The Autism Society of Florida is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) comprised entirely of volunteers, parents of people with autism and adults with autism.  We are an affiliate of the Autism Society of America. For 33 years, we have been working to ensure full participation and self-determination in every aspect of life for people across the autism spectrum. We work every day to empower lives by opening avenues of self-advocacy and advocating on behalf of others in a way that values equity, respect, dignity and diversity in all communities.  

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released updated data surrounding Autism prevalence rates that show a slight increase in the number of children diagnosed with Autism from one in 54 to one in 44. The Autism Society routinely reviews these reports to disseminate information, continue to advocate for necessary policy changes, and to better support the Autism community.

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ASF has formed a Safe Schools Task Force due to the enormous concerns we have for our children who attend public schools in Florida.

 

Day after day there are reports of children with autism being treated with disrespect, exposed to profanity, dragged from classrooms, baker acted, restrained and segregated.

Bullying is another big problem for our kids. In fact, 63% of kids with autism REPORT being bullied in school, and that is only those who can communicate about what is happening to them. 

We have contacted the Florida Department of Education, Chancellor of Education, district ESE directors, Office of Safe Schools, and we ask you to do the same.

 

Below are some contact emails. If you are as concerned as we are about this issue, please reach out to them and share your story. We will be conducting a survey soon to help gather more information.

Thank you for standing up for children with autism.

Victoria Gaitanis, Bureau Chief, Dept of Ed (ESE)

Victoria.Gaitanis@fldoe.org

Tim Hay, Executive Director

Email: Timothy.Hay@fldoe.org

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