Support/Social Groups

CARD UF Gainesville Groups

ALACHUA COUNTY

Gainesville Autism Parent Focus Group

Gainesville Autism Parent Focus Group is a support group for parents with children who have autism spectrum disorder. Come meet with other parents, share stories and discuss topics for future trainings. Location/Meeting Times: See note below. This group usually meets the 2nd Friday of each month from 11am – 1pm. Please check our calendar to confirm date/time/location of meeting. Don’t worry if you’re late just show up when you can! Contact: Margie Garlin at 352-265-2234

alachua county

MyFriends

This group will provide positive, welcoming social opportunities for adults with ASD where they can meet and make friends during fun community outings.To join MyFriends you must: Be a UF-CARD constituent; Be 18 years or older; and Contact Ann-Marie Orlando at 352-265-2239 or aorlando@ufl.edu

Marion county

Lunch Bunch for Adults

A lunch get together for adults age 18 and over, who have a documented diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Please bring money for lunch and if support is needed please bring your support person. Location/Meeting Times: Golden Corral, 2111 SW College Road, Ocala, FL 34474. First Friday of the month at 12pm. Contact Robin Byrd at 352-265-2235 or robinl@ufl.edu

alachua county

Ladies’ Night Out (for Women on the Spectrum)

A dinner get together for women on the spectrum age 18 and over, who have a documented diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, and are registered with UF CARD. Please bring money for dinner and if support is needed please bring your support person. For newcomers, please contact Robin Byrd at 352-265-2235 or robinl@ufl.edu before attending. Location/Meeting Times: Panera Bread, 6017 W Newberry Rd, Gainesville, FL 32605. 1st Thursday of the month at 6pm.

columbia county

CARD Support Group Lake City, FL

A lunch get together for parents, caregivers, adults on the spectrum, community members and all interested parties. Please bring money for lunch and if support is needed please bring your support person. Location/Meeting Times: Sakura Buffet, 2469 W US Hwy 90 #148, Lake City, FL 32055. 1st Wednesdays of the month,11am – 1pm. Parents – Margie Garlin at mlgarlin@ufl.edu or 352-265-2234 or Adults with ASD – Robin Byrd at robinl@ufl.edu or 352-265-2235

alachua county

Impact Autism

Our mission is simple: to utilize the volunteerism, passion, and leadership of University of Florida students to directly IMPACT the lives of those in the community affected by autism. Our organization accomplishes this goal by creating volunteer opportunities for university students, promoting autism awareness through education, and fundraising to support the local autism community. Location/Meeting Times: Please see IMPACT Autism’s facebook page or website for details on all of their events.

Alachua County

Rad Dads

Join us for our Dads with kids on the Autism Spectrum get together for food and sports. Please bring money if you wish to purchase food and/or drinks. RSVP to Art Wallen at awallen@ufl.edu or 352-365-2233 Location/Meeting Times: Crafty Bastards Restaurant & Pub 4860 NW 39th Ave A, Gainesville, FL 32606; First Monday of each month 7:00pm – 8:30pm

alachua

SOCIAL GATORS

SOCIAL Gators is a collaborative effort of UF CARD, the UF Disability Resource Center, and the UF Counseling and Wellness Center that was created to to help students navigate the social aspects of college. Location/Meeting Times: Fridays from 3 – 4pm at the UF Disability Resource Center in Reid Hall.


External Organizations

Alachua County

  • Alachua County Autism Parent Support Group: Alachua County Autism Parent Support Group is a closed group on Facebook. This group is for parents of children that have a diagnosis of Autism (or are going through screening) that live in Alachua County and the surrounding area. This is a place where local moms and dads can meet to help, give ideas, and provide support. I created this group so parents can come together and discuss their struggles, triumphs, and share local resources with each other. Please share with those that are local to Alachua County only. This group is also meant to help educate each other and the community on Acceptance.
  • Autistic Adults of Gainesville, Florida: Autistic Adults of Gainesville, FL is a group for autistic adults in the Gainesville area to talk, seek advice, and share information. View their Facebook page.
  • Noah’s Endeavor Adapted Athletics and Recreation: Noah’s Endeavor provides inclusive community recreation for children and young adults of all abilities. Swimming, bowling, soccer, basketball, paint & play, and dancing are some of the activities they organize. Location/Meeting Times: Please see their website for details on all of their events.
  • Special Olympics Alachua County: Special Olympics Florida – Alachua County provides year-round sports training and competition to children and adults with intellectual disabilities, at no cost to the athlete or their caregiver as a means to achieve physical fitness, self-esteem and the life skills necessary to be productive, respected and contributing members of their communities. View their website.

Citrus County

  • CASS (formerly the Citrus Autism Support Society) : CASS (formerly the Citrus Autism Support Society) Inverness, FL. Their goal is to provide the latest information about upcoming conferences, webinars, provide links, resources and helpful hints for anyone interested in knowing more about autism. Location/Meeting Times: Monthly (Aug – May) on the 2nd Tues of the month 10:30-11:30am NEW LOCATION! Meetings will now be at the Key Training Foundation/Administrative Offices next to the Key Thrift Store located at 5399 W Gulf to Lake Hwy in Lecanto. RSVP requested. Please view their Facebook page. We recommend you confirm date and time of meeting with Dawn Williams at diamndust@msn.com.

Hernando County

  • CAUSE Support Group: A support group for parents and individuals with autism in the Hernando County Area. Location/Meeting Times: Hope Youth Ranch 17933 East Road Hudson, FL 34667. 1st Friday of every month 1:00pm- 3:00pm. Baycare Behavioral Health 15311 Cortez Blvd. Brooksville, FL 34609. 3rd Wednesday of every month 6:30pm – 8:00pm (Baycare Behavioral Health will be holding a Social Skills Outreach Group at the same time. All children with and without ASD are welcome.) We recommend you check with Jen Lambke at 352-346-1677 to confirm meeting times and locations.

Marion County

  • Bryan’s All Stars Challenge Sports: Bryan’s All Stars Challenge Sports mission is to provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence, and fitness through participation in community sports among their peers. Visit their Facebook page.
  • Champions for Champions: The purpose of Champion for Champions Inc., is to enrich the lives of families through facilitating and providing recreational, educational, athletic, life skills and musical activities for people with special needs. Visit their website.
  • Helping Hands PHPF (Parents Helping Parents): A parent support group for parents of children living with ASD and other special needs. Helping Hands invites you to connect with peers, gather valuable information and share thoughts, feelings, experiences, and ideas. Location/Meeting Times: Please contact Beth Inman at (352)694-1229. View their Facebook page.
  • Ocala Autism Center Ocala, FL Contact: Delsa Darline at 352-390-6656 – Under the guidance of a trained mental health provider, our free Autism Parent Support Group emphasizes emotional support and provides an opportunity for shared experiences. Being part of a support group can help you develop a clearer understanding of what you are experiencing as well as receive practical advice or information about treatment options and resources, such as doctors and alternative options not only from a professional perspective but from your peers as well. Location/Meeting Times: Urban Counseling Southwood Medical Center 1130 SE 18th Place Ocala, FL 344713rd Tuesday of every month 10:00 am to 11:45 am For up to date events, services, and scholarship announcements please go to the KidGenius facebook page.
  • Outreach autism Services Network (OaSN) Ocala, FL Contact: Contact: 352-462-0168, inquiries@oasn.info. Outreach autism Services Network Inc.™ (formerly Ocala Autism Support Network) is a non profit agency founded May 12, 2011 offering free autism services to the community. OaSN was founded to facilitate the BEST outcomes for individuals with autism through education seminars, respite care, social skills classes, referrals, support meetings, events and more. Please contact us for more information about our programs and services. Location/Meeting Times: 2801 SW College Road #12 Ocala, FL 34474 Office hours 8:30am-12:30pm M-F.  Please visit OASN’s facebook page or website for information on all of their events.

Suwannee County

  • Autism Parents of Suwannee County: This group is for parents with children who have Autism, or any special needs. Vew their Facebook page.

Putnam County

  • Putnam Cares ASD Focus Group, Palatka, FL. Contact: Janae Donnelly at 717-600-5228 or jdm1974@yahoo.com. Occasional trainings are provided to help parents learn how to help their children. Annual summer picnic.