Miami Autism Dad

Discover Why Miami-Dade is the Perfect Destination for Autism Families

miami dade county florida
A welcoming South Florida metropolis

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Hello, my future Miamians! Miami-Dade, a vibrant and diverse region, has a unique place for everyone. It’s a metropolis where acceptance isn’t a mere word but a way of life. Here, the community opens its arms wide to embrace people with autism and related disabilities. 

This commitment to inclusivity isn’t hidden. It’s visible in the County’s actions, the programs it offers, and the resources it provides. It’s a place where differences aren’t just tolerated but celebrated.  

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

An Unrivaled Lifestyle

There’s more to Miami-Dade than its welcoming spirit. It’s also a place that appeals to families who appreciate the finer things in life. The County offers a comfortable and upscale lifestyle, from luxury homes to high-end amenities.

In this bustling County, families with members on the autism spectrum can find a supportive community, a wealth of resources, and a lifestyle that meets their high standards. It’s a place where they can feel at home, knowing their unique needs are understood and catered to.

So, let’s dive in and explore why this County is a beacon of hope for families with autistic members. Let’s uncover the County’s commitment to being autism-friendly and how it creates a supportive environment for these families.

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ASD Resources & Programs in Miami-Dade

Miami-Dade is a place where special needs resources abound. It’s a place where families with members on the autism spectrum can find support, guidance, and a sense of belonging. The County offers a wide range of programs for individuals with autism and related disabilities. These programs are designed to help them learn, grow, and thrive. They provide a safe space where children can be themselves, free from judgment or stigma. 

Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition
Sensory-friendly room at the Miami Children’s Museum

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Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition

For instance, the Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition hosts an Autism-Friendly Sensory Room, a dedicated space at the County fair where children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and related disabilities can relax and decompress from the sensory overload of the fair.

But Miami doesn’t stop there. For instance, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs provides sensory-friendly resources. This includes arts camp for teens and young adults with autism and related disabilities.

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Miami-Dade County Department of Exceptional Student Education

Education is a critical focus in Miami-Dade. The County understands that autistic children have unique learning needs. To meet these needs, the County provides educational resources tailored to each child through the Department of Exceptional Student Education. This commitment to inclusive education makes Miami-Dade County desirable for families with autistic children.


Easterseals South Florida Child Development Centers

Easterseals South Florida operates two Child Development Centers in North and Central Miami-Dade County. These centers are more than just schools. They’re places where children with disabilities are welcomed, supported, and encouraged to reach their full potential.n is a journey. For children with disabilities, this journey can be filled with unique challenges. But with the proper support, these challenges can be overcome.


Miami-Dade’s Embrace of ASD Acceptance

Miami-Dade is a place that celebrates diversity. It’s a place that understands the value of acceptance. And when it comes to neurodiversity, the County goes above and beyond to show its support.

autism acceptance month
April is Autism Acceptance Month in Miami-Dade

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Autism Acceptance Month, Celebrating Neurodiversity

Every year, the County marks Autism Acceptance Month. It’s a time to celebrate, learn, and support the autistic. The County hosts a variety of events and programs during this month. These events aim to raise awareness, promote understanding, and celebrate the unique talents of neurodiverse children.

But the County’s commitment doesn’t end with Autism Acceptance Month. It’s a year-round effort. In fact, the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD) has recognized Miami-Dade as an autism-friendly community. This recognition is a testament to the County’s ongoing efforts to create a wholesome and supportive environment for autistic persons.

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

Recreation Reimagined

zoo miami

Zoo Miami is First Zoo in Florida to Earn Certified Autism Center Designation

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Green Spaces with a Purpose

Let’s start with Miami-Dade Parks. These parks are more than just green spaces. They are places where the autistic can learn to swim, play, and have fun. The parks provide swimming programs that welcome children and adults with disabilities. These programs are designed to be inclusive, ensuring everyone can enjoy the water safely.

But the fun doesn’t stop at the parks. Miami-Dade is also home to Zoo Miami. This isn’t just any zoo. It’s the first zoo in Florida to earn the Certified Autism Center designation. This means the zoo has committed to providing a supportive environment for autistic visitors.

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Sensory-Friendly Experiences in Miami-Dade

Miami-Dade is a place where culture comes alive. It’s a place where art, history, and culture are woven into the fabric of everyday life. And for autistic children, the County offers sensory-friendly cultural experiences that are as enriching as they are enjoyable.

Miami Children’s Museum’s sensory-friendly space

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The Department of Cultural Affairs

For example, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs leads the way. The department provides a Sensory-Friendly Toolkit For Cultural Organizations that make organizations more accessible to autistic individuals. These resources include guides and tools that help organizations create sensory-friendly environments. This means that the autistic can enjoy cultural experiences without being overwhelmed by sensory input.

But the department’s efforts don’t stop there. They also work with cultural organizations to provide sensory-friendly shows. These shows are designed to be inclusive, ensuring everyone can enjoy the magic of live performances.

One Museum that has also embraced these efforts is the History Miami Museum. This museum has been awarded the Sensory Friendly Designation by UM-NSU CARD. This means the museum has committed to providing a supportive environment for autistic visitors. It means the museum is where individuals with autism and related disabilities can explore, learn, and have fun.

In Miami-Dade, cultural organizations are places where the autistic can have enriching experiences. They are places where everyone is welcome and where everyone is included. And that makes this County a welcoming place for autistic people and their families.

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Public Libraries as Sensory-Friendly Hubs

Libraries are magical places. They’re places where stories come to life, knowledge is at your fingertips, and everyone is welcome. The Miami-Dade Public Library System is a shining example of this. The library system has been recognized as an autism-friendly partner by the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism & Related Disabilities.

Miami-Dade Public Library System

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But what does it mean to be an autism-friendly library? It means that the library offers programs and events designed to the needs of the autistic. These programs and events are engaging, and, most importantly, fun.

For example, the library hosts story times designed for children with autism and related disabilities. These story times are interactive, sensory-friendly, and full of fun. They’re a chance for children with sensory needs to engage with stories in a supportive environment.

The library also hosts events for neurodiverse children and their families. These events allow the autistic to socialize, learn, and have fun. They’re a chance for families to connect with each other and the community.

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Key Biscayne, a Miami Haven for Nature Lovers

Traveling can be an adventure. This adventure can be exciting and challenging for families with a child on the spectrum. But in Miami-Dade, these families can find a welcoming and wholesome destination.

Loggerhead turtles nesting at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park and Lighthouse on Key Biscayne Island

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Exploring Miami’s Only Lighthouse

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, located on the southern tip of Key Biscayne, offers a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Its historic lighthouse, beautiful beaches, turtle nests, and nature trails make it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The park’s calm waters also make it a safe place for children to swim, making it a hit with families.

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Miami Seaquarium, A Unique Sensory Experience

On the other hand, the Miami Seaquarium is a world-class marine-life entertainment park featuring spectacular shows, up-close animal encounters, and a variety of educational presentations. It’s a place where children and adults alike can learn about marine life, making it an ideal outing for families. Notably, the Miami Seaquarium is now certified to provide guests with ‘sensory inclusive’ experiences, making it an even more appealing destination for families with autistic members.

But Miami’s commitment to inclusivity goes beyond its attractions. The County has made a concerted effort to make Miami an autism-friendly destination. From its friendly parks to its sensory-friendly cultural events, Miami is a city that welcomes and celebrates diversity.

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Magic in Motion

Art and culture have a unique way of bringing people together. They can inspire, educate, and entertain. In Miami-Dade, the arts are not just a form of entertainment but a way to foster inclusivity and celebrate diversity.

The Nutcracker’s sensory-friendly performance

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Imagine sitting in a theater, the lights dimming, the orchestra tuning up, and the curtain rising on a performance of The Nutcracker. Now, imagine that experience tailored to be sensory-friendly, ensuring everyone, regardless of their sensory sensitivities, can enjoy the magic of the ballet. This is the reality in Miami-Dade, where the arts are accessible to all.

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Top-Ranked ASD Healthcare

Miami-Dade County, renowned for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife, has more to offer than just tourism. It also boasts several top-rated hospitals and medical centers that are internationally recognized for their significant contributions to autism care.

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is ranked amongst the best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report

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Hospitals and Medical Centers

Miami-Dade features several hospitals and medical centers renowned for their work in autism care. These institutions, such as Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and the University of Miami Health System, offer comprehensive services ranging from diagnosis to therapy and support for autistic individuals.

In addition to hospitals, the County is also home to top-rated therapy centers and clinics that provide targeted services for individuals with autism and related disabilities. These centers, like the Miami Autism Recovery Preschool and the Autism Specialty Group, offer various therapies tailored to their client’s unique needs.

Choosing the proper healthcare facilities and services for your family is critical. It’s essential to research, consult with healthcare professionals, and connect with other families who have similar experiences. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey, and numerous resources in the County are ready to assist you.

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

Assisting Autism Families

Financial assistance for children with autism and related disabilities

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Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD): A Florida state agency that works with local service providers to help people with developmental disabilities, including autism, lead better lives.

Coral Gables Accessible Recreation Program: This Program aims to provide enjoyable recreational experiences to all participants through inclusive programming, accessible facility design, and the provision of accommodations.

Disability Services for People Living Independently (DSAIL): A county agency that offers various services to residents with disabilities, including resources and support for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families.

Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities:

This branch of the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program is designed to offer families of students with disabilities as young as 3 years of age access to additional education options.

Family Resource Center of South Florida: This organization provides child welfare services and supports families dealing with various challenges, including autism services.

Florida Department of Education, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services (BEESS): This agency oversees services to children with disabilities throughout Florida, including in Miami, and ensures compliance with federal IDEA regulations.

Florida Department of Finance – MyMoney: The Department of Financial Services created the My Money Program to provide educational lessons for people with developmental disabilities and essential resources for family members and caregivers. The My Money Program allows individuals to independently learn and practice financial skills using interactive games, activities, and educational videos.

Florida Health – Early Steps: Early intervention system that offers services to eligible infants and toddlers, aged birth to 36 months, who have or are at risk for developmental disabilities or delays.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): A four-part (A-D) piece of American legislation that ensures students with a disability are provided with Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) that is tailored to their individual needs.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Department of Exceptional Student Education: Responsible for the leadership and administration of programs and services provided to students with disabilities within the county. They offer services designed to meet the individual needs of students with autism and related disabilities.

The Children’s Trust: Aims to improve the lives of children and families by making strategic investments in their futures.

The Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System (FDLRS): a statewide initiative in Florida, United States. This organization provides diagnostic, instructional, and technology support services to district exceptional education programs and families of students with disabilities.

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR): A federal-state program that helps people who have physical or mental disabilities get or keep a job. VR is committed to helping people with disabilities find meaningful careers.

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Support Groups, Community Organizations, and Health Facilities

social services directories
Social Services Directories


Atlantis Academy: Atlantis Academy schools are private, tuition-based education programs for students with autism spectrum disorders and other learning differences or abilities.

Autism Speaks: A national organization with local resources that aims to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism through advocacy and support.

Autism Speaks Miami: A chapter of the national organization that advocates for the needs of people with autism and their families.

Aventura City of Excellence School (ACES): A public charter school located in Aventura, Florida. The school serves students from Kindergarten through 8th grade. As a charter school, ACES operates independently of the traditional public school system but is still held accountable for academic results and adhering to specific statutory regulations.

Best Behavioral Solutions: A therapy center providing comprehensive services, including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Occupational Therapy (OT), and Speech-Language Therapy to children, adolescents, and adults.

Crystal Academy: A therapeutic day school focusing on education and therapy for children with autism and related conditions.

Easterseals South Florida: Offers a range of services, including early intervention, education, and therapy.

Institute for Child and Family Health (ICFH): A private, not-for-profit organization providing health, behavioral health, educational, and prevention services to the children, adolescents, and families of Miami-Dade for over 60 years.

Jewish Community Services of South Florida: Offers programs and services for people with disabilities, including autism.

Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital: Top-rated care for children with various neurological diseases and conditions.

McKay K-12 Scholarship Programs: For Students with Disabilities Program provides scholarships for eligible students with disabilities to attend an eligible public or private school of their choice.

Nicklaus Children’s Dan Marino Outpatient Center: This center offers comprehensive evaluation, treatment, and intervention services for children with neurodevelopmental conditions, including autism, Down syndrome, and other intellectual disabilities.

Miami Learning Experience School: A non-profit school that provides comprehensive education and support for children with developmental disabilities from childhood through adulthood.

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital: Founded in 1950 by Variety Clubs International, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is South Florida’s only licensed hospital exclusively for children, with approximately 800 attending physicians, including more than 500 pediatric sub-specialists.

Parent to Parent of MiamiA community parent resource center for families of children with disabilities.

The Friendship Circle: A non-profit organization that provides programs and support to the families of people with autism.

The Victory Center for Autism & Related Disabilities: Located in nearby North Miami Beach, this center offers educational and therapeutic services for children with autism.

The WOW Center: Offers support and programs for adults with developmental disabilities.

UM-NSU CARD (Center for Autism & Related Disabilities): Provides support and assistance to optimize the potential of people with autism and related disabilities.

“Having a go-to list of contacts was a lifesaver, especially during the initial months after our move.”

Shares Carlos, who relocated to South Florida with his family.

Being part of a community and having access to resources is essential for families with autism. Miami-Dade County offers a wealth of support groups, events, and services that can significantly enhance the quality of life for families and children with autism. May your family find the support, love, and community you deserve wherever you call home.

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 areas served in South Florida:

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

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