Florida's First Choice for Autism Support

Posts tagged ‘safety’

CARD-USF partners with Magic 94.9 for Swim Safely Campaign

CARD-USF has partnered with Cox Media Group’s Tampa Bay radio station, Magic 94.9, for a Swim Safely Campaign. On air morning show personality, Danielle, will promote water safety strategies and resources for children and families for twelve weeks. The messaging for social media and radio spots will cover water safety, but with an emphasis on individuals on the autism spectrum. CARD-USF is excited for this opportunity to reach a broader audience and help promote the importance of water safety. Visit Magic 94.9’s website to learn more about the campaign.

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CARD-USF’s Water Safety Resources

May is Water Safety Month.

The topic of safety is extremely important to us here at CARD as individuals with autism are more susceptible to danger particularly drowning. Drowning is one of the main causes of death for individuals with autism and the leading cause of death for all children ages 1-4 (CDC, 2019).

At this time, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of drownings has significantly increased during the the stay-at-home orders. Many factors can be attributed to this correlation which is discussed in further detail, along with recent statistics, in an article provided by SafeKids Worldwide, Safe States & YMCA.

CARD-USF works year round on water safety education and provides resources and tools to families and other organizations in the community. At the same time partnering with  various agencies throughout our 14 counties, as well as, national organizations whose mission is to educate and empower caregivers. Thanks to donations to CARD’s Autism Services Fund, CARD has provided life jackets, swim lessons, and Josh the Otter materials to classrooms. CARD created Strategies for including children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)and created a visual with  Water Safety Rules. These strategies are designed to be utilized in collaboration with the Josh the Baby Otter book and Josh the Otter Program/Presentation Guide.

Donations allow CARD to have the opportunity to help our community further by covering the cost of printing and distribution of our created materials along with our ASD and Water Safety brochure. These same funds also provide Safety Kits to families which include items such as door alarms, stop signs and various resources.

Here in Florida, water safety is important year round; however, having a designated month to really push the initiative is a great way to prep for the Summer ahead. Below we’ve created a quick video with some of our favorite tips to practice water safety.

Video clip

 

Adrian Ruiz

 

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019, February 6). Drowning Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/safechild/drowning/index.html

Online Events: ASD & Safety Series

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We miss seeing you at public awareness events and hope you and your family are doing well.

Since we can’t be out in the community, we still wanted to provide resources and information related to specific topics. We have many virtual events around safety coming up! The series is named: Welcome to the CARD Table

These live public awareness events are to provide families resources and tips regarding autism and safety. Below you will find our upcoming schedule for the month of April.

Our full schedule of events can be viewed on our Community Calendar at anytime. Please visit our website for many resources regarding safety and other topics.

View full list of upcoming events here.

Hurricane Safety

HURRICANE SAFETY

With the uncertainty of Hurricane Dorian’s impact on Florida, now is a good time to prepare. CARD-USF has Hurricane Safety brochures in English and Spanish as well as a Hurricane Social Narrative. Also, be sure to register with the Special Needs Registry in your county at FLGetAPlan.com

Hurricane Safety (English):https://www.dropbox.com/…/CARD_2018HurricaneGuide_FINAL_dig…

Autism & Safety: Resources for Families

This past weekend we heard heartbreaking news that another child, a 5 year old boy with autism, wandered off and was found in a nearby canal. It is important that we work together, as a community, along with our local police departments, to ensure that our children are safe by taking necessary precautions. There are many resources out there regarding water safety, elopement and working with first responders.

CARD-USF launched safety kits last year for constituents within our 14 counties here in Florida. The kit contains vital information, door alarms and other components to help families secure their homes and be prepared in case of an emergency. You can visit our website’s safety page for more details about our kits and other resources regarding wandering, water safety and medical ID bracelets. There you can also view contact information for your local police department regarding Project Lifesaver.

Another great resource for families nationwide is the National Autism Association and their Big Red Safety Tool Kit.

Even though we are in the winter months swim lessons and teaching water safety is vital. Last June, we posted a blog regarding water safety and provided a list for local swim lessons within our 14 counties.

If you are in Florida we encourage you to reach out to your local CARD center for more information regarding autism and safety. We must learn from these tragic stories and work to ensure that this doesn’t happen to another family.

~A. Ruiz

 

 

CARD-USF Launches Autism & Safety Kits

SafetyKit_Contents

Safety is an important topic for the families CARD supports.  As a result, we launched a campaign to address an array of safety concerns that an individual with an autism spectrum disorder may face.  As a result of a generous donation to our USF Foundation Autism Services Fund, CARD purchased the supplies, created the materials and assembled a kit that is available to eligible individuals at no charge while supplies last.

CARD-USF’s Autism and Safety Kit is designed to provide individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families with tips, information, advice and resources to help those living with ASD stay out of harm’s way.

You may be eligible for a CARD-USF Safety Kit if you…

  • Have a diagnosis of ASD with supporting documentation
  • Have safety concerns around water, elopement, fire, and/or poisoning-the kit includes items that address those safety areas
  • Need assistance from CARD staff to teach safety skills

You will need to register with CARD-USF and provide documentation of an ASD diagnosis and live within our 14 county region.  Please call 1-800-333-4530 to learn more about CARD’s Autism & Safety Kit.  You can also visit our website for additional safety information and resources:  http://card-usf.fmhi.usf.edu/resources/materials/safety.html

If you would like to donate to support special projects, such as the Autism & Safety Kit, please visit our giving page through the USF Foundation http://card-usf.fmhi.usf.edu/community/fundraising.html

Water Safety is Critical

water safety tip

There are a number of swimming lessons and water safety education resources throughout the communities we serve through CARD-USF. They may or may not have expertise working with students with autism spectrum disorder. CARD-USF staff provide trainings upon request to various recreation programs, but even with our training, you need to make sure the instructors and programs you choose are right for your family. Please let us know if there are some terrific programs that worked well for your family so we can share the good news with other families. Here is a list of resources for all 14 counties we serve: swim lessons

Disclaimer: As a policy, CARD will not lend its name to the endorsement of any specific program, practice, or model that is offered for service to people with autism and related disabilities. However, the sharing of information and training opportunities are key functions of the CARD program.

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