral character ahead of the curve. And I think he already does.” The Lefebvres enjoy an extraordinary level of home health care that would have been unthinkable until recent years. It wasn’t easy to come by. The couple fought for home-based services, eventually finding support from the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest. “We worked really hard because of Miles’s high acuity,” Allison says. “His baseline status requires one-to-one [care]. Only in the last 10 years have children like him, who are essentially on life support, been able to come home [and have this level of support].” Because of the damage to Miles’s neurological system, there are times when he simply stops breathing. “And then his heart will stop,” Allison says. “It doesn’t happen as much as it used to, but you can’t leave his side. So either the [home care] nurse is providing one-onone care or I’m on one-on-one care with him, or my husband. “We don’t call 9-1-1- very often. Only if … he’s not coming back.” That happened once during a Christmas dinner celebration with grandparents. Bryce was grilling ribs; Allison was in the kitchen making salad. When Miles stopped breathing, both parents rushed to his aid, but this time was different — he wasn’t responding. They called 9-1-1. The paramedics stabilized Miles. Bryce and Allison put the food on the dinner table and tried to bring back the celebratory mood. “It’s Christmas! Let’s celebrate!” Bryce remembers saying. “My dad was like, ‘I’m sorry. I’ve lost my appetite.’ ” BRYCE, WHO IS NOW a senior manager for Marriott International, works from home most days, in a separate office he built in the backyard, just steps from the house. “I keep a ‘go bag’ out there in case we need to rush to the hospital,” he says. Though round-the-clock care means no privacy as a couple or family, Allison and Bryce can’t imagine life without it. They

work very hard to maintain and support these relationships; they know better than anyone how stressful and emotional the work can be. “It’s very common to have a lot of turnover in home health care,” Allison says, “but Alma Sanchez has been with us for years. Most [care providers] have been with us two to four years. They love Miles, love watching him grow.” When Miles was born, Allison found solace in writing. She started a blog called An Upward Reckoning (anupwardreckoning.com), where she chronicled her sons’ medical journeys, processed her emotions and shared small victories or hard lessons learned. As is typical with online posts, her writing drew both support and hurtful criticism. She continues to write, but has switched to a private Facebook group. She also has started a “passion project” called Something So Worth It (somethingsoworthit.com). The nonprofit will provide “sunshine gift boxes” where “everything is yellow” as a way to connect with parents who face difficult diagnoses during pregnancy, Allison says. “I wanted to be a little ray of sunshine when they’re in a dark spot.” She hopes her charity will evolve to offer community support, resources and roundtables for discussion. Allison already reaches out to offer one-on-one support to other mothers in situations similar to hers. “I never sugar-coat it too much for them,” she says. “I give them my perspective, [saying] what you’ve been given right now is very difficult. There will be physical and emotional suffering for you and your child, now and forever. It’s not what you were hoping for, but I promise you, you will laugh harder than you ever thought, you will be a better mom, you will not sweat the small stuff. You will see the best in humanity, and it will be so worth it. You will rise to that challenge because you’re a mom.” “We’ve learned a lot of those lessons now, at a young age,” says Bryce. “Most people don’t figure them out until later in life.” “That’s why we consider ourselves the lucky ones,” Allison adds. “When I fall into comparison, or think what could have been, Bryce reminds me not to envy people who [appear to] have perfect lives. They don’t know God the way we know God, they don’t know the lessons we know, they don’t love the way we love. We wouldn’t wish for anyone to go through this, but we were lucky to learn those things, because if not, what could we have missed? I’m grateful. Really grateful.” Karen Davis Barr is the founder and publisher of Raising Arizona Kids.

RaisingARIZONAKids.com SEPTEMBER 2019





Resources for families navigating


For parents of children with special needs, finding the right combination of supports, services, schools and strategies can make a world of difference. A CARING HEART OF ARIZONA 15333 N. Pima Rd., Ste. 245, Scottsdale • 480-308-0382 • acaringheartllc.com A Caring Heart of Arizona provides in-home support services to adults and children with disabilities in Maricopa County. We have proudly served the community for more than 15 years.

ACCEL 10251 N. 35th Ave., Phoenix • 1430 E. Baseline Road, Tempe • 2222 S. Dobson Road, Building 9, Mesa • 602-995-7366 • accel.org ACCEL is a non-profit educational organization serving individuals (ages 5-22) with special needs, including developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disabilities and behavioral disorders. ACCEL has served children and adults throughout the Valley since 1980 through our private day school, adult services and Bista Center. We meet every special need and celebrate all accomplishments.

ALLY PEDIATRIC THERAPY 10595 N. Tatum Blvd., Suite E146, Paradise Valley • 2350 E. Germann Road, Suite 31, Chandler • 602-606-2237 • allypediatric.com The professionals at Ally Pediatric Therapy treat children and young adults (birth to age 22) with autism and other childhood disorders. Services — including applied behavior analysis (ABA) and speech-language, feeding and occupational therapies — address symptoms common in children with autism, including challenging behaviors, difficulty with socialization and communication, and challenges with school and life skills. Our team of expert clinicians works together to design and implement treatment plans customized for the unique needs of every child.

ANODYNE INDEPENDENT LIVING SPECIALISTS 18301 N. 79th Ave., Suite C-128, Glendale • 623-433-9907 • www.anodyneaz.com Anodyne Independent Living Specialists provides residential, home and community-based services to children and adults with developmental disabilities. Anodyne is a Greek word meaning comfort. We believe that every individual has the right to develop to his or her maximum potential in a dignified and respectful environment while living a life full of joy and purpose. Group homes, ADH & CDH, HCBS.

ARIZONA ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE 2005 N. Central Ave., Phoenix • 602-542-5025 • azag.gov Community outreach coordinators from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office will provide information to parents on child safety programs, including cyber safety, cyberbullying, the dangers of distracted driving and the importance of kids protecting their privacy.

ARIZONA AUTISM Locations in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Gilbert and Tucson • 602-726-2300 • arizonaautism.com Arizona Autism provides speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, habilitation, respite and attendant care for children (ages 3 and up) with all types of disabilities. Our pediatric therapy specialists help children achieve independence through special emphasis on fine-motor skills, selfhelp skills, self-care skills, attention, problem solving, socialization and sensory integration.

ARIZONA AUTISM UNITED 5025 E. Washington St., Suite 212, Phoenix • 602-773-5773 • azaunited.org AZA United offers a wide range of evidence-based and family-centered services for people with autism and their families. Many services are homebased, while others are offered at our clinics and in the community. We work with many funding sources, including DDD, behavioral health and individual insurance plans. Services for children and youth include: speech and feeding therapy, applied behavior analysis (ABA), habilitation, respite and behavior coaching. For family members: parent training, sibling support and help navigating the system. For schools and community partners: autism awareness training, school consultations and other community trainings.

RaisingARIZONAKids.com SEPTEMBER 2019


SPONSORED DIRECTORY ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES OFFICE FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL HEALTH CARE NEEDS 150 N. 18th Ave., Phoenix • 602-542-1860 • ocshcn@azdhs.gov The ADHS Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs works to improve systems of care, provide information and referrals to families seeking services for their child, and provide training to families and professionals on best practices related to medical home, cultural competence, sensory screening, transition to adulthood and family and youth involvement. OCSHCN also supports telemedicine to provide services in remote areas of the state.

ARIZONA DISABLED SPORTS 59 E. Broadway Road, Mesa • 480-835-6273 • arizonadisabledsports.com Arizona Disabled Sports offers adaptive sports and recreation activities for individuals with all types of disabilities through two different programs: Team Mesa Bulldogs (ages 8 and up) for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities and Arizona Heat (ages 6 and up) for individuals with physical disabilities. Our mission: “Let no one sit on the sidelines.”

AURORA BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SYSTEM 6350 S. Maple Ave., Tempe • 480-345-5420 • auroraarizona.com Aurora Behavioral Health System is a level-one behavioral health hospital with an exclusive Specialized Needs Unit designed to treat significant behavioral challenges for children ages 8-17 who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (or other diagnosed developmental/ intellectual disabilities) and are experiencing a crisis. A holistic approach to treatment includes adjunctive and recreation-based therapies, special education, sensory integration, functional behavior assessments and family-focused treatment planning.

AZ ASPIRE ACADEMY Campuses in Goodyear, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, Tempe and Tucson • 480-420-6630 • azaspireacademy.com AZ Aspire Academy is a fully accredited private day school for K-12 students with learning differences. Offers one-to-one and small-group instruction in a completely individualized, caring and safe learning environment.

AZ ON THE ROCKS 16447 N. 91st St., Suite 105, Scottsdale • 480-502-9777 • azontherocks.com This large Scottsdale climbing gym offers activities for kids and adults of all ages, plus yoga, ninja classes and fitness facilities, including cardiovascular and weight machines and free weights.

AZOPT KIDS PLACE 2302 N. 15th Ave., Phoenix • 14557 W. Indian School Road, Goodyear • 623-242-6908 • azopt.net AZOPT Kids Place is a pediatric practice providing physical, occupational, speech and feeding therapies. Offers private treatment rooms, a large gym area and specialized equipment including a pediatric treadmill, a partial weight-bearing gait device, electrical stimulation, specific feeding equipment and many sensory products. Founded in 2008 as a program of Arizona Orthopedic Physical Therapy.

CENTER FOR AUTISM AND RELATED DISORDERS, LLC 5 locations in metro Phoenix, 1 in Tucson • 877-448-4747 • centerforautism.com The Center for Autism and Related Disorders provides applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy and other family services for all ages. Our mission: to make a difference in the world by providing top-quality, innovative, evidence-based, effective treatment to ensure that individuals fulfill their potential.

CENTRIA AUTISM 2550 W. Union Hills Drive, Phoenix • 855-423-4629 • centriahealthcare.com/healthcare-services/autism-services Centria Autism, headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, is one of the largest providers of applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy in the nation, serving more than 3,000 families in 10 states. Centria provides in-home ABA for children ages 1-12 in Maricopa and Pinal counties. Intake Specialists help families navigate the system, including obtaining insurance prior-authorizations and scheduling autism spectrum disorder (ASD) evaluation appointments. Our goal is to provide accessible, comprehensive support to families in need of behavioral planning and intervention related to ASD.

DEVEREUX ADVANCED BEHAVIORAL HEALTH 2025 N. Third St., Suite 250, Phoenix • 602-283-1573 • devereuxaz.org Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health changes lives by unlocking and nurturing human potential for individuals with emotional, behavioral or cognitive differences. Since 1967, Devereux Arizona has provided services to children and families that address adolescent health and wellness, autism, brief intervention, foster care, outpatient counseling, prevention, residential treatment and respite.



DMG CHILDREN’S REHABILITATIVE SERVICES 3141 N. Third Ave., Suite 100, Phoenix • 602-914-1520 • DMGCRS.org DMG Children’s Rehabilitative Services meets the health care requirements of children with special needs by offering nearly all types of specialty and primary care in a state-of-the-art facility with a friendly, professional environment. More than 85 medical providers across more than 25 medical specialties serve children from birth to age 21, providing coordinated, integrated care. Primary care and therapy providers work directly with specialty physicians to deliver comprehensive treatment, utilizing one electronic medical record (EMR). Service teams in areas including nutrition/dietary, child life and social work collaborate with a renowned team of pediatric medical professionals to provide vital support to your child and family.

EMILY R. TAYLOR, ATTORNEY, PLLC 2001 E. Campbell Ave., Suite 203, Phoenix • 480-699-3145 • emilytaylorlaw.com The law firm of Emily R. Taylor, Attorney, PLLC is committed to helping individuals and families protect assets and benefits for loved ones with special needs. Areas of practice include personalized special needs and estate planning, guardianships and conservatorships, and long-term care planning.

ENVISION THERAPEUTIC HORSEMANSHIP 480-262-3434 • envisiontherapy.org Envision Therapeutic Horsemanship is a 510(c)(3) organization providing quality therapeutic riding, equine-facilitated life coaching and equine activities to children and adults. Envision works to equip and empower individuals and their families to move forward with momentum to their next level in life through working with horses.

GIRL SCOUTS - ARIZONA CACTUS-PINE COUNCIL 602.452.7031 • girlscoutsaz.org/join Girl Scouts - Arizona Cactus-Pine Council helps find the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ in every girl, preparing her for a lifetime of leadership — from taking a night-time hike under the stars to accepting a mission on the International Space Station; from lobbying the city council with her troop to holding a seat in Congress; from running her own cookie business today to tackling cybersecurity tomorrow. The pre-eminent leadership development organization for girls, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure and success.

GOMPERS PRIVATE SCHOOL 6601 N. 27th Ave., Phoenix • 602-336-0061 • gpslearning.org Gompers Private School provides customized academic and life-skills education for children with disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and intellectual disabilities. The unique instructional program uses research-based teaching methods supported heavily by Assistive Technology and community-based instruction.

KILE & KUPISZEWSKI LAW FIRM, LLC 8727 E. Via de Commercio, Scottsdale • 480-348-1590 • kilekuplaw.com Kile & Kupiszewski Law Firm, LLC provides legal services to families with children ages 1-18 in the areas of special needs and Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) planning, guardianship/conservatorship, probate and trust administration, estate planning and probate litigation.

LIVELY MINDS 480-406-8114 • livelymindstutoring.com Lively Minds Tutoring offers in-home, professional tutoring services for academic subjects and professional coaching services for executive function and study skills. We develop individual plans for each student based on unique strengths, needs and goals. Our students’ progress is monitored, and we have consistent results of academic success. We help students of all ages and abilities become confident, lifelong learners.

MILESTONE PEDIATRICS 2175 N. Alma School Road, Suite A-106, Chandler • 4641 N. 12th St., Suite 100, Phoenix • 231 W. Giaconda Way, Suite 103, Tucson 480-855-0474 • milestoneaz.com Milestone Pediatrics provides a range of therapy services that are client-centered and focused on helping the whole family. Quality speech therapy, occupational therapy and respite and habilitation services help children with developmental disabilities reach the fullness of their potential. The new Phoenix office features a sensory gym and quiet sensory room; Phoenix and Chandler locations now offer music therapy.

MOSAIC 2929 N. 44th St., Suite 300, Phoenix • 602-864-6030 • mosaicinfo.org Mosaic provides in-home and out-of-home services to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In-home services consist of habilitation, attendant and respite care; out-of-home services consist of adult/child developmental homes, where licensed providers open bedrooms in their own homes to provide care for adults/children with disabilities. Care providers are licensed through the state of Arizona, with dedicated Mosaic staff overseeing the well-being of residents.

RaisingARIZONAKids.com SEPTEMBER 2019


SPONSORED DIRECTORY NEW WAY ACADEMY 5048 E. Oak St., Phoenix • 602-389-8600 • newwayacademy.org Offers a transformative education for K-12 students with learning challenges. Combines research-based teaching, personalized instruction and small class sizes (7:1 student:teacher ratio) to turn academic frustration into enlightenment. New Way develops confident, lifelong learners who lead enhanced, productive lives and serve as positive examples of what individuals with learning differences can achieve.

PARENT PARTNERS PLUS Locations in Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Tempe, Chandler, Glendale, Peoria, Avondale, Buckeye, El Mirage, and Surprise 602-633-0732 • parentpartnersplus.com Provides support, developmental screenings and school-readiness activities for Maricopa County families who are expecting a child or have children ages birth to 3.

PDS FOUNDATION DENTISTS FOR SPECIAL NEEDS 4550 E. Bell Road, Building 1, Suite 106, Phoenix • 602-344-9530 • dentistsforspecialneeds.com Serves all ages living with special needs. PDS’s specially trained staff and sensory-integrated facility aim to work with and treat patients to ensure the most successful and comfortable dental visit possible without the immediate use of sedation.

PEDIATRIC FOOT & ANKLE SPECIALISTS 633 E. Ray Road, Suite 128, Gilbert • 480-534-7220 • pediatricfootankle.com Pediatric Foot & Ankle Specialists provides treatment of heel pain, fractures, sprains, ingrowns, plantar warts, in-toeing/out-toeing, toe walking, flat feet, gait abnormality, and tarsal coalition to patients from birth to age 20.

PINNACLE AUTISM THERAPY 1249 N. Lindsay Road, Gilbert • 19840 N. Cave Creek Road, Phoenix • 866-342-8847 • pinnacleautismtherapy.com Pinnacle Autism Therapy provides high-quality applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy services for children ages 1-18 in home, school, communitybased and center-based settings. Individualized, flexible therapy plans are designed to meet each child’s needs.

RAISING SPECIAL KIDS 5025 E. Washington St., Suite 204, Phoenix • 602-242-4366 or 800-237-3007 • raisingspecialkids.org For 40 years, Raising Special Kids has been strengthening Arizona families and systems of care to improve the lives of children ages 0-26 with disabilities and special health care needs. Raising Special Kids provides support, training, information and individual assistance for families navigating education and health care systems.

RYAN HOUSE 110 W. Muhammad Ali Way, First Floor, Phoenix • 602-200-0767 • ryanhouse.org Ryan House offers world-class care and programs that embrace all children and their families as they navigate life-limiting or end-of-life journeys. Palliative and respite care address the emotional, spiritual and social needs of the family, continuity of care from diagnosis to end-of-life, expert care provided by prestigious care partners and highly-trained staff and a loving community that offers ongoing support and compassion. Ryan House is the only facility of its kind in the state and only one of three in the country.

SOUTHWEST AUTISM RESEARCH & RESOURCE CENTER 300 N. 18th St., Phoenix • 602-340-8717 • autismcenter.org SARRC’s clinical model is grounded in applied behavior analysis (ABA) with a particular focus on naturalistic behavioral interventions in inclusive environments, including but not limited to in the home, in school, on the job or in the community. Each of SARRC’s therapeutic programs, classes and trainings are guided by best-practice models; the most currently available science; increasing independence and producing meaningful outcomes; and the individualized needs of the children, adolescents, adults and families we serve.

SOUTHWEST HUMAN DEVELOPMENT 2850 N. 24th St., Phoenix • 602-266-5976 • swhd.org Southwest Human Development is Arizona’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to early childhood development (ages birth to 5). Provides 40 innovative programs and services to 135,000 children and their families each year in the areas of Easter Seals Disabilities Services, child development, mental health, early literacy, Head Start/Early Head Start, family support, child welfare services and professional development and training.



SPECIAL OLYMPICS ARIZONA 602-230-1200 • specialolympicsarizona.org The mission of Special Olympics Arizona is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for all children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuous opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

SUZY FOUNDATION P.O. Box 24877, Tempe • 602-803-0137 • suzyfoundation.org Suzy Foundation is dedicated to helping individuals with the cost of assistive equipment not covered by insurance. Our hope is that all people may have the same opportunities despite challenges and disabilities.

THE BARRY GROUP, LLC 12725 W. Indian School Road, Suite E- 101, Avondale • 858-997-8450 • allysonbarry.com The Barry Group is a pediatric and behavioral health practice for ages 2 and up. Offers therapy, pediatric mental health support services, testing, social skills programs, parent coaching, school consultations, and a developmental summer camp.

THE OPPORTUNITY TREE 3146 E. Windsor Ave., Phoenix • 209 W. First St., Casa Grande • Duke Plaza, 19756 John Wayne Parkway, Maricopa 602-956-0400 • theopportunitytree.org Ages 14-22. Youth Transition Program helps youth transitioning out of the school system to develop pathways for the future. Job Training Program offers interactive activities to help members gain skills to be more independent in their employment. Adult Day Program helps members increase their independence in daily living, so they can be active in the community and cultivate social skills. Creative Arts Program offers fun and instructive art projects to help members hone skills in following directions and advocating for their wants and needs.

THE UNITED SCHOOL 9590 E. Shea Blvd., Building C, Scottsdale • 480-860-1339 • schoolforautism.org The United School’s rigorous programming challenges K-12 students to reach their highest academic and social potentials. We work closely with parents and specialists to determine the precise goals to be achieved in these two hemispheres. Our objective is to prepare each student with the knowledge and skills needed to integrate into mainstream schools. As research supports, early intervention is key to targeting essential social and academic skill sets needed for successful mainstream integration. As a result, we work closely with many ABA agencies in the Valley who believe in this same principle, and it’s why we’ve committed ourselves to growing our lower school capacity (K-2) year after year. We are aware that a mainstream school is not always a good fit for all, which is why our amazing program continues to challenge our students up to grade 12.

UCP OF CENTRAL ARIZONA 1802 W. Parkside Lane, Phoenix • 602-943-5472 • ucpofcentralaz.org UCP of Central Arizona operates an inclusive Early Learning Center (for ages 6 weeks-5 years) and provides home care (for any age) and Clinic and Home Therapy Services (occupational, physical, speech and language, feeding therapy) for children up to age 12. Our personalized programs are dedicated to advancing the independence, productivity and self-sufficiency of each individual.

WILD WEST CHILDREN’S DENTISTRY 4102 N. 24th St., Suite B2, Phoenix • 602-956-2024 • wildwestchildrensdentistry.com Wild West Children’s Dentistry offers Saturday and evening appointments, digital X-rays (for lower radiation), sedation (oral and general anesthesia) and free transportation (subject to availability). Recent movies are available for young patients’ entertainment. Emergencies and walk-ins welcome. Accepts most private insurance and AHCCCS plans. Discounts available for non-insured patients. Se habla Español.


Birthday Parties!

RaisingARIZONAKids.com SEPTEMBER 2019


“Fiddler on the Roof” at ASU Gammage (Jan. 28 - Feb 2, 2020).

2019-2020 Performing Arts Preview

Who doesn’t remember watching one’s first live performance? Seeing actors onstage, with lighting, costumes and music, can be unforgettable to a child. We comb through the new seasons announced by local venues and performance companies to find plays and musicals worth noting on the family calendar. Here are four categories of shows — timeless classics, children’s books brought to life, animated favorites coming to the stage and plays that prompt conversations with kids. These are only highlights plucked from a packed season of onstage dramas, comedies and musical theater, but it’s a great way to plan ahead. As the dates approach, you’ll find more details at raisingarizonakids.com/calendar



Timeless theater classics

Fall’s performing arts scene includes productions that have delighted and engaged theater-goers for years — sometimes generations. From upbeat adventures to tragedies, dramas to comedies, here are some of the tried-and-true onstage classics arriving in Valley theaters (listed in alphabetical order):

Annie Get Your Gun. Annie Oakley, the sharpshooter known throughout the Wild West, meets her match romantically and professionally in fellow gunslinger Frank Butler as they perform in Buffalo Bill’s famous traveling show. • Desert Foothills Theater (Nov. 8-24). Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center, 33606 N. 60th St., Scottsdale. dftheater.org • Starlight Community Theater (Feb. 28-March 15, 2020). 1611 W. Whispering Wind Drive, Phoenix. starlightcommunitytheater.com Annie. This feisty orphan is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the steps of a New York City orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other orphans, Annie escapes, and adventures and hijinks ensue. Will Annie finds a new home and family with billionaire Oliver Warbucks? • Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre (Nov. 22-Dec. 22). 7014 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale. 480-483-1664 or desertstages.org • Spotlight Youth Theatre (Dec. 6-22). 10620 N. 43rd Ave., Glendale. 602-843-8318 or spotlightyouththeatre.org • Starlight Community Theater (Feb. 28-March 15, 2020). 1611 W. Whispering Wind Drive, Phoenix. starlightcommunitytheater. com • Musical Theatre of Anthem (June 8-20, 2020). 42201 N. 41st Drive, Suite B100, Anthem. musicaltheatreofanthem.org Brigadoon (April 2-May 9, 2020). A tale of a mythical Scottish town that appears once every 100 years and an American tourist who happens upon it by chance and becomes mesmerized by its charms. Hale Center Theatre, 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert. 480-497-1181 or haletheatrearizona.com Chicago - High School Edition (Aug. 30-Sept. 29). In roaring 1920s Chicago, Roxie Hart murders a faithless lover and convinces her hapless husband to take the rap … until he finds out he’s been duped. Convicted and sent to death row, Roxie and another “Merry Murderess” vie for the spotlight, ultimately joining forces in search of fame, fortune and acquittal. Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre, 7014 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale. 480-483-1664 or desertstages.org Fiddler on the Roof (Jan. 28-Feb. 2, 2020). A heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and the timeless traditions that define faith and family. Featuring the Broadway classics “If I Were a Rich Man” and “Sunrise, Sunset,” the musical introduces a new generation to this uplifting celebration that raises its cup “To joy! To love! To life!” ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe. 480-965-3434 or asugammage.com

Guys & Dolls Jr. (Feb. 14-March 1, 2020). A gambler tries to find the cash to set up the biggest game in town. His girlfriend, a nightclub performer, laments they’ve been engaged for 14 years. The show takes the audience from the heart of Times Square to the cafés of Havana. Fountain Hills Theater, 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills. 480-837-9661 or fhtaz.org Les Miserables (May 29-June 14, 2020). In 19th century France, Jean Valjean is released from years of unjust imprisonment. He breaks his parole in hopes of starting a new life and is relentlessly pursued by police inspector Javert, who must confront his ideals after Valjean spares his life and saves the life of the student revolutionary who has captured the heart of Valjean’s adopted daughter. Fountain Hills Theater, 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills. 480-837-9661 or fhtaz.org Mamma Mia. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her birth father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. Told through the music of ABBA. • Fountain Hills Theater (Sept. 6-22). 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills. 480-837-9661 or fhtaz.org • Greasepaint Youtheatre (Dec. 6-15). 7020 E. Second St., Scottsdale. greasepaint.org Pirates of Penzance, Jr. (Sept. 27-Oct. 6). Off the coast of Cornwall, a gang of pirates does what pirates do when Frederic, a pirate apprentice, reminds the pirate king that his obligation to the gang is soon over. Desert Foothills Theater at Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center, 33606 N. 60th St., Scottsdale. dftheater.org The Sound of Music (Nov. 13-Dec. 29). While she contemplates becoming a nun, Maria takes a job as governess to a large family. She falls in love with the children, and eventually their widowed father, Captain von Trapp, who is ordered to accept a commission in the German navy. He opposes the Nazis, and the whole family escapes. Phoenix Theatre Company, 100 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix. 602-254-2151 or phoenixtheatre.com Wizard of Oz. When a tornado rips through Kansas, Dorothy and her dog, Toto, are whisked away to the magical land of Oz. They follow the Yellow Brick Road toward the Emerald City to meet the Wizard, and on the way they meet a Scarecrow, a Tin Man and a Cowardly Lion. The wizard asks them to bring him the broom of the Wicked Witch of the West to earn his help. • Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre (Oct. 26-Nov. 3). 7014 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale. 480-483-1664 or desertstages.org • Musical Theatre of Anthem (Feb. 20-March 8, 2020). 42201 N. 41st Drive, Suite B100, Anthem. musicaltheatreofanthem.org

RaisingARIZONAKids.com SEPTEMBER 2019


2019-2020 Performing Arts Preview

“The Lion King” is coming to ASU Gammage (June 17-July 12,2020).

Animated favorites onstage

Cartoons get a live-action makeover this theater season when several iconic animated favorites hit local stages. From recent blockbusters like “Frozen” and “The Lion King” to classics like “Peter Pan” and “Cinderella,” there are live-action fairy-tale favorites for of all ages. Here’s a sampling (in alphabetical order):

Anastasia (Oct. 29-Nov. 3). A brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer, Anya enlists the aid of a dashing conman and a lovable ex-aristocrat. Together, they embark on an epic adventure to help her find home, love and family. ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe. 480-965-3434 or asugammage.com

Godmother, Cinderella’s dreams come true. • Great Arizona Puppet Theater (Jan. 15-Feb. 1, 2020). 302 W. Latham St., Phoenix. 602-2622050 or azpuppets.org • Musical Theatre of Anthem (May 7-9, 2020). 42201 N. 41st Drive, Suite B100, Anthem. musicaltheatreofanthem.org

Beauty and the Beast. A musical tale about Belle, a smart young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, a cursed prince. If the Beast could learn to love and be loved before an enchanted flower dies, his curse could be lifted. • Greasepaint Youtheatre (May 1-10, 2020). 7020 E. Second St., Scottsdale. greasepaint.org • Hale Center Theatre (May 14-June 27, 2020). 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert. 480-497-1181 or haletheatrearizona.com

101 Dalmatians (Jan. 3, 2020). Disney’s classic animated tale of kidnapping villains and courageous puppies is adapted into a raucous musical adventure. produced as part of Spotlight’s Winter Break Camp (Dec. 22-Jan. 3). Spotlight Youth Theatre, 10620 N. 43rd Ave., Glendale. 602-843-8318 or spotlightyouththeatre.org

Little Mermaid, Jr. (Dec. 5-15). Disney’s classic musical tale about a young mermaid, Ariel, who longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. A bargain with the evil sea witch is not what is seems and the little mermaid turns to her colorful friends to restore order under the sea. This show includes all of the musical favorites like “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl,” and “Part of Your World.” Musical Theatre of Anthem, 42201 N. 41st Dr., Suite B100, Anthem. musicaltheatreofanthem.org

The Lion King. The African savannah comes to life on stage in this inspiring coming-of-age tale with Simba, Rafiki and an unforgettable cast of characters as they journey from Pride Rock to the jungle and back again. • Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre (Sept. 14-22). 7014 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale. 480-483-1664 or desertstages.org

Madagascar, Jr. (April 17-May 17, 2020). Alex the lion is the king of the urban jungle, the main attraction at New York’s Central Park Zoo. He and his best friends — Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo — have spent their whole lives in blissful captivity before an admiring public and with regular meals provided for them. Not content to leave well

Cinderella. The timeless tale of kind Cinderella, who is mistreated by her wicked stepmother and stepsisters and denied a chance to go to the royal ball. With a little help from her mice friends, and a lot of help from her Fairy



• ASU Gammage (June 17-July 12, 2020). 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe. 480-965-3434 or asugammage.com

enough alone, Marty lets his curiosity get the better of him and makes his escape to explore the world. Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre, 7014 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale. 480-483-1664 or desertstages.org

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Peter Pan (June 12-28, 2020). With a sprinkle of fairy dust, the darling children begin a magical journey with Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and Captain Hook. Princess Tiger Lily and the Lost Boys and Girls. Valley Youth Theatre, 525 N. First St., Phoenix. 602-253-8188 or vyt.com

A flurry of “Frozen” productions With the debut of “Frozen 2” in movie theaters this November, and renewed excitement for the Disney hit, several local theater companies are staging “Frozen Jr.” as a lead-up (or postscript) to the sequel. Here are six places to see Anna, Elsa and Olaf. “Frozen, Jr.” expands upon the emotional relationship of Princesses Anna and Elsa. When faced with danger, the two discover their hidden potential and the powerful bond of sisterhood. The show features a cast of beloved characters and is loaded with magic, adventure and humor. • Starlight Community Theater (Aug. 23-Sept. 8). 2 and 7 p.m. performances Thursday-Saturday. $15. 1611 W. Whispering Wind Drive, Phoenix. 623-252-6815 or starlightcommunitytheater.com • Musical Theatre of Anthem (Sept. 19-22). Times vary. $13-$19. 42201 N. 41st Drive, Suite B100, Anthem. musicaltheatreofanthem.org • East Valley Children’s Theatre (Sept. 26-Oct. 6). 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 4 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $15. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. 480-7563828 or evct.org • Fountain Hills Theatre of Arizona (Sept. 27-Oct. 13). 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $18. 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills. 480-837-9661 or fhtaz.org • Greasepaint Youtheatre (Oct. 11-20). 7020 E. Second St., Scottsdale. 480-9497529 or greasepaint.org • Spotlight Youth Theatre (Feb. 21-March 8, 2020). 10620 N. 43rd Ave., Glendale. 602-843-8318 or spotlightyouththeatre.org

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2019-2020 Performing Arts Preview

Children’s books brought to life Reading is fundamental, but it is another thing entirely to see your favorite stories interpreted for the stage, complete with costumes, actors, lighting and a live audience. From Kate DiCamillo’s “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane,” to Roald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach” and “Matilda,” to Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie stories, here’s a roundup of upcoming local plays based on beloved children’s books (in alphabetical order): A Year with Frog and Toad (Nov. 15-24). Follow Frog and Toad on their journey through gardening, swimming and sledding, and the lessons they learn throughout the year. Based on the books by Arnold Lobel. Grand Canyon University’s Ethington Theatre, 3300 W. Camelback Road. gcu.edu Charlotte’s Web. Based on E.B. White’s classic, “Charlotte’s Web” is an enduring story of friendship between a determined spider and a livestock pig. • Starlight Community Theater, (April 24-May 3, 2020). 1611 W. Whispering Wind Drive, Phoenix. starlightcommunitytheater.com • Spotlight Youth Theatre (May 22-June 7, 2020). 10620 N. 43rd Ave., Glendale. 602-8438318 or spotlightyouththeatre.org Chato’s Kitchen (Nov. 1-24). Gary Soto’s hilarious book comes to life in Childplay’s charming production about Chato, the coolest low-riding cat in the barrio. When a family of ratoncitos, or little mice, moves in next door, Chato invites them over for dinner. What they don’t know is that they are on the menu! But the mice bring a surprise guest of their own. Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. childsplayaz.org Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (March 16, 2020). Based on a Mo Willems best seller, this is the musical tale of a bus driver in a crisis that threatens to make her passengers late. Can a wily pigeon help? Starring an innovative mix of actors, puppets, songs and feathers sure to get everyone’s wings flapping. 7 p.m. $18. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. 480-644-



6500 or mesaartscenter.com Elephant & Piggie’s “We are in a Play” (Jan. 26-March 8, 2020). Gerald the Elephant is cautious and Piggie is … well, NOT. They are the best of friends and have LOTS of fun together. But sometimes they face tough questions. Should you share your ice cream? Can two friends play with just one toy? Get ready for Childsplay’s hilarious musical experience at Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. childsplayaz.org James and the Giant Peach. In Roald Dahl’s tale, James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree. He discovers a magic potion that grows a tremendous peach, which rolls into the ocean and launches a journey of enormous proportions. • TheaterWorks (Nov. 15-24). Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, 10580 N. 83rd Drive, Peoria. 623-815-7930 or theaterworks.org • Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre (Feb. 25-March 9, 2020 ). 7014 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale. 480-483-1664 or desertstages.org

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (Oct. 11-19). Four children wander into an enchanted country through an old wardrobe and help a frostbitten community return to the warmth of the summer. This play about courage and the love of freedom is based on the novel by C.S. Lewis. Mesa Community College, 1833 W. Southern Ave., Mesa. mesacc.edu Matilda (July 2-Aug. 15, 2020). Roald Dahl’s story of a precocious young girl who through astonishing wit, intelligence and magical gifts overcomes numerous obstacles and takes a stand and change her own destiny. Hale Center Theatre, 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert. 480-497-1181 or haletheatrearizona.com The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (Sept. 8-Oct. 13). Based on Kate DiCamillo’s breathtaking story, Childsplay’s production follows the journey of Edward Tulane, a vain toy rabbit, as he learns what it is to love and be loved. 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday; 1 p.m. Sunday. 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. 602-2528497 or herbergertheater.com or childsplayaz.org


Plays that prompt conversations with kids

“They Chose Me” takes stage at Valley Youth Theatre in (Oct 11-27).

Live theater offers audiences the unique ability to take a walk in another set of shoes for a couple of hours … and hopefully gain a little understanding. Here are some shows that can help spark important conversations with kids:

13 the Musical (March 6-15, 2020). This show about standing out but fitting in follows high schooler Evan Goldman — a teen who leaves his fast-paced New York life to live in a sleepy Indiana town following his parents’ divorce. Evan has to find his place in the social pecking order among the jocks, geeks and poseurs. Greasepaint Youtheatre, 7020 E. Second St., Scottsdale. greasepaint.org Columbinus (Sept. 6-8). The April 1999 massacre at Columbine High School is the catalyst for this play, weaving together excerpts from discussions with parents, survivors and community leaders in Littleton as well as police evidence to bring to light the dark recesses of American adolescence. The show is not for young children. It is recommended for ages 16-18 with parent permission. Greasepaint Youtheatre, 7020 E. Second St., Scottsdale. greasepaint.org Come from Away (May 26-31, 2020). This new musical, set in the week following the September 11 attacks, tells the true story of what transpired when 38 planes were ordered to land unexpectedly in a small Canadian town. It has been called a reminder of the capacity for human kindness in the darkest of times. ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe. 480-965-3434 or asugammage.com The Crucible (Oct. 11-27). This drama about the Puritan purge of witchcraft in old Salem was written by Arthur Miller in 1953 as an allegory for McCarthyism, when U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) and the The House Un-American Activities Committee investigated U.S. citizens for alleged subversive

activities. TheaterWorks promises a “new seating experience” during its production at Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, 10580 N. 83rd Drive, Peoria. 623-8157930 or theaterworks.org The Little Red Hen (Nov. 13-Dec. 1). Who will help the Little Red Hen with all the work it takes to get wheat made into bread? This sing-along puppet show invites lots of audience participation and shares a valuable message about the importance of helping one another. Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 W. Latham St., Phoenix. 602-262-2050 or azpuppets.org Mean Girls (April 21-26, 2020). Cady Heron may have grown up on an African savanna, but nothing prepared her for the vicious ways of her strange new home: suburban Illinois. Soon, this naïve newbie falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies led by the charming but ruthless Regina George. But when Cady devises a plan to end Regina’s reign, she learns the hard way that you can’t cross a Queen Bee without getting stung. ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe. 480-965-3434 or asugammage.com Newsies (Jan. 17-Feb. 16, 2020). When the titans of publishing raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense in turn-of-the-century New York, Jack Kelley rallies “newsies” from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what’s right. Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre, 7014 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale. 480-483-1664 or desertstages.org Silent Sky (Nov. 14-Dec. 1). Based on the true story of Henrietta Leavitt, a headstrong pioneer struggles for

recognition in the man’s world of turn-of-the-century astronomy. Arizona Theatre Company stages this blend of science, history, family ties, fragile love, and a society determined to keep a woman in her place. Herberger Theater Center. 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. arizonatheatre.org Space Mission #5379: Saving Rachel Nevada (Feb. 13-23, 2020). There have been no alien sightings in Rachel, Nevada for two whole years, which means trouble for its 50 townspeople. When the Coates family moves in, they are enlisted by the town kids to help stage an alien sighting to save their new home. Little do they know that the actual aliens of Area 51 have a plan of their own. This original play won the East Valley Children’s Theatre’s 2019 Playwriting Contest. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. 480-644-6500 or mesaartscenter.com Suzette Who Set to Sea (April 8-May 17, 2020). In a small seaside village where men build boats and women do not, young Suzette knows she is different and longs for the sea. Childsplay’s production of this adventurous, imaginative tale explores courage, community, and the possibility that sometimes it only takes the actions of a single person to change everything. Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. childsplayaz.org They Chose Me (Oct. 11-27). Valley Youth Theatre’s musical production spotlights the subject of adoption, as seen through the eyes of kids ages 7-18. It tells the funny, yet poignant story of an adoptee and many of the issues she faces, including foster homes, parental loss, gay adoption and multi-cultural families. 525 N. First St., Phoenix. 602-253-8188 or vyt.com

RaisingARIZONAKids.com SEPTEMBER 2019


family time!


Just because school is back in session doesn’t mean the fun is over. Enjoy splash bashes and outdoor movies, free museum visits and STEAM classes. Plus, the fall theater season kicks off this month with some classic family favorites as well as a flurry of “Frozen” productions! NOTE: Because last-minute schedule changes can occur, please confirm dates and times on event websites. Find more extensive day-by-day event listings at raisingarizonakids.com/calendar

AUG. 30-SEPT. 2: Coconino County Fair. This annual fair is one of the largest events in northern Arizona. Enjoy carnival rides, games and live entertainment. View exhibits, demonstrations and livestock shows. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday. $5-$8; free for ages 5 and younger. Coconino County Fairgrounds, Fort Tuthill County Park, Exit 337 off I-17. 928-679-8000 or coconinocountyfair.com

AUG. 31-SEPT. 1: Experience India. Experience India’s vibrant musical and dance culture with performances, workshops and curator talks. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. $20; $15 ages 13-19; $10 ages 4-12; free for ages 3 and younger. Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. 480-478-6000 or mim.org



Experience India (Aug. 31-Sept. 1) at Musical Instrument Museum.

AUG. 31-SEPT. 2: Splash Bash. Celebrate the end of summer with giant water slides (for kids of all ages and sizes), endless foam, a classic fire truck, water squirter battle zone and more water activities. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. $5 daily or $10 for a threeday pass. 9500 E. Via De Ventura, Suite A-100, Scottsdale. 480-291-8000 or odyseainthedesert.com

SEPT. 7:

Children’s Learning and Play Festival. This one-day event showcases speakers and vendors knowledgeable about play for children of all ages. Entertainment includes a reading zone, dinosaur zone, STEM zone, face painting, bounce houses, police cars, fire engines, SWAT vehicles and more. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. WestWorld Event Center, 16601 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale. azchildrensfestival.com Teddy Bear Day. Enjoy a fun-filled day of make-and-take arts and crafts and exclusive deals. Start at Historic Downtown Glendale’s information booth and grab a bear-themed activity list that leads through boutiques and restaurants. Glendale Fire and Police Department vehicles will be on display. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Downtown Glendale, 5836 W. Palmaire Ave. 623-299-2060 or visitdowntownglendale.com


September 11th Healing Field Memorial (Sept. 7-12) at Tempe Beach Park.

SEPT. 7-8:


Arizona’s Got Talent. Ages 8-17 are invited to audition at Desert Ridge Marketplace. All talents are welcome: singers, dancers, magicians, comedians, musicians, ventriloquists and more. Audition for 90 seconds between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, and final acts will be selected to perform on Sunday in front of a live audience and local celebrity judges. Three acts will walk away with cash prizes of up to $2,000 and a chance to audition for America’s Got Talent. shopdesertridge.com

SEPT. 7-12: September 11th Healing Field Memorial. Tempe Healing Field volunteers erect 3,000 full-size American Flags — each featuring a personal bio card of a person who lost his or her life on September 11, 2001. 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Free. Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe. tempehealingfield.org

Fall Concert Series and Live Mural Painting Event (Sept. 7-Oct. 26) at Scottsdale Quarter.


Special Needs Resource Fair. Come to Raising Arizona Kids magazine’s fifth annual day of discovery, learning and support for families whose children have physical, intellectual, cognitive or behavioral disabilities and/or learning differences that require educational support. Talk to dozens of nonprofits, service organizations and vendors. Plus: Free vision and hearing screenings for kids, free rock climbing for kids of all abilities and free admission! 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ability 360 Sports & Fitness Center, 5031 E. Washington St., Phoenix. 480-9915437 or raisingarizonakids.com

SEPT. 7-OCT. 26: Fall Concert Series and Live Mural Painting Event. Watch artists create beautiful murals to a background of live music from 5-7 p.m. every Saturday in September and October. Free. Scottsdale Quarter Quad, 15059 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. scottsdalequarter.com

SEPT. 8: National Grandparents Day. The i.d.e.a. Museum, 150 W. Pepper Place in Mesa, welcomes grandparents for free from noon to 4 p.m. today, and the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, 215 N. Seventh St. in Phoenix, offers free admission to grandparents from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ideamuseum.org or childrensmuseumofphoenix.org Kids Interfaith Experience. Ages 7-12 are invited to learn about four major world religions and build bonds of friendship, understanding and love. Discover the origins of Islam, Sikhism, Judaism and Hinduism, learn basic belief structures and practices, and celebrate cultural aspects like language and music. Kids discuss and celebrate cultural and religious differences and the commonalities many faith traditions share. The Kids Interfaith Experience founders believe that when children come together in love and understanding, hate cannot keep them apart. 3-5 p.m. $10. Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix. 602-2740067 or changinghands.com Discount Tire Free Family Sunday. Phoenix Art Museum offers free general admission and discounted special exhibition admission from noon to 5 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month. Plus: Hands-on art activities, scavenger hunts, live performances, storytimes and free tours. Learn about and make art with a featured local Valley artist. 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. 602-257-1880 or phxart.org

RaisingARIZONAKids.com SEPTEMBER 2019


family time! SEPTEMBER TOP EVENTS Fry’s Free Weekend (Sept. 14-15) at Arizona Science Center.

SEPT. 10: Stroller Tour Tuesday. Caregivers and their littlest ones, ages 0-18 months, join educators for art-inspired conversation designed for curious adults and our youngest museum visitors. $18. Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. 602-257-1880 or phxart.org

9-11 Tower Challenge. Hundreds of active and retired first responders, military members, public-safety supporters and Valley residents will climb 2,071 stairs beginning at 8 a.m. The climb honors first responders who lost their lives at the World Trade Center on 9/11 and recognizes those who continue to protect us from foreign and domestic threats. Photos of fallen heroes will line the stairs. Proceeds benefit the 100 Club of Arizona and Fighter Country Partnership. Children may participate in an alternate course. $35-$40. Gila River Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Ave., Glendale. 911towerchallengefoundation.org

SEPT. 13: Family Game Night. Beat the heat and enjoy this free, family-friendly board game night. Bring your favorite game or check out one of our loaners: Yahtzee, Scrabble, Clue, Battleship, Checkers, Jenga and more! 5-8 p.m. Free. Bookmans Entertainment Exchange Phoenix, 8034 N. 19th Ave., Phoenix. bookmans.com CREATE Jr. Prototyping with Laser Cutting. Every second Saturday, S.T.E.M. lovers ages 8-12 can innovate through design and prototyping. Use a browser-based program to first imagine and then fabricate your own inventions out of cardboard with a state-of-the-art laser system. Participants must have a parent or guardian supervising. 2-4 p.m. $35. CREATE space at Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix. azscience.org

SEPT. 13-15: Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market. More than 140 vendors from around the country sell vintage, antique and handmade wares. Plus live music, food, drinks and photo-ops. $8; free for ages 12 and younger; $5 parking. $50-$65 VIP event 5-9 p.m. Friday; $20-$25 early-bird entry Saturday. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. SaturdaySunday. WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Road. junkinthetrunkvintagemarket.com




SEPT. 11:

SEPT. 14: Day on the Lake. Barrow Neurological Institute and Arizona Adaptive Watersports host this annual day for individuals with physical and/or neurological disabilities. This program allows participants to enjoy jet skiing, kayaking, mono skiing, wakeboarding and more. 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. $50. Bartlett Lake Marina, 20808 E. Bartlett Dam Road, Rio Verde. 800-227-7691 or barrowneuro.org Mother/Son Wacky Olympics events. An evening of games, raffles, dinner and fun. Pre-register online to reserve a spot. 6-9:30 p.m. $15. Tolleson Parks & Recreation Center, 9251 W. Washington St., Tolleson. 623474-4992 or tollesonaz.org Movies in the Desert. OdySea in the Desert hosts this free monthly outdoor family event with music, games, prizes and a free movie screening. Activities start at 5 p.m. See “Moana” at 6:30 p.m. Bring blankets or folding chairs. Pre-movie activities include character meet-and-greets, crafts and giveaways. Free. 9500 E. Via De Ventura, Scottsdale. 480-291-8000 or odyseainthedesert.com

SEPT. 14-15: Celebrate Rock and Roll. Get ready to rock at Musical Instrument Museum during the closing weekend of its Electric Guitar exhibit. This new event celebrates the musical genre that shaped popular culture around the world. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. $20; $15 ages 13-19; $10 ages 4-12; free for ages 3 and younger. Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. 480-478-6000 or mim.org Messy Fest. At this all-ages outdoor event, kids (and adults) can play in a mud obstacle course, have food fights, a mud-pit tug of war, slide in slime or ice-cream sundaes, and enjoy color runs and a foam zone. There’s a separate area for toddlers. A quick rinse on the slip-and-slide and human car wash will help clean everyone off for the ride home. Kids are encouraged to wear old clothes that can be stained or damaged. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. $15. Horseshoe Park & Equestrian Centre, 20464 E. Riggs Road in Queen Creek. messyfest.com Fry’s Free Weekend at Arizona Science Center. Get free general admission to explore all four levels of the Arizona Science Center with hands-on science galleries, plus additional demonstrations and activities. Enjoy shows in the Irene P. Flinn Giant Screen Theater and Dorrance Planetarium for only $5. 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix. azscience.org

around arizona family time!

Family Storytime at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. Scottsdale Library invites ages 5 and younger to visit McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park and enjoy the outdoors while listening to stories and participating in finger plays, music and rhyming activities. 10:30-11 a.m. Free. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, 7301 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale. scottsdalelibrary.org

SEPT. 19: Full STEAM Ahead: Marble Madness. Ages 6 and older will use pool noodles and marbles to create mazes while exploring energy and gravity. 4-4:45 p.m. Free. Mustang Library, 10101 N. 90th St., Scottsdale. scottsdalelibrary.org

SEPT. 19-22: Frozen Jr. (Sept. 19-22). A tale of true love and acceptance between sisters, this story expands upon the emotional relationship between Princesses Anna and Elsa. When faced with danger, the two discover their hidden potential and the powerful bond of sisterhood. Plus magic, adventure and humor. Times vary. $13-$19. Musical Theatre of Anthem, 42201 N. 41st Drive, Suite B100, Anthem. musicaltheatreofanthem.org

DOUGLAS Cochise County Fair (Sept. 26-29). Douglas is celebrating its 94th annual fair with the theme “Cochise County May be a Square, but Not Our County Fair.” There’s something for everyone: rides, attractions and games, college rodeo, pro bull riding, live entertainment, agricultural competition and more. $3-$6; $3 parking. Cochise County Fairgrounds, 3677 Leslie Canyon Road, Douglas. 520-364-3819 or cochisecountyfair.org FLAGSTAFF FESTIVAL OF SCIENCE

SEPT. 17:

FLAGSTAFF Coconino County Fair (Aug. 30-Sept. 2). This is one of the largest events in northern Arizona. Enjoy carnival rides, games and live entertainment. View exhibits, demonstrations and livestock shows. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday. $5-$8; free for ages 5 and younger. Coconino County Fairgrounds, Fort Tuthill County Park, Exit 337 off I-17. 928-679-8000 or coconinocountyfair.com Festival of Science (Sept. 20-29). This free 10-day event includes field trips, guided hikes, star parties, open houses, hands-on exhibits, presentations and archaeological excavations. This year, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, there will also be an 18 month-long Lunar Legacy Lecture Series. Northern Arizona University’s Ardrey Auditorium, 1115 S. Knoles Drive, Flagstaff. scifest.org

SEPT. 21:


STEAM Exploration Day. Calling all scientists, techies, artists and enthusiasts! Experience an afternoon filled with innovative games, experiments and loads of surprises during The Wacky Science Show featuring “Dr. Science!” Interactive stations include electric Play Doh, build-your-own kaleidoscopes, introductions to coding and more. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free. Desert Ridge Marketplace, 21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix. shopdesertridge.com

Faire on the Square Arts & Crafts Show (Aug. 31-Sept. 2). Prescott Chamber of Commerce presents this event in the city’s historic downtown area. Stroll under the American elm trees and visit more than 130 vendors selling fine art, jewelry, food and more. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday (Labor Day). Free. Historic Courthouse Plaza, 120 S. Cortez St., Prescott. 928445-2000 or prescott.org

Arizona Donut & Ice Cream Festival. Celebrate food diversity with more than 15 purveyors of donuts and ice cream from around the world offering rolled ice cream, bubble waffle with ice cream, beignets and churros. Each vendor offers a donut or ice cream for $5 or less. Plus card games, lawn games, board games and a curated marketplace featuring local artists. Cold beer, cocktails, boba, coffee and lunch items available for purchase. Noon to 4 p.m. $8; free for ages 12 and younger. The Pressroom, 441 W. Madison St., Phoenix. facebook.com/ azdonuticecream

SONOITA Sonoita Labor Day Rodeo Show (Aug. 31-Sept. 2). See the “Best Little Rodeo in Arizona.” Hosted by the Santa Cruz County Fair and Rodeo Association, the 104th annual rodeo features classic timed events, barrel racing, wildhorse race and team roping, mutton busting and peewee events. Times vary. $15; $10 ages 6-12; free for ages 5 and younger. Sonoita Fairgrounds, 3142 S. Highway 83, Sonoita. 520-455-5553 or sonoitafairgrounds.com

Flagstaff Festival of Science (Sept. 20-29) in Flagstaff.

TOMBSTONE Showdown in Tombstone (Aug. 31-Sept. 1). The town “Too Tough To Die” is hosting its 6th annual showdown. Streets will be filled with performances and reenactments by gunfighter groups from around the country. Participate in an 1880s costume contest, Sunday parade, auctions and raffles. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. Allen Street, Tombstone. 520-457-3548 or tombstonechamber.com

TUCSON Tucson Greek Festival (Sept. 26-29). Opa! Experience Greek culture, heritage, dances, hospitality, food and music at the Greek Festival in Tucson. This four-day event celebrates faith and culture and raises money for the St. Demetrios Orthodox Church. New festival features include raffles and a photo booth. 4-10 p.m. Thursday, 3-11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. 1145 E. Fort Lowell Road, Tucson. 520-888-0505 or tucsongreekfest.com

WICKENBURG Fiesta de Septiembre (Sept. 7). The Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce presents this 30th annual fiesta in historic Wickenburg. The day celebrates the town’s pioneer heritage and is filled with Latin and mariachi music, folklorico dancers, an outdoor mercado, food and beverages and a kids zone. Participants can enter salsa, margarita and guacamole contests. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. $5; free for ages 17 and younger. Wickenburg Community Center, 160 N. Valentine St., Wickenburg. 928684-5479 or wickenburgchamber.com

RaisingARIZONAKids.com SEPTEMBER 2019


family time! SEPTEMBER TOP EVENTS SEPT. 28: Phoenix Famtastical Festival. This one-day event features more than 100 vendors, partners, sponsors and organizations providing activities, fun, games and entertainment — plus some favorite children’s characters. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $5; free for ages 12 and younger. Downtown Phoenix, 200 W. Washington St., Phoenix. famtasticalfestival.com Ukulele Jamboree. Ukulele instructor Kehau Kuhi will teach simple chords and explain how to play two or three songs. Bring your own ukulele or purchase one from the store. 11 a.m. to noon. Free. Bookman’s Entertainment Exchange Phoenix, 8034 N. 19th Ave. Phoenix. bookmans.com Family Fun Action & Adventure Festival. Meet your favorite action heroes (Captain America, Batman, SuperGirl and Wonder Woman), ride on a zipline, bounce and slide on inflatables and enjoy family entertainment. Noon to 4 p.m. Free. Odysea in the Desert, 9500 E. Via De Ventura, Suite A-100, Scottsdale. 480-291-8000 or odyseainthedesert.com Family Afternoon at Phoenix Art Museum. Participate in art-making, games and hands-on activities inspired by the museum’s collection and exhibitions. Check out the scavenger hunt (with prizes!) Noon to 5 p.m. $9-$23; free for ages 5 and younger. Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. 602-257-1880 or phxart.org


¡Somos Peoria! Enjoy traditional foods, arts and crafts, shopping, an activity zone, live entertainment and concerts featuring Brenton Wood, The Latin Breed and El Chicano at this annual celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. 2-10:30 p.m. $5 before 5 p.m.; $10 after 5 p.m.; free for ages 12 and younger; $35 VIP admission. Old Town Peoria at 83rd and Grand avenues. peoriaaz.gov Weather or Not: Art with Atmosphere (Sept. 27-Jan. 19) at i.d.e.a. Museum.

SEPT. 21-NOV. 3: Mighty Monarchs. Butterflies return to the Desert Botanical Garden! Learn about the amazing migration of the monarch and the plants it needs to survive. Take a closer look at the butterfly’s life cycle and learn how to support and protect beneficial insects and pollinators. 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. $24.95; $12.95 for ages 3-17; free for ages 2 and younger. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. 480-941-1225 or dbg.org

SEPT. 27-JAN. 19: Weather or Not: Art with Atmosphere. Experience the wonder and artistry of weather — with a special emphasis on water and sustainability — at the i.d.e.a. Museum’s newest exhibit. Through art and hands-on activities, kids learn about the water cycle, the difference between climate and weather, the science of rainbows and more. i.d.e.a. Museum, 150 W. Pepper Place, Mesa. 480-644-4332 or ideamuseum.org



Girl Scout MIMkids Junior Museum Guides. Become a Junior Museum Guide to learn about world cultures and music making. In this four-week course, Junior Guides train to lead tours while exploring MIM’s unique galleries and exhibits. Participants who complete all four classes (3:30-5 p.m. on Sept. 28 and Oct. 5, 12 and 19) will lead tours during a signature event. $40. Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. mim.org Calendar Editor Carrie Wheeler is the mother of Wilson (8). Send calendar info to carrie@ RAKmagazine.com.





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RaisingARIZONAKids.com SEPTEMBER 2019


family time! onstage DANCE Director’s Choice (Sept. 26-29). Ballet Arizona kicks off its new season with contemporary works that push the boundaries of ballet and feature some of the most masterful choreographers of all time. $34-$168. Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams St., Phoenix. 602-381-0184 or balletaz.org

MUSIC Experience India (Aug. 31-Sept. 1). Experience India’s vibrant musical and dance culture, workshops, curator talks. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. $20; $15 ages 13-19; $10 ages 4-12; free for ages 3 and younger. Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. 480-478-6000 or mim.org Pops Concert: A Night at the Movies (Sept. 6). The Chandler Symphony Orchestra takes your ears to the movies. Enjoy old favorites and new movie classics, including Harry Potter, Fiddler on the Roof, Mission: Impossible, Moon River and Titanic. 7:30 p.m. Admission by donation. Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler. chandlersymphony.com Celebrate Rock and Roll (Sept. 4-15). Get ready to rock at Musical Instrument Museum during the closing weekend of its Electric Guitar exhibit. This new event celebrates the musical genre that shaped popular culture around the world. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. $20; $15 ages 13-19; $10 ages 4-12; free for ages 3 and younger. Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. 480-4786000 or mim.org The Music of Billy Joel (Sept. 27-28). Experience the music of New York’s quintessential son live with a full orchestra. The Phoenix Symphony plays Uptown Girl, Piano Man, She’s Got a Way and more with vocals by Michael Cavanaugh. 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. $25-$103. Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix. phoenixsymphony.org


“Director’s Choice” by Ballet Arizona (Sept. 26-29) at Orpheum Theatre.

PUPPETS My Pet Dinosaur (Aug. 14-Sept. 1). Arthur gets a dinosaur egg for his birthday, and adventures ensue. Recommended for ages 5 and older. 10 a.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. $8-$12; free for ages 1 and younger with the purchase of a child’s ticket. Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 W. Latham St., Phoenix. 602-262-2050 or azpuppets.org Rapunzel (Sept. 4-15). This version of the girl in the tower — based on the original story by The Brothers Grimm — magically unfolds from an antique trunk. Recommended for ages 5 and up. 10 a.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. SaturdaySunday. $8-$12; free for ages 1 and younger with the purchase of a child’s ticket. Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302


W. Latham St., Phoenix. 602-262-2050 or azpuppets.org The Three Little Pigs (Sept. 18 Oct. 6). Great Arizona Puppet Theater presents this musical rendition of the tale about the dangers of shoddy home construction and how three pigs must face a big, bad, very hungry wolf. 10 a.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 2 p.m. SaturdaySunday. $8-$12; free for ages 1 and younger with the purchase of a child’s ticket. Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 W. Latham St., Phoenix. 602-262-2050 or azpuppets.org

THEATER Winnie the Pooh Kids (Aug. 16-Sept. 8). Join TheaterWorks on a trip to the Hundred Acre Wood, where Winnie the Pooh is once again in search of honey.

He meets his pals, Tigger, Piglet, Rabbit and Owl, but discovers that Christopher Robin has been captured! As they prepare a rescue operation, the animals learn about teamwork, friendship and, of course, sharing snacks. $18. McMillin Theater, 10580 N. 83rd Drive, Peoria. theaterworks.org Gypsy (Aug. 30-Sept. 13). An ambitious stage mother fights for her daughters’ success while secretly yearning for her own. Set in America in the 1920s, when vaudeville was on the decline and burlesque on the rise, this show explores the world of two-bit show biz. 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Additional matinees Sep. 7 and 14. $8.50-$16. Spotlight Youth Theatre, 10620 N. 43rd Ave., Glendale. 602-8438318 or spotlightyouththeatre.org


Mamma Mia! (Sept. 6-22). The musical tale of a teenage daughter trying to figure out which of three men may be her biological father, told through the songs of ABBA. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $18-$35. Fountain Hills Theater, 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills. 480-8379661 or fhtaz.org The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (Sept. 8-Oct. 13). Childsplay stages Kate DiCamillo’s breathtaking story that follows Edward Tulane, a vain toy rabbit, as he learns what it is to love and be loved. 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday. $12-$30. Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. 602-252-8497 or herbergertheater.com The Lion King Jr. (Sept. 14-22). The African savannah comes to life in this inspiring coming-of-age tale with Simba, Rafiki and an unforgettable cast of characters who journey from Pride Rock to the jungle and back again. 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $20. Desert Stages Theatre, 7014 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix. 480-4831664 or desertstages.org The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Sept. 26-29). Based on a book by Rachel Sheinkin, this story follows an eclectic group of teens candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their lives and spelling their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, poutinducing, life un-affirming “ding” of

the bell that signals a spelling mistake. 3 and 7 p.m. performances. $13-$19. Musical Theatre of Anthem, 42201 N. 41st Drive, Suite B100, Anthem. musicaltheatreofanthem.org

fun runs and walks family time!

UMOM Walk for Homeless Families (Sept. 21) at Phoenix Zoo. Frozen Jr. A tale of true love and acceptance between sisters, this story expands upon the emotional relationship between Princesses Anna and Elsa. When faced with danger, the two discover the powerful bond of sisterhood. The show features beloved characters, magic, adventure and humor. • Musical Theatre of Anthem (Sept. 19-22). Times Vary. $13-$19. 42201 N. 41st Drive, Suite B100, Anthem. musicaltheatreofanthem.org • East Valley Children’s Theatre (Sept. 26-Oct. 6). 7 p.m. ThursdaySaturday, 4 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $15. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. 480-756-3828 or evct.org • Fountain Hills Theatre of Arizona (Sept. 27-Oct. 13). 7 p.m. FridaySaturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $18. 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills. 480837-9661 or fhtaz.org Pirates of Penzance, Jr. (Sept. 27-Oct. 6). Off the coast of Cornwall, a gang of pirates does what pirates do when apprentice Frederic reminds the pirate king that his obligation to the gang is soon over. 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $25; $15 for ages 3-12. Desert Foothills Theater at the Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center, 33606 N. 60th St., Scottsdale. dftheater.org

The Tutu Run (Sept. 12). 5K run/walk, 1-mile fun run and Tiny Tutu Dash. Random prizes for those wearing tutus. Donations accepted for Maggie’s Place, which helps pregnant and parenting women in need. 7:30 a.m. $35-$40. Kiwanis Park’s north soccer field, 95 W. Baseline Road, Tempe. 4peaksracing.com/events/tutu-run-2015 Run FORE Cancer (Sept. 21). This all-ages 5K run/walk takes place along the Silverado Golf Club’s cart path. Proceeds benefit St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and Barrows Neurological Foundation. 7:30 a.m. $30-$40. Scottsdale Silverado Golf Club, 7605 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale. 480338-7041 or startlineracing.com Sharing Down Syndrome Walk (Sept. 21). This fundraising walk promotes positive acceptance and awareness for people with Down syndrome. Stay for the after party with carnival games, inflatables, entertainment, exhibitor booths and more. 7:30 a.m. registration; 9-11 a.m. walk and activities. Tempe Diablo Stadium, 2200 W. Alameda Drive, Tempe. 480-926-6500 or sharingds.org UMOM Walk for Homeless Families (Sept. 21). All ages. 1K and 5K event benefits UMOM New Day Centers, Arizona’s largest shelter for homeless families. 6 a.m. registration; 7 a.m. walk. $10 for ages 3-17; $60 for families of four; free for ages 2 and younger. Participation includes zoo admission. Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. umom.org St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer (Sept. 28). This event benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where no family ever receives a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food. 7:45 a.m. registration; 9 a.m. walk. Walk and fun run are free. The 5K is $20 for ages 6 and older; free for children ages 5 and younger. WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale. walk.stjude.org Walk for POP (Sept. 28). The 11th annual Walk for POP promotes education for men over 40 about the importance of annual screenings and early detection for prostate cancer. Live entertainment, food and refreshments. 7:30 a.m. registration; 8:30-10 a.m. walk. $25; $15 for ages 12 and younger. Kiwanis Park, 6111 S. All America Way, Tempe. 480-964-3013 or prostatecheckup.org

RaisingARIZONAKids.com SEPTEMBER 2019



Chicago - High School Edition (Aug. 30-Sept. 29). In roaring twenties Chicago, Roxie Hart murders a faithless lover and convinces her hapless husband to take the rap … until he finds out he’s been duped. Convicted and sent to death row, Roxie and another “Merry Murderess,” Velma Kelly, vie for the spotlight and the headlines, ultimately joining forces in search of fame, fortune, and acquittal. 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $20. Desert Stages Theatre, 7014 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix. 480-4831664 or desertstages.org

first person


Let’s be the “VILLAGE” it takes


By Maggie Zehring

MY HUSBAND SAYS I’m a chronic over-helper. He might be right. And yet, that mindset is the reason parenthood can feel so siloed these days. It seems like everywhere I go, I find moms and dads doing their best without anyone nearby bothering to check on a fellow parent in the trenches. A month ago, I met a woman at a local park. She was with her newborn and 3-year-old son. I was in the bathroom helping my oldest use the restroom and trying to keep my thumbsucking almost 2-year-old from rolling around on the floor. My newborn was being the perfect baby — just smiling at the chaos around him from his stroller. I’m pulling up my little guy’s Thomas the Tank Engine underwear when this mom comes in to change her older son’s diaper. Her newborn was in a sling crying, and all I could think was how many times I’d been in her exact situation. I asked if she’d like me to change her son’s diaper, and she said yes. I hoisted her kiddo on the changing table, and 60 seconds later everyone was calmer and cleaner. Yes, this woman was more than capable of changing her toddler’s diaper. She could



probably change his diaper while feeding her baby and washing the dishes. Maybe I overhelped. But is that really a bad thing? I wasn’t enabling a bad habit or turning a blind eye to neglect or abuse. This mom was in a tight spot, and I was capable of giving her a hand with a situation I’ve experienced no less than a million times. What I learned from this interaction — and so many others I could share over a cup of coffee — is that our communities are not bolstering the “it takes a village” mentality. I don’t know how many times I’ve schlepped my three kids into a public bathroom when there were more than enough less-busy moms around to give me a hot minute to use the restroom without a protesting toddler in tow. I’ve actually contemplated asking strangers to watch my kids while I use the restroom just 10 feet away, but thought otherwise for fear of judgment or concern. I’m not suggesting we ditch our infants in the incapable hands of our toddlers and assume the nearest adult will save the day. I’m also not offering to watch everyone’s kids at the local splash pad so they can get a martini before naptime.

But for all the times we shout “it takes a village,” are we really being that village? Instead of scoffing at the dad with the runaway 2-yearold or sneering at the mom with the wailing baby, what if we offer a silly distraction to help them recover their wits? Or, what if we give that parent words of encouragement for showing up? The next time you see someone in a pinch or looking just a little bit over it with their threenager, consider giving that parent a big smile. Or be like the guy who saw me wearing my baby, holding my tantruming 2-year-old, and nudging my 3-year-old along. He yelled: “Way to go, champ! Keep it up, Mom. You got this!” I likely will never see that man again, but he made the rest of our miserably hot, full-ofwhining morning A LOT better. That, my friends, is parenting together. Maggie Zehring of Scottsdale juggles her writing and social media skills with being a mom to three boys.


Come enjoy a day of discovery, learning and support for families of children with disabilities!



SATURDAY SEPT. 7, 2019 10AM - 2PM FREE ADMISSION! Ability 360 Sports & Fitness Center 5031 E. Washington St., Phoenix (south side of street, across from the Metro Light Rail station at 50th and Washington streets)





The attorneys at Kile & Kupiszewski Law Firm have more than 20 years experience in planning for children with special needs. We strive to provide guidance, reassurance and solutions for families who have children with special healthcare needs.

SPECIAL NEEDS PLANNING SERVICES Special Needs Trusts • Guardian/Conservatorship • General Estate Planning We understand that having a child with special healthcare needs creates additional financial uncertainty.

Ask about our PRICE GUARANTEE: • $3,750* for a guardianship matters for a child turning 18 • Special needs trusts start at $2,000*. *(Does not include consultation fee) During the initial meeting the attorney will assess your needs and determine if your case is eligible for the price guarantee.

Call 480-348-1590 to set up a consultation.

KILEKUPLAW.COM 480-348-1590

8727 E. Via de Commercio, Scottsdale, Arizona 85258 Jennifer L. Kupiszewski, Esq. and Emily B. Kile, Esq.

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