Dear Friends,
It is hard to believe we have made it over a year practicing social distancing and learning how to navigate the world during a pandemic. We are hopeful that we can begin to think about how to safely go back to the office. I am so proud of the entire FSU CARD team who have worked tirelessly to figure out ways to continue providing our clients and community the support they need remotely. We appreciate all of you who have helped us think outside of the box and figure out ways to collaborate and continue moving forward.
You may have noticed we are sending out our email blasts more frequently as a way to ensure that all of the trainings and events that we are hosting reach all of our clients, families, and community partners. We still rely on our social media platforms to share information but we want to make sure we are reaching everyone- with and without social media accounts.
As we move into spring, April is one of our busiest months as we celebrate Autism Awareness month. We realize that autism is present and deserves to be celebrated all year, but we plan to capitalize on this designated month to educate others. Please be sure to scroll through all of the articles in this edition of our newsletter so you don’t miss out on any opportunities. Here’s a sneak peak of what you’ll see below:
April 1: Practical Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Parents
April 2: Spectrum: A Story of the Mind
April 8: Tallahassee Museum Mixology Event: Autism-Friendly Business Initiatives.
April 11: Virtual Kickin’ It for Autism
April 26: Reading, Writing, and ASD: Part 2 – Writing
On behalf of everyone at FSU CARD, we applaud your resilience and appreciate the support and grace you have shown during this challenging year. We are still here and ready to help, just reach out and ask. The best way to get in touch with us is via email – [email protected] – or email your consultant directly.
We hope to ‘see’ you at one of our events.
Catherine Zenko, M.S., CCC-SLP
Director, FSU CARD
Our social media accounts are listed below. Please follow us on your preferred social media platform to get the most up-to-date information.


World Autism Awareness Day!

This April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. People around the globe will be spreading information about autism and helping initiatives like CARD that improve the lives of people with autism through education and research.
To participate you can share to social media and tell your friends about the resources CARD offers, or give to CARD in honor of someone you love.

Autism Navigator Classroom Success for PreK to 2nd Grade Webinar Series – Register TODAY!

We are thrilled to be partnering with the amazing Autism Navigator team to co-host a companion webinar series for the Autism Navigator Classroom Success for PreK to 2nd Grade course. Week 2 starts TODAY —

March 31st from 3:30 – 5:00 pm EST/ 2:30 – 4:00 pm CST 

Don’t worry if you missed last week, you can register and join us any time.
This 6-week webinar series covers the following 6 topics:
  • Week 1: Getting Started — Everything Grows out of Productive Roles
  • Week 2: Active Engagement Step 1 — Coming Together Layer 1 Supports for a Shared Agenda
  • Week 3: Active Engagement Step 2 — Keeping Together Layer 2 Supports for Social Reciprocity
  • Week 4: Addressing Challenging Behavior Part 1
  • Week 5: Active Engagement Step 3 — Working Together Layer 3 Supports for Better Skills
  • Week 6: Addressing Challenging Behavior Part 2
Click the button below to learn more about the series and to register. We hope to see you there!

Practical Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Parents: A 3-Part Series

Thursday April 1, 8 & 15
12:00 – 1:00 pm EST/ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm CST

Join FSU consultants for a 3-part series, where practical tips, tricks and strategies will be discussed to support children with ASD. During the webinar, parents are encouraged to ask questions, share information, celebrate successes and problem solve challenges related to a particular situation, to the extent they are comfortable.

Spectrum: A Story of the Mind – Digital Film Viewing and Discussion

We are excited to be a part of the Leroy Collins Leon County Public Library event on

Friday, April 2, 2021 at 6:30 pm EST/5:30 pm CST.

Join us for a night of celebration for autism and neurodiversity! We will be viewing the film, Spectrum: A Story of the Mind, which explores sensory perception through the lens of individuals on the autism spectrum.

The viewing will be followed by a robust discussion with the film’s director, Jill Jones, and also local experts and community members: Shamara McCray, Joseph Show, and Catherine Zenko.
Viewing of Spectrum: A Story of the Mind is courtesy of Iowa PBS.

Register in advance for this meeting.

Click HERE << to go to the Facebook Event Page.

Autism-Friendly Business Initiatives: Our Partnership with the Tallahassee Museum

Thanks to one of our newest Autism-Friendly Businesses, we are speaking at the Tallahassee Museum Mixology Event: Autism-Friendly Business Initiatives. We are thrilled to add this event to our Autism Awareness Month activities.

April 8, 2021 6:00 PM (EST) via Zoom

To view the full event information click HERE<<

This event is free, but registration is required.

Virtual Kickin’ It For Autism

This year our Kickin’ It for Autism is going VIRTUAL. The same talented Florida State Seminoles Soccer Team teaching soccer skills, playing trivia and games, and answering your questions during a Q&A session.
While we cannot have this event in-person this year due to COVID-19, we hope old and new friends can join us for this year’s event.

Sunday, April 11th from 3:00-4:00 pm (EST)

Register today and help us spread the word about this unique opportunity.
Can’t attend the event, but would like to support FSU CARD click on the link to donate to FSU CARD,

PEPSA Reading, Writing and ASD: A 2-Part Series

Don’t miss part 2 of our Reading, Writing and ASD training focusing on writing.

April 26, 2021 3:30 – 5:30 pm ET/ 2:30 – 4:30 pm CT

2021 Summer Training Institute on Autism: Mark Your Calendars

Mark your calendars for the 2021 Summer Training Institute on Autism coming to you via Zoom on June 15-17, 2021. We have an exciting lineup of speakers and topics. As soon as we finalize all of the details, we will send out the full brochure.
After such a positive response to the unexpected need to shift the Summer Training Institute on Autism to online last year, we decided to keep the virtual format to accommodate people from near and far.
Keep an eye on your inbox for the full brochure coming soon.

28th Annual Statewide CARD Conference Recap

By: Crystal Grey-Hewett

On January 15th through 17th, 2021, CARD, like so many other entities and organizations, mounted our first virtual CARD Conference. While this new format was not without its challenges, our colleagues at the University of Central Florida CARD gracefully and tenaciously managed the challenges of the new online platform to bring the same quality speakers and information that are trademarks of our annual conference.
A major standout was keynote speaker Dr. Lamar Hardwick, who gave us his perspective and experiences as a man on the autism spectrum, a man of color, and a pastor, including the important role of people with disabilities in the social justice and civil rights movements. I would also be remiss in not mentioning our own Tammy Dasher and Taylor Fabrega, who along with a panel of young women on the autism spectrum that trained as mentors to adolescent girls also on the spectrum, shed light on the female experience of autism.
While we would love to see a return to a more traditional format for the 2022 Conference, we also took away from this experience that virtual conferences can bring a different experience that does not sacrifice the quality standards for which CARD is known.

COVID-19 Vaccine Story

By: Cathy Zenko

Staff at the University of Central Florida and University of South Florida Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) centers created a social narrative for people with autism about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

For those who chose to get the vaccine when it is available, we hope this story helps explain what to expect.
View the full story HERE<<

Free access to the Autism Navigator® How-To Guide for Families

Autism Navigator

FSU CARD is pleased to continue to offer free access to our CARD families with young children not yet old enough to enroll in kindergarten to the online Autism Navigator®  How-To Guide for Families course. This self-paced course will teach caregivers how to use strategies and supports in their everyday activities as well as provide them with access to a variety of “tools” to chart their child’s developmental growth and monitor meaningful outcomes.  This online course is full of video libraries to illustrate how to promote learning and development of their child with ASD.  For more information about the Autism Navigator®  How-To Guide for Families, please visit their  website .  If you are a parent of a young child with FSU CARD and would like to request a code to the How-To Guide for Families, please click this  link: 

In addition to the online course, parents that enrolled in the How-To Guide for Families, will be invited to join a weekly meetup (a Guided Tour) where parents will have the opportunity interact with other families with similar issues from the convenience of their computer, phone or tablet.  We hope to start the next CARD facilitated How-To Guided Tour as soon as 10 to 12 families express an interest in getting one started.

Learn More >>

Baby Navigator
Baby Navigator Website

The Executive Director of FSU CARD and Director of the College of Medicine’s Autism Institute, Dr. Amy Wetherby, launched a new website,, that walks parents through early childhood development and alerts them to early signs of autism.

Click on the article below for more information. HERE →

Share with CARD!

FSU CARD is continuously looking for clients who would like to share their art, writing pieces, or success stories in our quarterly newsletter. If you are interested in sharing for our next issue, please send a message and image electronically to Tammy Dasher ([email protected]). All art or writing pieces should be titled. Select submissions will be chosen for each edition of the newsletter; artists and authors will be notified if their article is chosen.

Client Corner Newsletter Feature:
COVID School: Attending School During a Pandemic

By: Tammy Dasher

Dane Bullock is an 8th grader at Davidson Middle School in Crestview. He has been attending school in person since August of 2020 and has noted many changes.

“The first thing I noticed,” he stated, “was that we weren’t using lockers anymore.”

Other changes were the masks worn by teachers and students, everything spaced out for social distancing, and an even/odd block schedule to reduce the number of times students change classes.

In previous years, Dane and his classmates were crowded into three lunch periods; with the social distancing guidelines put in place this school year, students were given one of four lunch periods. With every other seat X’ed out with masking tape, the students have been doing their best to follow the rules. However, middle school being middle school, some students “rip the tape off to sit with their friends.” 

While the less crowded hallways and lunches are a perk for Dane, some of the drawbacks to COVID school mean fewer elective classes. His favorite class, robotics, is no longer offered. 

Another concern is the “sizable dent” in students’ grades when they are required to quarantine after being exposed to a positive case of COVID. While thankfully Dane has not needed to quarantine this year, he has noticed his quarantined classmates’ grades dropping when they have to remain home for two weeks— “it is a learning gap,” he commented, that is difficult to overcome for some students who do not adapt well to virtual classes.
 “I am so glad that Florida is one of the states that reopened their schools,” he said emphatically, “because I do not like online learning and that is for sure!”

Health & Nutrition

This article from highlights the importance of maximizing opportunities during everyday activities to help promote communication, interaction, and learning for children with autism.

How to Improve Autistic Children Social Skills In the Kitchen

By Emma Williams –
May 4, 2019
One of the most valuable experiences for raising a healthy child on the spectrum is spending time in the kitchen. Parents often are disbelieving when hearing this. It sounds like a lot of mess. And is it safe? Yes, with proper preparation, cooking with your child is safe. And, yes, it will probably be messy. It’s also much more than that…..

Comments are closed.

Close Search Window