Miami Autism Dad

Guide to Miami’s School System for Children on the Autism Spectrum

STARS Autism School

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Hello, my future Miamians! I’m Victor. A happy dad to an autistic child and an experienced real estate agent here in the vibrant city of Miami, Florida. 

I’m not your ordinary realtor, though. I bring a unique mix of personal empathy and professional expertise, primarily shaped by my cherished experiences raising my non-verbal daughter and her neurotypical little brother.

Life on the spectrum can pose distinct challenges. But it also opens up a world of unique perspectives, growth, and love. As someone who walks this path daily, I understand the distinctive concerns families face while living on the spectrum, especially when considering a significant move.

Relocating to a new city, such as our sunny Miami, Florida, is an adventure filled with opportunities. It also brings a fair share of questions, especially for families with kids living on the spectrum. 

Questions like “How supportive are the local schools?” “What resources are available for my children?” and “Which neighborhoods will offer the high quality of life we’re accustomed to?” might be swirling in your mind. 

And you know what? You’re not alone. This blog aims to serve as a platform where we, as a community, navigate these waters together. 

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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

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Miami’s Commitment to ASD Education

Autism Spectrum Disorder Education


Miami is a city known for its warmth, and not only in terms of weather. This radiant community embraces diversity, including a commendable commitment to quality education for all children, especially those on the spectrum. 

Education in Miami isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. The city recognizes the unique educational needs of ASD students. It has taken significant strides to tailor its educational landscape accordingly. 

Various programs, resources, and policies are designed and implemented to ensure that children on the spectrum get the necessary support to thrive.

For instance, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS), the 4th-largest school district in the U.S., offers the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Program. This program ensures that all students on the spectrum can access individualized educational programs in the least restrictive environment. From adaptive physical education to speech and language therapy, the program comprises a spectrum of services to cater to the diverse needs of students with ASD.

Moreover, the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD) offers free resources and support to families and professionals, further enhancing Miami’s commitment to ASD education. They provide training and consultation to public and private schools throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe counties, assisting in developing practical educational approaches for students with ASD.

What’s more, Florida’s robust Individualized Education Program (IEP) Resources for Parents ensures that each autistic child receives a tailor-made education plan designed around their strengths, challenges, and unique ways of learning. 

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“In Miami-Dade, we don’t only teach children with ASD; we strive to understand them, support them, and propel them toward a successful, fulfilling future.”

Dr. Jose L. Dotres, Superintendent of Schools


Top Miami Schools for Children on the Spectrum

The Victory School


Navigating the educational landscape for your child on the spectrum can seem daunting. Still, here in Miami, Florida, several institutions rise above the rest. These schools have earned their stripes through a deep-seated commitment to students with ASD, offering comprehensive support and innovative teaching methods. 

Here are a few shining examples:

1. STARS Autism School: This school is dedicated to teaching students with autism spectrum disorder or related disabilities. With a low student-to-teacher ratio and highly trained staff, they provide an individualized education that extends beyond academics to encompass communication, social skills, and independent living skills.

2. South Miami Senior High School: This institution stands out for its robust ASD program. Students enjoy specialized courses, vocational training, and resources like therapy rooms equipped for sensory regulation. Their unique blend of academic and life skills training prepares students for a prosperous future.

3. The Victory Center for Autism & Related Disabilities: A private institution providing an integrated educational program for students with autism or related disabilities. With a low student-to-teacher ratio, they use a range of research-based methodologies, ensuring each child’s education is tailor-made to their unique strengths and needs.

4. Carpe Diem Academy: This school offers a comprehensive program for students on the autism spectrum. They incorporate traditional academics, social-emotional learning, communication skills, and therapy services, providing a well-rounded education for students with ASD or related disabilities.

5. Florida International University (FIU) Disability Resource Center: FIU offers comprehensive programs for students with autism or related disabilities. They provide high-quality education and services, making it an essential resource for Miami students.

Each of these centers of education offers schooling beyond the conventional, nurturing an environment where students living on the spectrum can learn and flourish. 

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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

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4 Autism-Friendly Neighborhoods

Miami Florida waterfront living

Bal Harbour Marina


When relocating to Miami with your autistic child, it’s vital to consider the educational opportunities and the neighborhood that will serve as your new home base. Here are some of Miami’s most affluent neighborhoods that combine accessibility to autism-friendly schools with vibrant cultural, recreational, and lifestyle offerings:

1. Coral Gables: Known as “The City Beautiful,” Coral Gables houses the Carpe Diem Academy, a school well-regarded for its ASD program. Beyond its educational facilities, Coral Gables offers a welcoming lifestyle with Mediterranean-style architecture, high-end shopping at the Shops at Merrick Park, and various gourmet dining options. The lush Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and the historic Venetian Pool are jewels in its crown, offering unique recreational experiences.

2. Coconut Grove: Coconut Grove is one of Miami’s most desirable neighborhoods. Acclaimed for its lush greenery, marina, and charming bohemian vibe, “the Grove” offers a family-friendly atmosphere with many parks and open-air spaces like the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens and the iconic CocoWalk provide diverse experiences. While the Ransom Everglades School offers inclusive programs. This neighborhood is a standout choice in Miami’s real estate scene, offering a delightful mix of accessibility, culture, and seaside charm.

3. Pinecrest: Recognized for its large, luxurious homes and stunning landscaped streets. While Gulliver Preparatory School offers inclusive programs. This neighborhood provides excellent recreational facilities, including the Pinecrest Gardens, featuring over 1,000 varieties of rare and exotic plants and a stunning native tropical hardwood and cypress setting.

4. Key Biscayne: This island community offers a tranquil, beach-town lifestyle and a range of luxury residences. Its stunning Crandon Park Beach and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park and Lighthouse offer endless outdoor pursuits.

These neighborhoods are not only about healthy living; they’re about enriching your family’s lifestyle and offering the best for your child’s development. 

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Navigating Miami’s Real Estate Landscape

Choosing the right school and neighborhood is essential, but understanding Miami’s broader real estate trends can also impact your relocation decisions. Here’s an insight into the current Miami real estate market and how it can benefit families with children on the spectrum.

1. Growing Demand for Luxury Real Estate: The Miami real estate market continues to witness robust demand for luxury properties, especially in sought-after neighborhoods like Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest, and Key Biscayne. These areas, rich in amenities and lifestyle offerings, are also home to some of the best schools for autistic children, making them an attractive choice for affluent families.

2. Emphasis on Lifestyle Amenities: The ongoing trend towards properties with lifestyle amenities is particularly beneficial for families with autistic children. Properties within gated communities or those offering access to the water, parks, recreational facilities, and cultural venues can provide added convenience and enrich the quality of life for your family.

3. Increased Value for Education-centric Locations: Neighborhoods near top-ranking schools, including those supporting autistic children, remain appealing and maintain property values. This trend is advantageous for families looking to invest in a property that promises an excellent education for their children and potential value appreciation.

4. Favorable Market Conditions: With favorable interest rates and a stable economy, now might be an opportune time for autism families to consider purchasing property in Miami, Florida.

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Exploring Miami’s Autism-Friendly Recreation

Living in Miami goes beyond the boundaries of classrooms and homes. The city is bursting with recreational activities to enrich your child’s growth and enjoyment. Miami’s parks, museums, and other attractions offer an inclusive and sensory-friendly environment. Let me share some of our family favorites that have brought joy to my autistic daughter and her neurotypical little brother:

1. Frost Science Museum: The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science offers ‘Sensory Friendly Saturdays’ on the first Saturday of every month. They modify the sensory environment to create a safe, welcoming space for individuals on the autism spectrum. My kids particularly love the awe-inspiring Planetarium shows and the Aquarium’s dazzling array of sea creatures.

2. Miami Children’s Museum: On ‘Sensory Friendly Saturdays,’ the museum creates an inclusive and interactive environment for kids on the spectrum. The museum’s vibrant exhibits spark curiosity in both of my children. The experience of learning and exploring together has been a valuable bonding experience for them.

3. Zoo Miami: This location is particularly noteworthy, being one of the first zoos in the country certified as sensory-inclusive. They offer ‘Quiet Zones’ and ‘Headphone Zones’ to help kids on the spectrum enjoy their visit. 

4. Public Pools and Beaches: Miami’s parks and beaches are another treasure. The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables, with its waterfall and cave-like grottos, is a family favorite. Matheson Hammock Park & Marina offers calm beach areas, a marina, and biking trails that my children enjoy. Pinecrest Gardens, with its sensory garden designed for children with disabilities, has been a wonderful haven for my daughter to explore and interact with nature.

Remember, relocating to Miami with your autistic child means opening the door to a host of enriching experiences that can enhance their learning and growth outside the classroom. I’m more than happy to share more of our family’s personal experiences or answer any queries you might have about living in Miami. 

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Your Next Steps in Miami

As we draw our exploration to a close, I hope this guide has offered valuable insights and given you a glimpse of Miami’s vibrant, autism-friendly community. But we’ve only scratched the surface. The Magic City, as we lovingly call Miami, has so much more to offer families with children on the spectrum.

Whether you’re in the early stages of considering a move or have already started packing your bags, remember you’re not alone on this journey. As a father to an autistic child and a seasoned real estate professional, I understand the unique challenges and opportunities this journey can bring.

With every family I assist, I aim to make the transition as smooth as possible. That means guiding you through the best school options for your child, introducing you to the neighborhoods that fit your lifestyle, and navigating the Miami real estate market on your behalf. 

And, of course, sharing those little secrets only a native Miamian would know, like which museum has the best sensory-friendly programs or where to find the most serene beaches.

But beyond these practical aspects, I’m committed to helping you find a place where your family feels at home. A place where your child can thrive, where your family can enjoy the richness of life in Miami, Florida.

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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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