Empowering individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities
Inspired by the experiences of raising their son with autism, Dan Marino and his wife, Claire, founded the Dan Marino Foundation. The vision was bold and clear. The Dan Marino Foundation would impact autism by supporting integrated treatment programs, outreach services and research for children with developmental disabilities. In less than a decade, the Dan Marino Foundation has made important strides in realizing their vision. In 1998, the Foundation partnered with Miami Children's Hospital and opened the Dan Marino Center in Weston, Florida. The center provides an all-inclusive facility for comprehensive medical services, therapies, sensory gym, and aquatics. The Dan Marino Sr. Resource Library offers a nurturing atmospere where parents may obtain information and support about their child's special needs. The Dan Marino Center continues to grow to meet the needs of the community with the addition of an urgent care center and orthotics division. In 2004, the Foundation launched Childnett.tv, a free video web channel on autism for parents and professionals around the world. In 2006, the Foundation established MARI -the Marino Autism Research Institute- a virtual laboratory featuring some of the brightest minds in the field of autism research doing groundbreaking work. More recently,the program Life Launch was developed to foster self-reliance in adolescents and young adults with disabilities by providing social, life, and job skill training. In June of 2009, Autube.tv was released, an issues-driven web channel enabling exchange of ideas for people with autism. As their son, Michael has grown, Dan and Claire's vision for their Foundation continues to grow. Once children with autism graduate from high school, their options for engaging in society can become alarmingly narrow. The Foundation is now exploring and creating innovative partnerships and supports to broaden the vista and help transition young adults with autism into the workforce. As with many of the programs and services of the Foundation, the broader goal is to offer new models that can be replicated by others around the country, and perhaps one day, around the world.
A Foundation Inspired By A Family
Dan and Claire recount the story of the Dan Marino Foundation and how things began.
A mother takes it upon herself to start a program for adolescent girls with autism. "Special Gals" is designed to help young women with developmental disabilities cope with the challenges of puberty and their changing bodies.
Jonathan, a remarkable young man, shares his story about finding employment and a great mentor with the help of The Dan Marino Foundation's summer employment program.
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