USF Bull Market: World Autism Awareness Day
By Brittany Mulligan, a senior at the University of South Florida, majoring in mass communications
On Wednesday, April 2, the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) at USF in partnership with USF Administration hosted an event for World Autism Awareness Day. They had a table up at Bull Market with some activities to inform students about autism spectrum disorder. One of the activities included containers with colored sensory beads for students to pick up and touch or fill a small Ziploc bag to take home. For people with autism, touching the beads provides a distraction when they may feel overwhelmed. For example, if there is loud music nearby that is disturbing them, these beads can help them focus on their other senses and clears the mind. Another activity was quiz questions, testing students on what they know about autism and giving them additional information.
According to Sheri Frickey, the founder and president of CARD Autism Student Champion Club, the CDC released new statistics that 1 out of 68 people are diagnosed as having autism spectrum disorder. The prevalence has increased from 1 out 88 people. CARD utilizes their funds to help the community surrounding USF and 14 counties in Southwest Florida. CARD is a free community based program funded by the Florida Department of Education through an annual grant. They held an event at the front of the Marshall Student Center Wednesday night by lighting up the bronze bull statues in blue. Students had the opportunity to get their photos taken by a professional photographer while stopping by to support the World Autism Awareness Day.
Other April events hosted by CARD include:
Sat. April 5th: Cycling Out Autism, sponsored by the Interbay Rotary benefits CARD and the ABA program, for more info on riding or volunteering, please visit www.cyclingoutautism.com
Sun. April 13th: Food Trucks for Autism hosted by The REVolutions Ice Cream Company and the Swank Hair Lounge Hair Cut a Thon, Brandon
Fri. April 25th: CARD’s 9th Annual Fiesta by the Bay at Ybor City Museum Garden, for ticket information please visit http://card-usf.fmhi.usf.edu/commuity/fiesta/index.html