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On the Spectrum… Autism Awareness Month

Autism is a neurological disorder that affects communication, social interactions, and sensory processing. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex issue that can present in many different ways, and varying in severity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 54 children in the United States have been identified with ASD.

April is Autism Awareness Month, a time dedicated to increasing understanding of autism. During this month, organizations and individuals worldwide work to promote acceptance and inclusion of individuals with autism, as well as educating the public about the challenges they face.

South Florida has several resources available for individuals with autism and their families. The Dan Marino Foundation https://danmarinofoundation.org, located in Fort Lauderdale, serves to improve the lives of those with autism and other developmental disabilities. The foundation offers a variety of programs and services, including job training and placement, social skills training, and technology programs. Additionally, the Marino Autism Research Institute focuses on understanding the causes and treatment of autism through research.

Another organization that provides support for individuals with autism in South Florida is the Unicorn Children’s Foundation https://www.unicornchildrensfoundation.org. They offers programs and services such as sensory-friendly events, respite care, and a mobile clinic that provides screenings and assessments for autism and other developmental disabilities.

The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) is another resource available in South Florida. CARD provides support and assistance to individuals with autism and their families through a network of seven centers across the state, including one in Miami. CARD offers a variety of services, including training and workshops for parents and professionals, behavioral support services, and community outreach programs.

South Florida also has several specialized schools for children with autism. These schools provide a structured environment that is tailored to meet the specific needs of children with autism, including behavioral and sensory support. https://www.floridahealth.gov offers a variety of solutions for people with ASD and other concerns.

Local resources also include:
• Parkland Designated First Autism-Friendly City in Broward

In conclusion, Autism Awareness Month is an important time to raise awareness and understanding of autism spectrum disorders. South Florida has several resources available for individuals with autism and their families, including the Dan Marino Foundation, the Unicorn Children’s Foundation, the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, and specialized schools. These organizations provide support and services that help individuals with autism live fulfilling and productive lives. It is crucial to continue to educate ourselves and our communities about autism to promote acceptance and inclusion for individuals with autism.

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