The UCF Center for Autism and Related Disorders will host events this month and in early May that will help the center support the 7,000 families affected by autism spectrum disorders that it serves.
As part of its observance of National Autism Awareness Month, UCF CARD on April 1 launched its first virtual fundraiser, which allows people in the community to create free, personal fundraising websites that they can customize with messages and images. The fundraiser ends April 30, and proceeds will help fund summer camp programs, social skills groups, parent and community education, recreational activities and more.
“This is a way for families to give to the center without costing them anything, while building more programs in Central Florida for individuals with autism spectrum disorders,” said Judee Samuels, coordinator for the center.
Other highlights of UCF’s National Autism Awareness Month observance include:
In addition, CARD will distribute autism indicator cards to local businesses and doctors’ offices to increase awareness and help diagnose children sooner. When the center opened in 1999, autism incidence rates were 4.5 in every 10,000 births, while today it’s 113 of every 10,000 births.
“We as a community need to take care of our families here,” said Samuels. “It is important that we stand and unite as one to support each other. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders can be successful, supportive community members with a helping hand.”
To learn more about how to participate in National Autism Awareness Month, visit http://www.palsucfcard.myevent.com/3/fundraiser.htm.