Mother with three children, one who has autism, walk down a tree-covered path.

A priority of the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities is to promote access to and participation in inclusive education for students with developmental disabilities. A major focus of our effort is dedicated to supporting individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Scientists do not know yet exactly what causes ASD, however, individuals may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most. Therefore, FCIC works to ensure that individuals with ASD, their families, and providers receive direct support related to education, as well as ensuring education personnel have access to research, training, and technical assistance to enhance the educational program for students with ASD. In addition, professionals have access to information and resources to promote inclusion and innovative research based practices. In this section, we invite you to explore the ASD programs and resources through which we deliver our technical assistance, training, research, and information dissemination efforts.

CDC estimates 1 in 59 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder.

Programs & Activities

Center for Autism and Related Disabilities

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. CARD offers training on a wide variety of autism topics for groups of professionals and businesses. We can also provide consultation to educators, child care providers, and employers to help them understand and support the needs of the people they serve, as well as set up their environments to promote success for people on the autism spectrum. For more information email card-usf@usf.edu or call 1-800-333-4530.

Interdisciplinary Center for Evaluation and Intervention (ICEI)

ICEI is a Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources (FDLRS) specialized clinic in the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences (CBCS), Department of Child and Family Studies, Division of Applied Research and Educational Support. The Center, funded by the Florida Department of Education, is a specialized diagnostic and training center that serves preschool and school-aged students (ages 3-22) having autism spectrum disorders, serious behavioral/social/emotional challenges, and other complex conditions. This specialized clinic collaborates with schools, community agencies, and families to implement evidence-based interventions with fidelity. The ICEI team includes professionals from the discipline areas of applied behavior analysis, psychology, communication disorders, family science, pediatrics, psychiatry, social work, special education. For more information contact Rose Iovannone.

Partnership for Effective Programs for Students with Autism (PEPSA)

Offering professional development opportunities and building capacity among educators working with students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) across the state is essential to the PEPSA mission. The Partnership Program is funded by the Florida Department of Education, K-12 Public Schools, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services, and is designed to provide training and technical assistance to teachers or a school program that wishes to enhance their educational program for students with ASD. Each teacher or school will be matched to a Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) professional who will mentor the teacher or school staff in developing a plan for implementing innovative and effective practices within educational programs for students with autism. The project also provides opportunities for educators to receive professional development on the very specialized subject area of educational programs for students with ASD and to provide an in-service training mechanism that would ensure that research based practices are implemented and evaluated within classrooms. For more information, please contact Katy Tapley.

The Learning Academy at USF

The Learning Academy Services at USF offers an array of programs for individuals with autism and related disabilities. Learning Academy is a 30 week program designed to provide a structured employment-focused curriculum for individuals diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, between the ages of 18-25 after they have graduated from high school. Learning Academy Employment Services offers customized services which include, Employment, Supported Employment, Discovery and Customized Employment, On the Job Training, Pre-Placement Training and more to adults 18 and over. For more information, please contact Christine Hugh.


Materials & Resources

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Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Overview

This downloadable, free multimedia presentation defines and provides basic information about autism spectrum disorders.

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Believe in One, Believe in All

This down-loadable, free multimedia presentation illustrates the experiences of a student with autism included in a third grade classroom, along with the reactions, feelings, and beliefs of his support team members and peers.

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CARD Learning Curve

The CARD Learning Curve is an online resource that provides interesting and interactive stories, ideas, resources and materials for teachers of students with autism or a related disability.

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I have a Friend with Autism

This free, downloadable brochure provides children with information on autism emphasizing that children with autism are more alike, than different from their peers.

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In My Language

This is a wonderful video by Amanda, a young woman with autism who is considered “low-functioning.” She wrote, produced, and posted her own video called “In My Language” on You-Tube. The first half of the video is in “her language,” and the second half is translated by the laptop she uses to communicate in “our language.” This video is beautiful and profound in any language.

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Milestone Moments, by Project Conectar

Milestone Moments is an adaptation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Learn the Signs, Act Early” campaign booklet that includes a comprehensive list of milestones and tips for parents of children ages 2 months to 5 years. This booklet can be used to determine gaps in development, help doctors understand delayed or missing development, help families understand what is typical development, and to help educators know what the child needs to strengthen. Milestone Moments is available in both English and Spanish and can be printed directly off our website on 8.5” x 11” paper or can be ordered to be printed in a spiral bound, tabbed booklet that is 5.5” x 8.5”. To obtain ordering information please contact: Myrna Veguilla, 813-974-7008.

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Positive Educational Planning

This is a simple planning portfolio that guides family members to reflect and share what they know of their child as a learner and a family member. With the information gathered in the Positive Educational Planning portfolio, members of a child’s educational team can envision a rich future and develop an educational plan to serve as the road that will lead to it.

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Understanding Early Signs of Autism

This down-loadable, free multimedia presentation reviews the milestones of early development and the differences in children with autism spectrum disorders. It also identifies potential differences that serve as “red flags” for evaluation, and provides a brief summary of early childhood screening tools.

Related Links

This page includes links to both internal (FCIC) and external (non-FCIC) websites. External links are selected and reviewed when the page is published. However, the FCIC is not responsible for the content of external websites. The FCIC website does not accept submissions or requests.

Therapies for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Behavioral Interventions Update

An extensive resource provided by the Agency Healthcare Research and Quality, Effective Health Care Program. The information in this report is intended to help health care decisionmakers—patients and clinicians, health system leaders, and policymakers, among others—make well informed decisions and thereby improve the quality of health care services.

Practice Parameter for the Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry published new guidance for diagnosing and treating infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents (0 to 18 years of age) with autism in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (p. 237-257). Practice Parameter for the Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder presents recommendations that include: multidisciplinary care; coordination of services; early, sustained intervention; the use of multiple treatment modalities; helping families with long-term planning, and finding support for parents and siblings. It updates an earlier guidance document published in 1999 and incorporates new research findings.

AUCD's Interdisciplinary Technical Assistance Center on Autism and Developmental Disabilities

The purpose of the Interdisciplinary Technical Assistance Center (ITAC) on Autism and Developmental Disabilities at AUCD is to improve the health of infants, children, and adolescents who have, or are at risk for developing, ASDs and other developmental disabilities. The Center accomplishes this by providing technical assistance to interdisciplinary training programs (i.e., the LENDs and Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) programs) to better train professionals to utilize valid and reliable screening tools to diagnose or rule out and provide evidence-based interventions for children with ASD and other developmental disabilities.

Autism Society of America (ASA)

ASA exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. They do this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs)

CDC is committed to continuing to provide essential data on ASDs, search for risk factors and causes, and develop resources that help identify children with ASDs as early as possible

CDC's "Learn the Signs Act Early" Autism Campaign

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD), in collaboration with a number of national partners, launched a public awareness campaign called "Learn the Signs. Act Early." The campaign aims to educate parents about childhood development, including early warning signs of autism and other developmental disorders, and encourages developmental screening and intervention.

Educational Resources for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Resources compiled from original publication materials by UM-NSU CARD staff.

A Guide to the Individualized Education Program

The purpose of this guidance is to assist educators, parents, and state and local educational agencies in implementing the requirements of Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) regarding Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for children with disabilities, including preschool-aged children. Prepared by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services U.S. Department of Education (OSEP).

Knowledge Path: Autism Spectrum Disorders

This knowledge path about autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has been compiled by the Material and Health Child Library at Georgetown University. It offers a selection of current, high-quality resources about ASD identification and intervention, and it includes resources about biomedical research into the causes of ASD; resources that address the communication, education, and vocational challenges of autism; and resources about autism's impact on family life. Separate sections identify resources about autism and environmental health research as well as those that address concerns about vaccines. This knowledge path for health professionals, educators, researchers, policymakers, and families will be updated periodically.

Trainings & WebinarsTwo female CARD staff look over social storie booklet.


AUCD’s Upcoming Events

AUCD offers a number of resources, trainings and webinars relating to autism. Upcoming events can be viewed here but all webinars are recorded and stored on their webinar library.

CARD Online Training Library

The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at USF has developed this library of online training presentations that are available free to the public to view or download. The library includes sections specific to Families, Educators, and Healthcare Professionals.

CARD Community Calendar

The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at USF Community Calendar highlights training opportunities and general events by and for the Autism Community. You do not need to register with CARD for trainings that are offered by other agencies, but you may need to register with them directly. Contact information is provided within the individual announcements.

PEPSA Professional Development Opportunities

The Partnership for Effective Programs for Students offers regional trainings throughout the state of Florida to ensure access and professional development on diverse topics. All trainings are FREE but pre-registration is required. To learn more, view PEPSA’s PEPSA Regional Training Calendar.


AUCD Webinar Library

AUCD's Webinar Library puts all AUCD-hosted webinars at your fingertips – when you want them. In this library you'll find only webinars which have been hosted by AUCD, and a convenient search function makes it easy to find the specific webinar(s) of interest. If you have questions, comments or problems with any of the webinars in the webinar library please contact aucdinfo@aucd.org

Program Areas


Community Supports

Early Childhood




Interdisciplinary Training

Public Policy