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February 14, 2015
2 years, 5 months and 10 days since
the event.
YOUTH PALS   PRESENT  6TH ANNUAL HEARTS FOR AUTISM WALK  3225 LOCKWOOD BLVD.  OVIEDO, FL
YOUTH PALS PRESENT 6TH ANNUAL HEARTS FOR AUTISM WALK 3225 LOCKWOOD BLVD. OVIEDO, FL
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PROVIDING AUTISM LINKS & SUPPORT (PALS)

 
WHAT IS AUTISM?
Autism is a lifelong neurological disability that affects a person’s ability to communicate, understand language, play and socially interact with others. Autism is classified as a developmental disability because it interferes with the typical rate and patterns of childhood development.  The first signs of autism usually appear as before age three. There are diagnoses closely related to autism such as PDD-NOS (pervasive development disorder not otherwise specified), Asperger’s syndrome, and Rett’s syndrome that are included in the category of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

WHAT CAUSES AUTISM?
Nobody knows what causes autism. Some scientists believe there is a biological cause that affects the working of the brain, but this has not been proven. It is possible there are many factors that could interact with one another which could cause different characteristics in each individual with autism.  Parents do not cause autism.  No factors in a child’s experiences or in parenting styles are responsible for autism.
 
WHAT IS PALS?
PALS  is an acronym for Providing Autism Links & Support.  They are a 501c3 federal exempt organization registered in the state of Florida.
 
MISSION
The mission of PALS is to create opportunities for individuals in Central Florida, who are registered with the UCF Center for Autism by providing state-of-the-art inclusive programs to optimize positive outcomes as they learn, play, work and live in Orange, Osceola, Brevard, Sumter, Lake, Volusia, Seminole, and Orange counties. 
 
VISION
The vision of PALS is become the leading non-profit grassroots organization in Central Florida through evidence-based supports, services and programs for individuals with ASD to become inclusive members of the community as they learn, play and work in Central Florida by piloting innovative programs and empowering their parents, family members, professionals, and siblings through educational interventions. 
The core values that PALS promotes are dignity, respect, accountability, collaboration, compassion and trust. PALS will strive for a collaborative effort by staff, family members, outside individuals and agencies.  The abilities, interests, and preferences of all people served by PALS will be the prime focus of consideration while providing education, services and programs.

Philosophy and Values
  • All people, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, have the right to live as full participants in society.
  • All people have the right to be treated with dignity and understanding.
  • People with disabilities are members of families.  All families have strengths and capacities.  They have the right to be treated with sensitivity and respect and as integral members of a person’s support system.
  • People with autism and related disabilities have the right to be regarded as individuals who need services and supports that are based on their unique characteristics.

 
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WHAT IS CARD?
The Centers for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) are a system of regional autism supports that provide consultation, training and individualized support to help people with autism, dual sensory impairments, and related disabilities reach their potential.  Although it is called a Center, it is not a place where people with autism and related disabilities come to receive services.  Instead, the heart of CARD is a strong and diverse staff of professionals with expertise in autism and related disabilities, who provide consultative support and training in a variety of real-life settings, including the person’s home, schools, job site or wherever assistance is requested.  There is no charge to the family or individual for the services or supports of CARD.

CARD serves children and adults of all ages and abilities who have an autism spectrum disorder (including Autism, Asperger’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Rett’s Disorder, or Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified), dual sensory impairment; or a sensory impairment with other developmental disabilities.

CARD provides support to individuals, families and service providers to enhance the ability of individuals with autism and related disabilities to lead rich and meaningful lives within their own community.  This includes providing families and individuals with consultation, training and support, offering training to professionals, educating the public on the needs and abilities of individuals with autism and related disabilities, and assisting the community to build programs that include best practices in supporting individuals with autism and related disabilities.  CARD staff work to enhance the knowledge and skills of the natural supports within the family, school and community, to improve the capacity of these life-long community-based resources for the person with autism or related disabilities.

UCF CARD depends on PALS for financial support to provide  the necessary services to enhance the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorders residing in Central Florida.
Visit the UCF CARD website for more information.
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YOUTH PALS (Young Organizers Uniting to Help) - are clubs located in High Schools, Churches, or other youth affiliated edifices for students ages 13-22,  throughout Central Florida.
 
YOUTH PALS arrange fund-raisers, host booths at various event/functions to increase autism awareness.  All funds raised by YOUTH PALS are used for YOUTH PALS social events which include individuals with ASD that reside in Central Florida. The events range from dances, to bowling, to carnivals, parities, movie day, park games and fun to even miniature golf.

Each school works on their own projects and then come together once a year for a big  annual event called Hearts for Autism Walk, typically hosted in February around Valentines Day. It is a student driven club.