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CARD to Host Events Throughout April's Autism Awareness Month

By UM News

CARD to Host Events Throughout April's Autism Awareness Month

By UM News
April marks Autism Awareness Month, when autism organizations worldwide celebrate with awareness-raising events. The University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD) will host a variety of events for its clients and the community.

UM-NSU CARD provides support and assistance with the goal of optimizing the potential of people with autism and related disabilities. Housed in UM’s College of Arts & Sciences’ Department of Psychology, UM-NSU CARD is a state-funded resource and support program dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with autism and related disabilities including deaf-blindness and pervasive developmental disorders. 

Campers, counselors and volunteers (including CARD
Executive Director Michael Alessandri, third from right)
enjoy fun in the sun at South Pointe Park during CARD surf

Ace for Autism: Hosted by the Palmer Trinity School Autism Club, this fundraising event includes junior and adult tennis tournaments, raffles and a silent auction to support UM-NSU CARD. Saturday, April 11, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Biltmore Tennis Center, 1150 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables. For more information contact Waleed Mneimneh at 305-934-3324 or

Creative AGE Support Group: This new initiative will help families affected by autism plan individualized, successful solutions for their loved ones’ lives as adults. Offered through the Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Transition and Adult Programs at CARD, the Creative AGE support group will meet monthly at the Marino Campus post-secondary education facility for young adults with autism, 400 N Andrews Avenue, Suite 300, Fort Lauderdale. The first session will take place on Monday, April 13 at 7 p.m. For more information or to RSVP, contact Mona Nasser at 305-219-3905 or

Soccer Clinic: The UM Women's Soccer team will host a free soccer clinic for children (ages 6-10) on the autism spectrum and with other related disabilities on Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Yaron Field on the University’s Coral Gables campus. The clinic provides an opportunity for children to get out, learn and enjoy exercise through soccer. For more information, contact Daniel Suarez at 305-284-5264 or

Unexpected Masterpieces: Vik Muniz Family Day: Experience the art of acclaimed Brazilian photographer Vik Muniz at the Lowe Art Museum on Sunday, April 19 from 12 to 3 p.m. Guests can participate in a scavenger hunt through the galleries or create their own portrait out of recycled materials. Cost of attendance is $5 per child, with complimentary admission for accompanying caregivers. For more information or to RSVP, call 305-284-5587 or email

Hurricane Aquatics and UM Pool Day: On Saturday, April 25, a drowning prevention and awareness talk will be followed by some fun in the pool. Parents and their swimmers will be in the water with volunteers from both Hurricane Aquatics and CARD. Families will leave with an understanding of how to prevent drownings.

All participants must fill out a Hurricane Aquatics and CARD Liability waiver prior to participating in the pool day. The event is open to entrants aged 5 and under, who are referred by UM CARD. The event runs from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Hurricane Aquatics center, 1306 Stanford Drive on the University’s Coral Gables campus. For more information, contact Maricarmen Saleta at 305-284-5901or

Know Your Legal Rights: This seminar will help teens and adults with high-functioning autism, and their caregivers, to avoid negative interactions with the police. Sponsored by CARD and the Disability Independence Group, the event will explain Miranda Rights, provide strategies to deal effectively with law enforcement officers and present the innovative Wallet Card initiative.

The seminar will take place at the Marino Campus post-secondary education facility for young adults with autism on Saturday, April 25 at 10 a.m. Register online or contact Tresha Barrett, MSW, at 954-530-5511 x4232 or for more information.

Aspertools,” a reading at Books & Books:At 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 27, Books & Books Coral Gables will host Dr. Harold Reitman, an orthopedic surgeon, former professional and Golden Gloves champion heavyweight boxer, philanthropist, movie producer and parent of a daughter with Asperger’s syndrome. Dr. Reitman will read from his book Aspertools: The Practical Guide for Understanding and Embracing Asperger's, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Neurodiversity. It is the first book to offer simple tools, action plans and resources to help understand and deal with anyone whose brain is a bit different.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identify around 1 in 68 American children as on the autism spectrum, with more than three million individuals in the U.S. affected by autism spectrum disorders.

March 30, 2015