Behavioral Consulting of Tampa Bay is always here to help with behavioral issues and to provide support for those extra challenging days. As a company, we recognize that our families may need some additional encouragement and time to fellowship with other families who share similar experiences. As such, we encourage you to reach out and network with other members of the ASD community. This blog will be a resource for finding the right support group and networking opportunities for you.
A great local resource is USF’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD). CARD supports local families by providing referrals, disseminating information on local support groups and networking events, and administering training courses in behavior management. Their number is 813-974-2532.
Below is a list of resources for both support groups and recreational activities in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas County:
Hillsborough County Support Groups
- FriendZone (813-971-4790, ext. 234) meets the second Saturday of each month at St. James United Methodist Church, 16202 Bruce B. Downs, Tampa, FL 33647.t
- Parenting with Special Needs Support Group (813-966-7064) meets every other Wednesday at 19023 North Dale Mabry, Lutz, FL 33549. Contact Erica DuPont for more information Erica.DuPont@hotmail.com
- Parents for Autism Spectrum Support (PASS) is a support group for parents of children with autism. They meet once a month in Brandon.
- ADHD Parent Support Network (813-508-2367) meets at Tampa Day School.
- TIKVAH (Tampa Jewish Family Services) (813-960-1848) holds monthly seminars on autism and related issues and is a great educational resource.
- Warriors for Autism Support Squad Meet Up Group meets in group members’ homes. Contact Deena Rivera at Meet Up Squad Website (Deena@warriorsforautism.com) for more information.
Pasco County Support Groups
- BayCare Behavioral Health Autism Caregiver Support Group (727-420-7943) meets the second and fourth Monday of each month.
- Helping Hand’s meets the second Wednesday of each month at 7pm in the Medical Center of Trinity. For questions email Jonica Chittum Jonica.firstname.lastname@example.org. Address-9330 State Rd. 54, Trinity, 727-834-4000.
- C.A.U.S.E. Autism Spectrum Disorder Group Hernando (352-346-1677, 352- 584-1263) meets the first and third Friday and third Wednesday of every month at 7074 Grove Road, Brooksville, FL 34609.
- For 1 Small Voice (352-428-2753) meets the first Monday of each month at HOPE Youth Ranch – 17933 East Rd, Hudson, FL 34667.
Pinellas County Support Groups
- Kinship Services of Pinellas (727-785-2762) meets at four different sites in North, Mid, and South Pinellas County. They hold events that are specifically just for adults to gather together, as well as events that encourage child participation.
- Children/Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder meets the first Tuesday of every month. Email Nancy at email@example.com or visit their local directory.
- Toodles Playtime (727-898-7451) is a feature of All Children’s Hospital’s early Steps Program. Parents of infants and toddlers can meet for local monthly play dates.
Autism Speaks is a nationwide research and advocacy organization. Each year Autism Speaks holds a fundraising event for research in autism. Visit Walk Now for Autism Speaks for more details.
Association for Science in Autism Treatment is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to disseminating scientifically-based information about the treatment of autism.
Recreational Activities across the Bay
- Clearwater Little League designed a program for children with special needs. Registration is now open for the 2014 season! For more information contact Jim Scheuerman (727) 441-9047.
- Buddy Baseball runs September through November.
- Best Buddies Tampa provides opportunities for friendship and employment for youth with disabilities.
- Creative Clay is located in St. Petersburg and offers different art classes for children with various needs.
- All Community Theatre Project is an arts and performance program for children and teens diagnosed with special needs and ASD.
- Special Kids Dance provides classes in ballet, tap, and hip hop to children with special needs.
- Sensory Friendly Films is held monthly by the Autism Society at AMC.
- TOPS Soccer runs March through April and provides team placement for children with disabilities.
- Sunshine Sundays at Glazer Children’s Museums offers sensory friendly museum visits on select Sundays.
- Saddle Up Riding Club offers services for children and adults in Pinellas County.
- Bakas Equestrian Center provides opportunities for children and adults with special needs to learn to ride horses from September through June.