The Florida Autism Center of Excellence (FACE) offers successful educational programs for children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The center’s innovative collaboration with our public school district is bringing new choices for families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Specialized educational programs like FACE provide essential, quality services to this growing population of children. FACE offers parents and students more options that the traditional school setting. For students in Kindergarten through 5th grade there are three educational tracks: academic, transition and intervention. This allows students on both a traditional diploma track and alternate diploma track several options. As students move into middle school they either transition to a typical school from the academic track, or continue on the Alternative Diploma track in the intervention or transition track. The use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy also sets FACE apart from traditional ESE programs. Please use the links above to contact FACE to ask questions and apply for admission.
With the rate of autism diagnoses on the rise – current numbers estimate that one in every 59 U.S. children is on the autism spectrum – the Florida Autism Charter School of Excellence (FACSE), a Florida nonprofit entity, was awarded a grant by the Florida Department of Education to open FACE in 2007. FACE exclusively serves children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and offers educational solutions for student’s ages 3 to 22 in pre-k through 12th grade and beyond. Located at 6310 East Sligh Avenue Tampa, FL 33617, the school is available to families in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Manatee and Sarasota counties.
The program at FACE focuses on developing the appropriate paths of learning to meet the specific individual needs of each student in all areas of functioning. At FACE, students gain the academic, social, language, behavioral, vocational and life skills they need to help them become more independent later in life. FACE uses the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) – an effective, research-based strategy that has been proven to be effective for teaching students with autism.
Beyond the academic curriculum, FACE also offers students opportunities to participate in enriching activities essential to their social growth and development. During the school week, all students engage in the community garden program, Paws for Friendship Music, and Art.
Throughout the school year, FACE students spend time planting seeds, caring for vegetables and harvesting crops for the school’s community garden. The students gain exposure to sensory activities such as digging, exposure to new textures and smells, and exposure to different foods by tasting the vegetables they have harvested – all of which can be therapeutic and educational.
In addition to being highly motivating, the program also helps FACE students develop essential skills in a fun environment while catering to their unique needs and abilities. At the same time, they learn social skills by working alongside students from a neighboring charter school who volunteer their time to work with our students. The vegetables produced are later sold to members of the garden share, teaching the students about inventory and money management.