Impact Autism


News & Updates

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Please join us in Congratulating our 2018-2019 Officer Team!

Posted by IMPACT Autism @ UF on April 12, 2018 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Kelly Stadelmaier, President

Corinne Hutchison, Vice President

Chandler Burkhart, Treasurer (not pictured)

Nhi Nguyen, Secretary

Jesus Sanchez, Co-Publicist

Caroline Gibbs, Co-Publicist

Dr. Ann Marie Orlando, Advisors

Read more about the student leaders serving as IMPACT Autism's 2018-2019 Officers on the "Who We Are" Tab of our website, found here:

CONGRATULATIONS 2012-2013 Officer Team!

Posted by IMPACT Autism @ UF on April 27, 2012 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Please join us in Congratulating our 2012-2013 Officer Team! 

Ashley Giddings, President

Stephanie Hernandez, Vice President

Hallie Kritsas, Treasurer

Emily Roberts, Secretary

Jillian Roberts, Co-Publicist (not pictured)

Cierra Quigley, Co-Publicist

Dr. Joanne Foss and Dr. Ann Marie Orlando, Advisors

Read more about the student leaders serving as IMPACT Autism's 2012-2013 Officers on the "Who We Are" Tab of our website, found here:

March 17th Kid's Day Out!

Posted by IMPACT Autism @ UF on March 9, 2012 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

IMPACT Autism is hosting a Kid's Day Out respite care event on Saturday, March 17th.

Kids will enjoy St. Patricks day themed arts and crafts, playground time, and sports games in a two volunteer per child ratio.

ALL children of all ages (and siblings!) are welcome to attend. The event is free, but we kindly accept $20 donations per family to support future Kid's Day Out events. 

Parents, spots are limited. To sign your child up, you must register them online at this link: Please contact Ashley Giddings at IMPACT Autism's email with any questions or concerns. 

Volunteers, we need YOU! To make this event a success for the kids, sign up to volunteer from 12:30-4 p.m. on Saturday March 17th, at this link. (Sign up no later than Wednesday March 14th, and please be sure to have complete all volunteer requirements listed on the form)

We hope to see you there!


Posted by IMPACT Autism @ UF on January 25, 2012 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (0)

A great read from the Arizona Office For Americans With Disabilities

The Disabilities: Guide to Autism!

Thank you to Ms. Morrison's students for an amazing article!

TCBY Fundraiser

Posted by IMPACT Autism @ UF on October 12, 2011 at 11:05 PM Comments comments (0)

We will be having a fundraiser at TCBY on Wednesday, October 26 from 9-10pm at the Archer Road and 34th Street location

Make sure to say you're with IMPACT Autism!

All of the money will go towards Project Communicate! So bring your friends, have some frozen yogurt, and have a fun night!


Apply for a Project Communicate Grant

Posted by IMPACT Autism @ UF on September 14, 2011 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Project Communicate was executed by IMPACT Autism as our 2010-2011 Fundraising Project.

Thanks to these fundraising efforts and the generous support of local families, one year later, we are offering local families the opportunity to apply for grant funding to increase their child's communication abilities.

This project is designed to assist Alachua County families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) between the ages of 3-21 years old.

*The deadline to apply for funding HAS BEEN EXTENDED to Friday, September 30th at Midnight*

For more information about eligibility, and to access the application, please

Click the following link:


Email us at

Florida Occupational Therapy Association (FOTA) Magazine Feature of IMPACT Autism

Posted by IMPACT Autism @ UF on September 9, 2011 at 9:55 PM Comments comments (0)

IMPACT Autism was featured by the Florida Occupation Therapy Association (FOTA) magazine in their Summer Student Showcase in an article written by Ashley Giddings and Tana Bleser. 

UF Students Make an IMPACT

By: Tana Bleser, M.S., O.T.S, & Ashley Giddings

It isn’t often that students are in the position of being able to create changes in the community themselves, but at IMPACT Autism, a student organization at the University of Florida is doing just that. IMPACT Autism was founded by four college students from diverse backgrounds (OT, pre-med, math and psychology) and their faculty sponsor, Dr. Joanne Foss who share a common mission to educate, advocate and fundraise on behalf of individuals with autism and related disabilities and their families.

In little more than a year, the organization has grown to include over 300 student, faculty and parent members. In that time, IMPACT’s members have raised over $2,000 to directly benefit individuals with autism in the Gainesville community. The student group also educates University students on autism by hosting awareness events such as the Autism Awareness Movie Night which featured the Temple Grandin Movie this year. The organization also hosts various autism experts to speak on campus.

Perhaps most remarkably, the organization hosts an event each month to provide respite care services for local children with autism and related disabilities as well as their siblings- for FREE. Trained volunteers are paired with a child in a 2:1 ratio for an afternoon at the local YMCA or city park where IMPACT provides children with activities and entertainment in a safe, inclusive environment and allows parents a much needed afternoon to themselves.

Currently in the process of becoming a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, IMPACT Autism hopes to expand its scope by starting chapters in other communities and universities across Florida. For more information about IMPACT Autism or how you can get involved, please visit or email us at

About the authors:

Tana Bleser, M.S., OTS,  Driector, Co-Founder of IMPACT Autism is a graduate student in the University of Florida’s Department of Occupational Therapy Master’s Program as well as the Department of Psychology Behavioral & Cognitive Neurosciences PhD Program. She received her B.S. in Neurobiological Sciences from UF in 2007.

Ashley Giddings, President, Co-Founder of IMPACT Autism, is an undergraduate student at the University of Florida. She is pursuing a B.S. in Neurobiological Sciences. Ashley is the recipient of the UF Presidential Service Award for her involvement in the area of Community Health and Wellness. 


Posted by IMPACT Autism @ UF on April 9, 2011 at 3:48 PM Comments comments (0)

Stomp the Swamp for Autism will take place on Saturday, April 16th.

The event will be held in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium from 10-11:30AM.

Participants have the option of running the stadium steps or walking the inner ring. The event will benefit UF's Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UF CARD). UF CARD serves over 2,000 children and families in 14 counties. Registration is $15 and includes a T-shirt and breakfast. You can pre-register at, or you can register on the day of the event!

Please join us in showing our support for UF CARD and individuals with autism as we STOMP THE SWAMP!

S.T.A.R. 5K Walk/Run 2011

Posted by IMPACT Autism @ UF on January 25, 2011 at 11:36 PM Comments comments (0)

Get excited for the 4th Annual S.T.A.R. 5K Walk/Run 2011!!


Eastside High School's Students Together for Autism Research (S.T.A.R.) is organizing the 4th Annual Autism Awareness 5K Walk/Run at Westside Park. The aim is to increase awareness for the local Autism community while raising funds for the University of Florida Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD). They even have an event page on Facebook.


IMPACT will be out supporting the 5K and if you would like to sign up go to their link at


Date: February 26, 2011

Time: 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM

Location: Westside Park,1001 NW 34th Street Gainesville, FL



January Kid's Day Out

Posted by IMPACT Autism @ UF on January 6, 2011 at 11:18 PM Comments comments (0)

January Kid's Day Out


When: Saturday, January 22nd from 1-4pm

Where: Westside Park

1001 Northwest 34th Street

Gainesville, FL 32605


Our Kid's Day Out events are back to start off a new year! Parents, you can enjoy an afternoon out where you don’t have to worry about the kids. ALL children of ALL ages are invited to attend. Your children will be making arts and crafts, playing outdoors, and other fun activities while meeting other kids and interacting in a one on one ratio with an IMPACT volunteer. Snacks and refreshments will also be provided.


To Register your child(ren), please fill out the form at the following link:


For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact IMPACT Autism @ UF at or Ashley Giddings at (305) 613-7295


Happy New Year from IMPACT Autism!