October Resource Spotlight: Care Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD)

October RS

Hi Families,

CARD is a free community-based program funded by the Florida Department of Education through an annual grant. Services are delivered wherever families, professionals, schools, agencies or businesses are located within our 14 county region in southwest Florida. There are seven regional CARD centers in the state of Florida. Visit the state-wide CARD Regional Site Directory for their locations and contact information.

CARD-USF provides free training and guidance to individuals diagnosed on the autism spectrum across their lifespan. We connect individuals, families, and professionals to services and resources. As a community-based program, we work across all settings where people live, work, learn, and play.

Services for families and self-advocates

We know that finding and using services can be overwhelming. CARD helps is by sharing lists of resources personalized to your area and insurance. Our provider database is filled with recommendations from others we have served; we strive to offer options familiar to our community. Consultation can take place over the phone, through video chat, in the community, through email, or in your home.

CARD works with people at all ages of their lives regardless of the age of diagnosis. CARD consultants can assist families through the early days of diagnosis, help you find and use community resources, teach strategies and evidence-based practices for skill-building and behavioral concerns, create visual supports, prepare for IEP meetings, and more. We provide school observations of individual students and offer support and recommendations to staff only with permission from both the district and the family. Our consultants can help with various aspects of transitioning into adulthood including, but not limited to: community integration, lifestyle planning, self-advocacy, empowerment, preparations for independent living, understanding benefits, understanding relationships, and identifying supports for quality of life.

Although by statute we are not permitted (statute) to provide the following services directly, we can refer you to appropriate providers for:

  • Diagnostic evaluations
  • Therapy
  • Crisis intervention
  • Case management
  • Legal or educational advocacy

We provide short-term services. You will need to contact us when you need further assistance.

Phone: (813) 974-2532
Fax: (813) 905-9812
Toll-Free Florida Only: 1-800-333-4530

Email: card-usf@usf.edu