Becoming A Client

FSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities Referral/Intake forms.

CARD is a state-funded agency (Florida statute 1004.55) whose purpose is to serve individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or related disabilities, their families’, schools, and community. While CARD can provide a variety of supports to clients and families, CARD can NOT provide evaluations, diagnoses, therapies, or respite care. For more information about the services FSU CARD can provide, please click here.

To become an FSU CARD client:

Step 1: Complete an intake form, either online or by downloading a fillable form.

Step 2: Provide documentation of diagnosis of ASD or related disabilities.
Examples of acceptable documentation include:

•Diagnostic evaluation report
•School evaluation reports,
•Individualized Education Program (IEP) that lists ASD

If your child is under 6 and does not have a diagnosis, an FSU CARD staff member will contact you to discuss additional steps.

Step 3: Once your referral is received, an FSU CARD staff member will contact you.

Online Referrals/Intakes
Downloadable Referrals/Intakes

Seeking a Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Seeking a diagnosis for autism spectrum disorder can be an overwhelming process with many questions. Although the Florida State Legislature mandates that FSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) not diagnose for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), we can help by giving you information about diagnostic resources in your community. FSU CARD serves individuals of all ages. Children under the age of 6 do not need a diagnosis to be served by FSU CARD, but must present red flags for ASD in order to be eligible to receive CARD services. If your child is under the age of 6, CARD will assist you in documenting the presence of red flags for ASD by asking that two different checklists be completed. Individuals over the age of 6 need documentation of a diagnosis of ASD or a dual sensory impairment to be served by CARD.

FSU CARD is one of many projects in the FSU Autism Institute. On occasion, there are research projects at the Autism Institute that will evaluate for a diagnosis of ASD as part of their research. All of the FSU Autism Institute research projects are bound by specific research guidelines regarding the ages of the individuals they evaluate and other criteria. Even though these projects are in the same office and may include staff that work for CARD, they are separate from CARD services.

Deciding Where to Go for an Autism Diagnostic Evaluation

First, decide your reasons for seeking a diagnosis…

  • Diagnosis for your information: If you want a diagnosis to know if you or one of your children has autism, then you have the choice to go to any diagnostic facility. We suggest you talk to the diagnostic facility about what type of evaluation you are seeking in order to find the diagnostician that best matches your needs. If you have health insurance, you can speak with your insurance carrier for a referral.
  • Diagnosis to access private therapies: If you need a diagnosis to access private therapies that your insurance carrier will cover (e.g., behavioral therapy, speech therapy), then contact your insurance carrier to find out their requirements for a diagnosis. Some insurance companies require you to use specific providers for the diagnosis, and they may only recognize a diagnosis made by those providers.
  • Diagnosis for school services: If you need a diagnosis to access additional school services, then you should contact your school district. School districts have specific requirements regarding eligibility for services and an evaluation completed outside of the school system may be reviewed by the school, but does not necessarily lead to an IEP, 504 Plan, related therapies, or school supports and accommodations.
  • Diagnosis to access services from state or federal agencies: If you need a diagnosis to access services from Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) (http://apd.myflorida.com), Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) (http://www.rehabworks.org) or Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) or (SSI) http://www.socialsecuritydisability-benefits.com, contact the agency first to find out their requirements for access to services. They may complete their own assessment and seek existing medical records to determine whether you meet their criteria.