Our work focuses on providing individual on the autism spectrum, families, communities, organizations, agencies, and service providers with the knowledge and skills to support children and adults in early intervention, school, community, work, and home settings. In our work, we address issues that impact individuals across the life span. Our services are consultative in nature. The center is not someplace you bring your child to for services or therapies.
Provide support (phone consultation, school observations and recommendations, community consultation, or home consultation, depending on the issues) to individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families and service providers. Our staff may be asked to offer families or professionals strategies or information on the best evidence-based ways to increase skill development or to address behavioral concerns. We may do this by meeting directly with the professional or family, by offering phone or videophone support, by observing the individual in natural settings, depending on the nature of the concern and situation. Our goal is to collaborate with the person's team and family members to suggest appropriate services and supports so that the person can be successful in the current situation. Although these consultations are provided at no charge at this time, they do require a time commitment from all involved.
Provide regional parent education seminars to help families of individuals with autism or a related disability to learn strategies to support development of communication, social skills, independent functioning skills, appropriate behavior of their son or daughter, as well as informational seminars to increase knowledge, confidence, family functioning, and advocacy skills. We also offer parent support groups in a variety of locations or partner with other community agencies who offer such groups.
Assist educators in school and child-care setting and employers to understand the needs, effective strategies, and supports needed to increase success for our clients in their natural environments through on-site consultation, at the request of the organization.
Assist the Florida Department of Education to develop and provide training to educators and other professionals. Some of these materials are available online; others are available as face-to-face presentations, on CDs, DVDs or in print.
Provide a free electronic newsletter, “The Report CARD” delivered at least monthly to our registered families, adults, and professional colleagues.
Maintain an active website that includes information on Autism Spectrum Disorders, CARD and local items of interests to our constituency. Our website links to information about resources about autism and related disabilities provides a list of training events, and other valuable information.
Organize and conduct regional and statewide training events, and an annual Statewide Autism Conference. Each year, regional workshops are organized on topics of great interest to families and school personnel.
Organize and conduct educational seminars and social events. UCF CARD partners with other community groups and state agencies such as PALS, FDLRS, FIN, and FND offer information on relevant topics for families and professionals.
Here is what we do:
What does CARD do?
There are a number of activities that are outside our work scope. These are as follows:
We cannot provide funding for treatment, private schools, medicine, or other needs. Our own funding is completely allocated to personnel and materials needed to support our consultative services, which are free to our families. On rare occasions, we are able to provide scholarships to the annual CARD Autism Conference, through generous donations from outside agencies. No other scholarships are provided. We are not a direct treatment provider.
Our services are considered consultative in nature, which means we can demonstrate how to use a technique or procedure to change a behavior or promote new skills, and provide feedback and advice--but we can’t do it for you on an ongoing basis, or do it without your direct involvement.