Florida Autism Resources
If you're a family in Florida with a child on the autism spectrum, don't worry, you're not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 36 children in the United States has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Luckily, there are plenty of resources available in Florida to help families get the support they need.
In this guide, we'll explore some of the top Florida autism resources available to families, including organizations, support groups, and treatment options. Whether you're looking for help with diagnosis, therapy, or education, these resources can help you navigate the complex world of autism and find the support you need.
Florida Autism Center of Excellence (FACE)
The Florida Autism Center of Excellence (FACE) is a leading organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families. Founded in 2008, FACE provides comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services, as well as advocacy and support for families affected by ASD.
With a team of highly trained and experienced professionals, FACE offers evidence-based interventions, such as applied behavior analysis (ABA), speech therapy, occupational therapy, and social skills training. These services are tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual and delivered in a caring and compassionate environment.
In addition to clinical services, FACE conducts research on best practices for treating ASD and provides training and education for professionals in the field. The organization also collaborates with community partners to raise awareness about autism and promote inclusion and acceptance.
Overall, FACE is a vital resource for individuals with ASD and their families in Florida and beyond.
Autism Society of Florida
The Autism Society of Florida (ASF) is a non-profit organization that provides advocacy, education, and support for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families. Founded in 1990, ASF is committed to improving the lives of those affected by ASD through various programs and initiatives.
One of ASF's main goals is to raise awareness and understanding of autism in the community. The organization offers training and education programs for parents, educators, healthcare professionals, and other community members to help them better understand ASD and how to support individuals with the condition.
ASF also provides a range of support services for individuals with ASD and their families. These include information and referral services, support groups, social events, and summer camps. The organization works closely with local partners to ensure that these services are accessible and effective.
In addition to its advocacy and support work, ASF is actively involved in research on autism. The organization collaborates with universities and other research institutions to advance our understanding of the condition and develop new interventions.
Overall, the Autism Society of Florida plays a critical role in improving the lives of individuals with ASD in the state. Its dedication to advocacy, education, support, and research makes it a valuable resource for anyone affected by autism.
CARD - Center for Autism and Related Disabilities
The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) is a network of university-based centers that provides services and support to individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families. With locations throughout Florida, CARD is dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by ASD through research, education, and clinical services.
One of CARD's primary functions is to provide comprehensive diagnostic and assessment services for individuals with ASD. These services are conducted by a team of experienced professionals who use evidence-based methods to develop individualized treatment plans.
In addition to diagnostic services, CARD offers a range of clinical interventions for individuals with ASD. These include applied behavior analysis (ABA), speech therapy, occupational therapy, and social skills training. These interventions are delivered by highly trained professionals who work closely with families to ensure that each individual receives the care and support they need.
CARD is also actively involved in research on ASD. The organization collaborates with universities, healthcare institutions, and other partners to conduct cutting-edge research on the causes, treatments, and outcomes of ASD. This research helps inform clinical practice and improve outcomes for individuals with ASD.
Overall, the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities is a critical resource for individuals with ASD and their families in Florida. Its commitment to research, education, and clinical services makes it a vital partner in the effort to improve the lives of those affected by ASD.
Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System (FDLRS)
The Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System (FDLRS) is a statewide network of support services for students, educators, and families. The FDLRS provides diagnostic, instructional, and technology support services to district exceptional education programs and families of students with disabilities.
The FDLRS is composed of 19 centers throughout Florida, each serving a specific geographic region. These centers provide a range of services to support students with disabilities, including diagnostic assessments, instructional materials, assistive technology, and professional development for educators.
One of the key functions of the FDLRS is to provide diagnostic assessments for students with disabilities. These assessments are designed to identify specific learning needs and guide the development of individualized education plans (IEPs).
In addition to diagnostic services, the FDLRS offers a range of instructional supports for students with disabilities. These include assistive technology devices, specialized instructional materials, and training for educators on evidence-based practices for teaching students with disabilities.
Overall, the Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System plays a critical role in supporting students with disabilities in Florida. Its statewide network of centers provides essential services and resources to help ensure that every student has access to the education and supports they need to succeed.
Early Steps is a statewide program in Florida that provides early intervention services to infants and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities, and their families. The program is designed to identify and address developmental concerns as early as possible, with the goal of improving outcomes for children and families.
The Early Steps program offers a range of services to support families and children affected by developmental delays or disabilities. These services include developmental screenings, assessments, and evaluations; family support and counseling; and early intervention therapies such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.
One of the key features of the Early Steps program is its focus on family-centered care. The program recognizes that parents and caregivers are an essential part of a child's development, and works closely with families to create individualized plans that meet the unique needs of each child and family.
Early Steps also provides support and resources for families outside of direct intervention services. This includes information and referrals to community resources, such as support groups, advocacy organizations, and other service providers.
Overall, Early Steps is an essential resource for families in Florida who have infants or toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities. Its commitment to early intervention and family-centered care helps ensure that children receive the supports they need to reach their full potential.
Online resources for families with children on the autism spectrum
In addition to traditional brick-and-mortar resources, there are many online resources available to families with children on the autism spectrum. These resources can be especially helpful for families who live in rural areas or have limited access to specialized services.
One popular online resource is Autism Speaks, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting solutions for individuals with autism and their families.
The Autism Speaks website offers a wealth of information on topics such as diagnosis, treatment options, and support services. The site also features an online community where families can connect with each other and share experiences and advice.
Another valuable online resource is the National Autism Association (NAA). The NAA provides information and resources on a range of topics related to autism, including advocacy, education, and safety issues.
The organization's website features articles written by experts in the field, as well as forums where families can connect with each other.
For parents looking for support from other parents who understand what they're going through, there are several online support groups available. One example is the Facebook group "Autism Moms Support Group," which has over 20,000 members and provides a space for moms to connect with each other and share advice and encouragement.
Overall, online resources can be a valuable supplement to traditional in-person resources for families with children on the autism spectrum. Whether it's finding information or connecting with others who understand your experience, these resources can help you navigate the complex world of autism and find the support you need.
Resources for families of adults with autism
While many resources are available for families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), there are also resources available for families of adults with ASD. These resources can provide support, education, and advocacy for families as their loved ones transition into adulthood.
One such resource is the Autism Society of Florida's Adult Services program. This program provides information and resources on topics such as employment, housing, social skills, and community integration. The program also offers support groups and events specifically designed for adults with ASD and their families.
Another valuable resource is the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities' (CARD) Adult Services program. This program provides a range of services to support adults with ASD in areas such as employment, social skills development, independent living skills, and community integration. The program also offers specialized training to employers and service providers to help them better understand the needs of individuals with ASD.
For families looking for more general information on supporting their adult loved ones with ASD, the Autism Speaks website offers a variety of resources. These include articles on topics such as housing options, financial planning, and legal issues.
Overall, while it can be challenging to find resources specifically tailored to adults with ASD, there are organizations and programs available that can provide valuable support and guidance for families navigating this transition.
Resources for families living in rural areas or small towns with limited access to specialized services
Families living in rural areas or small towns with limited access to specialized services face unique challenges when it comes to finding resources for their loved ones with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, there are still resources available that can help.
One option is telehealth services, which allow families to connect with healthcare providers and specialists remotely. Many organizations that provide ASD services offer telehealth options, which can be especially helpful for families who live far away from specialized clinics or treatment centers.
Another option is to reach out to local schools or community organizations for support. Even if these organizations don't offer specialized ASD services, they may be able to connect families with other resources or provide general support and guidance.
Finally, online resources can be a valuable tool for families in rural areas or small towns.
In addition to the online resources mentioned earlier in this guide, there are also online forums and support groups specifically designed for families in rural areas. These groups can provide a space for families to connect with each other and share information and advice.
Overall, while it can be challenging for families in rural areas or small towns to find specialized ASD services, there are still options available. By exploring telehealth options, reaching out to local organizations, and utilizing online resources, these families can find the support they need for their loved ones with ASD.
What is autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?
Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects communication, social interaction, and behavior. It is called a "spectrum" disorder because the symptoms and severity can vary widely from person to person.
How common is ASD?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1 in 54 children in the United States has been diagnosed with ASD.
What are some early signs of ASD?
Some early signs of ASD may include delayed or absent speech, difficulty with social interaction, repetitive behaviors or routines, lack of interest in playing with others, and sensitivity to sensory input.
How is ASD diagnosed?
ASD is typically diagnosed through a combination of developmental screening, comprehensive diagnostic assessment, and observation of behavior. A team of healthcare professionals may be involved in the diagnosis process, including pediatricians, psychologists, speech-language pathologists, and occupational therapists.
What treatments are available for individuals with ASD?
There are a variety of treatments available for individuals with ASD depending on their individual needs. These may include behavioral interventions such as applied behavior analysis (ABA), speech therapy, occupational therapy, medication management for co-occurring conditions such as anxiety or depression, and specialized educational programs.
Are there any medications that can treat core symptoms of autism?
Currently there are no medications that can directly treat the core symptoms of autism. However, medications may be used to manage co-occurring conditions such as anxiety or depression that can often be present in individuals with ASD.
How can I support my loved one with ASD?
Supporting a loved one with ASD can involve many different strategies depending on their individual needs. Some general tips include creating a structured routine at home, providing clear and consistent communication, using visual aids to support understanding, and seeking out specialized services and resources such as those offered by the Autism Society of Florida or the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities.
Families living with autism in Florida have access to a variety of resources to help their child. These resources include diagnostic services, therapy, and education. By using these resources, families can connect with others in the autism community, learn about the latest research and treatment options, and get the support they need to help their child reach their full potential.