The AARC serves the needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorders, their families, caregivers, and service providers throughout the state of Alaska. We provide information, referral*, training, and consultation* via on-site and distance delivery. The Alaska Autism Resource Center (AARC) is a project of the Special Education Service Agency (SESA) located in Anchorage, Alaska.
*AARC is not a direct service provider, and does not provide medical referral or consultation. We can direct you to providers that offer the service you are looking for, or resources that may meet your needs.
To increase understanding and support for Alaskans of all ages with autism spectrum disorder via collaboration with families, schools and communities throughout the state.
Provide referral information to families seeking diagnostic and support services for their family member with ASD.
Team with other organizations and agencies to broaden the scope and availability of autism services in Alaska.
Provide in-service training to school district personnel, families, and community members in remote, rural, and urban Alaska.
Work with community, medical, and adult service providers to increase understanding of and appropriate services for individuals with autism spectrum disorder.
Provide up-to-date,information on all aspects of ASD via in-person and distance consultation.
Maintain a user-friendly website.
MEET THE STAFF
Program Coordinator & Autism Resource Specialist
Aimee Smith-Rodriguez has worked in rural and urban Alaska since 2013, joining the AARC in 2017. She holds a B.A. in Music Education & Theory/Composition, M.A. in Teaching with a focus in elementary/middle school and music & a post-graduate endorsement in special education. She is currently completing a Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis. Aimee has been involved in the field of education for 14 years as a volunteer, paraprofessional and teacher. She has taught or provided support in a variety of settings, including self-contained, inclusion support, general education and camps. In her spare time, Aimee also works as a professional music composer.
Autism Resource Specialist
Kendra relocated to Alaska from Minnesota in 2016. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. She later returned to the University of Minnesota to earn her Master’s of Education in Early Childhood Special Education with a focus on early intervention across cultures and individualized routine-based instruction for families.
She began working at SESA in August 2016. Before transitioning to the AARC in August 2020, she worked as a SESA Autism Education Specialist traveling to rural and remote areas across the state to provide support and training to school districts servicing students ages 3-21 with autism spectrum disorders.
When Kendra is not in the office you are most likely to find her outside fishing, hiking, or paddleboarding.
Anne Freitag has lived in Alaska since 1971. She has worked at the SESA Library from 1991-2001, and again from 2003 to the present. Other library experience has included cataloging and young adult librarianship. Anne received her master's in librarianship and information management from the University of Denver, and also has degrees in computer information systems, English, history, and technology. When not working, she enjoys reading and making things.
April has worked at SESA since June 2018 and joined the AARC in August 2020. She was born and raised in Alaska. Special education has been a great interest of hers.
She had several friends with disabilities in school and loved helping them with their class and extracurricular activities.
April volunteered with a hippotherapy and therapeutic riding center in Georgia. She cared for the horses, helped teach the kids how to get ready for riding, and assisted the therapists and riding instructors with their lessons.
She is excited to be working with the AARC and learning more about autism. She enjoys being outdoors, fishing, and exploring Alaska. She also loves doing martial arts and painting.