The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) has been approved to host a regional CARD center for Palm Beach, Martin, Okeechobee, St. Lucie and Indian River counties.
The $400,000 provided by the state legislature will provide a new branch location on the Treasure Coast campus, new clinical and office staff, raise awareness of CARD and host support groups and clinics. CARD will maintain its main branch on the Boca Raton campus. Florida State Sen. Ron Klein and State Rep. Susan Goldstein are credited with spearheading the project, as they both sponsored the bill that brought the needed funds to the Treasure Coast area.
"Senator Klein, Representative Goldstein and President Brogan pledged their support for this center," said Dr. Jack Scott, director of CARD. "Without it, we couldn't have received the needed funding to open on the Treasure Coast."
According to Autism Today, the number of children with autism has risen from one in 10,000 children in 1987 to one in 166 today. CARD provides free services and programs for persons, families, friends and professionals who deal with autism, dual sensory impairment and related disabilities. The Center is focused on finding ways to change the behavior and perceptions of individuals with autism in ways that will allow them to successfully learn, work and communicate. A special focus of their attention includes increasing knowledge about the aspects of autism and related disorders.
"This is a nice first step for the CARD center," said Tom Barlow, FAU's director of governmental relations. "Unfortunately with the autism numbers rising, more time and attention will have to be focused on it." For more information on CARD, call 561-297-2023 or visit www.coe.fau.edu/card.