By Joan Williamson, Program Director, The Brevard Center
In the fall of 2008, the Brevard Center held it’s first CIP/CARD Social Networking Group and has met once a month since then. This group is a social support group that has been created in collaboration with the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UCF-CARD) and the College Internship Program at the Brevard Center.
The purpose of this social support group dinner meeting is to provide an opportunity for adult individuals on the Autism Spectrum to enjoy some good food, connect with other young adults and work on targeted social skills. We start our evening with dinner in the Brevard Center student lounge choosing a theme for our meal, such as Italian night or BBQ.
The CARD members and the CIP students then share their array of talents. One CARD member brought his amazing paintings and one CIP student shared his architectural sketchbook. All have enjoyed the musical talents of members from both groups. One accomplished pianist from CARD writes and performs his own music. His CD’s are currently for sale.
In the beginning, it took a lot of encouragement from the CIP staff to get our students to join in each month. However, as the months passed, I am pleased that we have formed a cohesive group and have had 100% attendance from the CIP students. Our group does not meet during the summer months. We all look forward to meeting again in the fall and developing new ideas for sharing our time together.