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As a state funded program providing supports and services to individuals with autism within an 18 county catchment area, CARD-USF expends a considerable portion of its resources and staff time in consultation and technical assistance to individual classrooms or school programs. These activities are most often productive, creating positive outcomes for both teachers, students, families and CARD itself. However, CARD is also charged with the mission of expanding the capacity of districts to better serve all students with autism or related disabilities. Toward this end, CARD has begun facilitating a work group of district level school personnel, representing most of the 18 counties in CARD's catchment area. The purpose of this work group is to provide a regularly scheduled forum for the development of collaborative relationships, discussion of educational issues relevant to students with autism, the exchange of ideas and sharing of resources between school districts within the CARD catchment area.


Such a forum also promotes positive outcomes for participating school districts and the families they serve. Often, requests for assistance from CARD are initiated by families in response to concerns about the educational supports and services their child is receiving. CARD can better serve both its family and professional constituents through developing partnerships between home and school.