Miami Autism Dad

Living With Autism in Miami’s “Coconut Grove” Neighborhood

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Coconut Grove, Florida


Embracing the old Florida Charm of Coconut Grove

Hello, my future Miamians! I’m Victor Antunez, a Florida native and lifelong Miamian. I’m a seasoned real estate professional and the happy dad of a wonderful non-verbal autistic daughter. These roles give me a unique perspective I’m excited to share.

Coconut Grove, Miami-Dade’s oldest neighborhood and original artist colony, is more than just another Miami neighborhood—it’s a community that warmly embraces all, including those living on the spectrum. 

Drawing from my experiences and deep knowledge of Coconut Grove, I’ll help you understand the ins and outs of relocating to this dynamic South Florida neighborhood. 

Whether seeking the best homes, areas, schools, parks, or community resources, this is your comprehensive guide to making Coconut Grove, Florida, your new home.


Are you buying a home in Miami? I’m a Realtor and Autism Dad specializing in helping autism families buy their dream homes. Email: or call/text 305-401-6224


Coconut Grove: A Unique Blend of Laid-back and Lively

King Mango Strut Parade in Coconut Grove, Florida


Often referred to as “the Grove,” Coconut Grove is a neighborhood like no other. With its lush landscapes, historic landmarks like Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, and vibrant array of art galleries, it offers an unconventional lifestyle that sets it apart from other Miami neighborhoods. 

The Grove’s lifestyle can be beneficial and challenging for autism families. On the one hand, the area’s tranquil parks and outdoor spaces, like the Kampong National Tropical Botanical Garden or Peacock Park on Biscayne Bay, offer peaceful retreats that can be therapeutic for children with autism. The sensory experiences, from the rustling of the leaves to the gentle lapping of the bay’s waves, can provide a calming environment that aids sensory integration.

On the other hand, the neighborhood’s lively arts scene, with events like the Coconut Grove Arts Festival or the bustling weekend scene at CocoWalk, can be sensory-overload environments.

If you’re considering a move to Coconut Grove, Florida, and need guidance on making this vibrant community work for your family, especially if you have a child living on the spectrum, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here to help you navigate this journey. 


The Grove’s Exceptional Education

Frances S. Tucker Elementary School in Coconut Grove, Florida


Coconut Grove offers a variety of programs designed to cater to the unique needs of students on the autism spectrum. As a parent of a non-verbal autistic child, I’ve navigated the Miami-Dade County Department of Exceptional Student Education, so I can share some insights from my family’s journey.

I know from 1st-hand experience that Miami-Dade County is committed to providing a quality education for all students, including those with autism and related disabilities. Schools in Coconut Grove, such as Coconut Grove Elementary School and Frances S. Tucker Elementary, offer specialized programs for students with autism. These programs focus on providing a supportive learning environment that encourages academic growth and social development.

However, it’s vital to acknowledge that navigating the education system can present specific challenges. Limited resources can sometimes mean that the availability of special education programs may not meet the high demand. Additionally, finding schools with staff trained in autism-specific teaching strategies may be a chore.

I’ve found that patience, persistence, and advocacy are crucial in this journey. It’s about finding the right fit for your child—a place where they can thrive academically and socially. Despite the potential challenges, with the proper guidance and support, you can successfully navigate the education system in Coconut Grove for your autistic child.


Healthcare and Therapeutic Resources

HCA Florida Mercy Hospital in Coconut Grove, Florida


With its old Florida charm and eclectic community, Coconut Grove is a desirable place to live. However, it’s essential to recognize that Coconut Grove doesn’t have an extensive range of healthcare resources and therapeutic centers specifically for autism. These resources are crucial for families with autistic members, providing much-needed support and services.

Within Coconut Grove, you’ll find HCA Florida Mercy Hospital, located in the northern Grove near Immaculata-La Salle High School, and Speech Dynamics, a center specializing in speech therapy. While these facilities offer some support, families may find that other specialized services, like occupational therapy for ASD children, are limited within the neighborhood.

HCA Florida Mercy Hospital doesn’t offer specific autism services, so families may need to look to nearby areas for more specialized care. Living in Coconut Grove is appealing, but the need to travel for specific therapies and services must be considered. Fortunately, nearby areas like Coral Gables have a wealth of healthcare and therapeutic resources, making Coconut Grove a viable option for families needing these services.


Are you buying a home in Miami? I’m a Realtor and Autism Dad specializing in helping autism families buy their dream homes. Email: or call/text 305-401-6224


Recreational and Community Opportunities

Shake-A-Leg at Dinner Key Marina in Coconut Grove, Florida


Coconut Grove is a treasure trove of recreational opportunities, offering a variety of family-friendly venues that all can enjoy, including those on the autism spectrum. From the tranquil Barnacle Historic State Park, known for its bay front location and historic house, to the bustling CocoWalk with its array of shops and restaurants, there’s something for everyone. And don’t forget Shake-A-Leg Miami, a community boating center that offers accessible water sports activities, further enriching the recreational landscape of the Grove.

As a father to a non-verbal autistic daughter, I’ve also found that these venues offer unique experiences that can be both enjoyable and therapeutic. For instance, the sensory garden at the Kampong National Tropical Botanical Garden has been a favorite for my daughter, offering a calming environment that gently engages the senses. The inclusive activities at Shake-A-Leg Miami also provide opportunities for fun and growth. Additionally, The Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove plays a vital role in the community, hosting events and providing a gathering space that adds to the neighborhood’s charm.

Coconut Grove offers a wealth of recreational opportunities that can be tailored to suit the needs of families with autistic members. It’s about finding suitable activities and venues your family can enjoy and benefit from.


The South Florida Real Estate Landscape

Gated community in Coconut Grove, Florida


Navigating the real estate market in Coconut Grove can be complex, especially for families with autistic members. However, with the proper guidance, finding a suitable home in this vibrant neighborhood is possible. Specific areas, such as the tranquil Southwest Coconut Grove area, offer a blend of single-family homes and quiet tree-lined streets, making them ideal for families with children, and dogs.

However, it helps to be aware of potential challenges. Coconut Grove is known for its luxury real estate, and the availability of affordable housing options can sometimes be limited. But with careful planning and the right real estate agent, these challenges can be mitigated.

For families considering relocation, my book, “The Autism & Special Needs Family Relocation Blueprint,” provides a comprehensive guide to the process. It offers valuable insights and practical advice to help you find a home that meets your family’s unique needs.

While the real estate landscape in Coconut Grove can be challenging, it’s also filled with opportunities. It’s about understanding the market, knowing what to look for, and having the proper support to guide you through the process.


Embracing the Grove’s Luxury Lifestyle

Dinner Key Marina Coconut Grove

Dinner Key Marina in Coconut Grove, Florida


Relocating to a new neighborhood is a significant decision, especially for families with autistic members. With its charming lifestyle, top-tier educational resources, and diverse recreational opportunities, Coconut Grove offers a unique appeal. However, it’s important to acknowledge the challenges, from navigating the education system to understanding the real estate landscape.

As a Miami-based real estate professional with a deep understanding of the needs of families with autistic members, I’ve observed the unique offerings and challenges of Coconut Grove. My extensive experience has allowed me to recognize the immense benefits that Coconut Grove can offer. The neighborhood’s rich cultural heritage, parks, and supportive community can provide a nurturing environment for families living on the spectrum.

In essence, Coconut Grove is more than a neighborhood—it’s a community that embraces neurodiversity and offers many opportunities for families.


Are you buying a home in South Florida? I’m a Realtor and Autism Dad specializing in helping autism families buy their dream homes. Email: or call/text 305-401-6224


Let’s work together to choose the best possible environment for your family.


Autism-friendly residential neighborhoods served in South Florida:

Miami, Miami Beach, Brickell, Coral GablesCoconut Grove, Aventura, Key BiscaynePinecrest, Sunny Isles Beach, Doral, South Miami, Miami Lakes, Palmetto Bay, North Miami, Miami Shores, Surfside, Golden Beach, Brickell Key, Bay Point, Cutler Bay, Biscayne Park, El Portal, Venetian Islands, Fisher Island, Star Island, Hibiscus Island, Palm Island, Indian Creek Island, La Gorce, Belle Meade Island, Biscayne Point, Normandy Isles, Normandy Shores, Sunset Islands, Bay Harbor Islands, Bal Harbour, North Bay Village, Indian Creek Village, Ponce Davis

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