Autism Awareness and Resources

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a lifelong developmental disability often linked to challenges with social, emotional and communication skills. ASD affects the way the brain processes information and how the nerve cells in the brain connect and organize. ASD affects individuals differently. While there is no known cause of autism and it can be difficult to diagnose, pediatricians and parents can look for specific indicators and early intervention can improve overall development.

During the first years of your child’s life, watch and listen closely as your child interacts with you and others. Learn about milestones your child should reach way they play, learn, speak, act and move. The Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards will help you understand more about your child’s learning and development from birth to age five. If you are concerned about your child’s development, contact your child’s pediatrician.

The Florida Division of Early Learning’s Warm Line program provides support and consultation to families who do or may have a child with autism or other special health care needs. This service is also available for Florida’s early care and education providers requesting information relating to disabilities and special health care needs of children. To locate a Warm Line Specialist in your area, contact your local early learning coalition. For more information, call 1-866-357-3239.

The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) is another resource available to support families dealing with autism and related disorders.


Resource: Autism Navigator

Learn about the early signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in toddlers and how ASD is diagnosed by accessing the Autism Navigator found in the Baby Navigator™ app. Autism Navigator is a unique collection of web-based tools, courses and video footage.

Find answers to many questions such as What if something doesn’t seem quite right? or What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

View the 16 Early Signs of Autism by 16 Months look-book and select a print or fillable version. The checklist is available in English, Spanish and Creole.

Autism Navigator is an app developed through the Division of Early Learning’s Preschool Development Grant by Florida State University’s College of Medicine, Autism Institute. The project described was supported by the
Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five Initiative (PDG B-5) Award Number 90TP0068-03-00 from the Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.