The Dan Marino Foundation

Our Mission

Inspired by the experiences of raising their son with autism, Dan Marino and his wife, Claire, founded the Dan Marino Foundation in 1992. The vision was bold and clear. The Dan Marino Foundation mission is to “open doors” toward independence for children with special needs, teenagers transitioning from foster care, and young adults with disabilities.

The Foundation fulfills this mission by supporting comprehensive integrated treatment programs, providing outreach services, advancing scientific research, and building independence through employment and daily living transition programs.

Our Programs Include:

MCH Dan Marino Center: All-inclusive facility offering comprehensive medical services, therapies, sensory gym, adaptive aquatics center, orthotics division, and urgent care center.

DMF Campus One: An inclusive campus serving teens and young adults with disabilities where members can acquire vocational skills, learn vital life skills, stay fit, socialize, and most importantly, gain independence.

Childnett.tv: Web channel featuring films on neuro-developmental issues and personal stories

Marino Autism Research Institute : A “virtual institute” comprised of the University of Miami, Vanderbilt University, Nova Southeastern University, and University of Southern California designed to develop and implement cutting-edge research.

Marino Swim Central Adaptive Aquatics : A required certification for swim instructors working with special needs students mandated by the Florida Legislature.

Life Launch and Summer Steps : Programming developed to foster self reliance in adolescents and young adults with disabilities by providing social, life, and job skill training in partnership with Children’s Services Council of Broward County.

Dan Marino, Sr. Resource Library : The first stop a parent makes for guidance after hearing their child’s diagnosis— providing state-of-the-art technology and media delivery to give families the resources needed for their child with special needs.

Foster Care Services: Independent living program providing wrap-around services which assist youth aging out of the foster care system to ensure a smooth transition to self-sufficiency.

Activity

  • The Dan Marino Foundation
    The process of Positive Behavior Support (PBS) begins with the identification of a support team, which consists of the most relevant individuals in the person’s life. The team may include family members, teachers, friends, and/or others who are involved and concerned with the person and the problem...Read More
  • The Dan Marino Foundation
    Positive Behavior Support (PBS) is a broad approach for resolving problem behaviors that are displayed by people with disabilities.

    The behavior support plan should include a number of components:
    1. Strategies for teaching and increasing skills that are intended to replace the problem behaviors,
    ...Read More
  • The Dan Marino Foundation
    No two individuals diagnosed with PDD-NOS are exactly alike. However, many individuals with PDD-NOS have some characteristics in common, such as:
    •   Deficits in social behavior
    •   Uneven skill development (strengths in some areas and significant 
        delays in others.)
    •   Poorly developed speech
    ...Read More
  • The Dan Marino Foundation
    Autism and related disabilities, such as PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder - not otherwise specified), Asperger’s syndrome, and Rett’s syndrome, are difficult to diagnose, especially in young children where speech and reasoning skills are still developing. A child may be three years old before...Read More
  • The Dan Marino Foundation
    Treatment and educational needs for people with autism and related disabilities should include:
    1. Early and accurate diagnosis increases the child’s opportunity for positive development and success.
    2. Professional services for persons with autism may include speech and occupational therapy and
    ...Read More
  • The Dan Marino Foundation
    Nobody knows what causes autism. Some scientists believe there is a biological cause that affects the
    working of the brain, but this has not been proven. It is possible there are many factors that could interact
    with one another which could cause different characteristics in each individual with...Read More
  • The Dan Marino Foundation
    Asperger Syndrome (AS) is considered a pervasive developmental disorder at the higher functioning end of the autism spectrum. It is characterized by sustained impairment in social interaction and the development of restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests and activities. In contrast...Read More
  • The Dan Marino Foundation
    Applied Behavior Analysis refers to the direct application of the principles of behavior modification in natural environments such as home, school, and community. ABA uses behavioral principles to improve the individual’s ability to participate effectively in various situations.

    Source: Center for...Read More
  • The Dan Marino Foundation
    Functional Behavior Assessment refers to a process for identifying the relationship between the behavior and the events that occur before, during and after a behavior. Behaviors are examined in terms of the purposes and functions that the behavior serves for the individual.

    Source: Center for Autism...Read More
  • The Dan Marino Foundation
    Treatment and educational needs for individuals with PDDNOS include but are not limited to:
    1. An early and accurate diagnosis, which improves a child’s chances of reaching his or her full potential.
    2. Specialized and intensive interventions, which may include educational, behavioral, occupational
    ...Read More
  • The Dan Marino Foundation
    Current estimates are that 3-4 per 1000 individuals may have PDD-NOS. PDD-NOS often occurs with some degree of cognitive impairment.

    Source: Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD) Read More
  • The Dan Marino Foundation
    The causes of PDD-NOS are still unknown. There is a strong belief in the medical community that that the disability’s origin is genetic and/or biological and affects brain function, but specific biological mechanisms remain unclear. There is a possibility that more than one variable could be resp...Read More
  • The Dan Marino Foundation
    Asperger syndrome is an uncommon disorder and information on prevalence is limited. The disorder appears to be more common in males than females. As diagnosticians become more familiar with the syndrome, its use as a diagnostic category is likely to increase and prevalence figures are likely to rise....Read More
  • The Dan Marino Foundation
    Many individuals with AS want to develop friendships and interact with their peers, but lack the ability to understand and use rules governing social behavior. They have difficulty using and interpreting gestures, judging proximity to others, and maintaining eye contact, all of which may impede the...Read More
  • The Dan Marino Foundation
    Unlike most people with autism, individuals with Asperger syndrome experience no delay in the onset of speech. In fact, their speech tends to be formal, pedantic and long-winded. Persons with AS often have monotonous vocal intonation and limited use of gestures. They may have difficulty comprehending other...Read More