Florida Chapter

TACA Florida holds Coffee Talks throughout the year. Our Coffee Talks provide settings where families can informally network, share resources and speak with seasoned parents.
Each TACA group maintains a resource library of the latest autism books and DVDs/CDs that can be checked out by members at no charge.

Florida Events

Tuesday, October 29

Coffee Talk

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
3186 Northlake Blvd.
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33403

Take a little scare out of Halloween with some help from TACA. Find your spot at the not-so-scary TACA table and get in on the discussion about seasonal fun and how to make it all work for your family this time of year, including Halloween. Every attendee will have “trick-or-treat” cards to take home and use with their child. If you are new to TACA, you’ll receive an Autism Journey Guide as a take-home resource.

Tuesday, October 29

Hope For Your Struggling Communicator

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Family Network on Disabilities
26750 US Hwy 19 N Suite 410
Clearwater, FL
(Please note for those who have previously visited FND this is a new location from their last office.)

Speaker: Dana L. Johnson, PhD., MS., OTR/L
Do you have a loved one with Autism who is a struggling communicator? There is hope. You may be curious, what is Spelling to Communicate? S2C teaches individuals with motor challenges the purposeful motor skills necessary to point to letters to spell as an alternative means of communication (AAC). The goal is to achieve synchrony between the brain and body. Skilled and rigorously trained communication partners teach purposeful motor skills using a hierarchy of verbal and gestural prompts. As motor skills improve through consistent practice, students progress from pointing to letters on letterboards to spell to typing on a keyboard. Accordingly, communication moves from concrete to abstract as motor skills progress. At this TACA presentation Dr. Johnson will review all the fundamentals and more of S2C. Join us!
Dana Johnson PhD., MS., OTR/L is the owner of Interplay Therapy Center and Founder of Invictus Academy Tampa Bay, a non-profit private school for students with sensory motor differences. Dana has a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy and a PhD in Infant and Early Childhood Development. Dana has worked with individuals with motor and sensory differences for almost 15 years. She started her career as an occupational therapist supporting children in the public school system. From there she moved to the clinical environment in Raleigh, NC working in a private pediatric clinic supporting children with varying diagnoses. In 2009, Dana moved to Tampa, FL where she gained experience working with children on the autism spectrum. Her private clinic opened in 2010 and has grown to serve children, adolescents and young adults with motor and sensory differences, including autism, apraxia, sensory integration disorders, and other developmental disabilities. In 2015, Dana was introduced to Spelling to Communicate (S2C), a form of Assistive Technology for individuals with sensory motor differences and it has completely changed her practice! She presumes that every client wants to learn and has the capacity to learn. By presuming competence, supporting purposeful motor skills, and providing a reliable way to communicate, Dana has shifted the perspective of the neurodiverse population to one of acceptance and change. Dana is now an ACTS (Accessing Community Through Spelling) Practitioner and Trainer for S2C. She works with many families locally, nationally and internationally to educate and provide training on sensory motor differences and purposeful motor skills. Dana is also on the Executive Leadership Cadre for the International Association for Spelling as Communication (I-ASC) a non-profit organization that supports training, education, advocacy, and research for non-speaking and unreliably speaking individuals.
Dana’s passion is to continue to advocate for non-speaking individuals so that they will have access to reliable communication, autonomy and community accessibility.

Don't Know Where to Start?

Try our Autism Journey Blueprints!
These were created as a quick introduction reference guide for families on the autism journey.

Other Ways We Can Help

TACA provides education, support and hope to the autism community.