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. 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.


  • The Dan Marino Foundation
    Individuals with Asperger syndrome (AS) often have average to above average intelligence. They tend to possess excellent abstract thinking abilities and rote memory skills. One characteristic unique to AS is an intense interest in one or two subjects to the exclusion of all others. Many times individuals with AS are...Read More
  • The Dan Marino Foundation
    According to the Autism Society of America, Autism Spectrum Disorder occurs in about 1 of every 500 births, and four times more often in boys than girls. Families of all racial, ethnic and social backgrounds anywhere in the world are affected.

    Source: Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD) 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
    Just as professionals ask many questions, so should you. Remember, no questions you have regarding your child are trivial or unimportant. You may want to ask some of the following questions of the physicians and therapists:
    • What are my child’s strengths? How can they be maximized?
    • What s
    ...Read More
  • The Dan Marino Foundation
    Autism is a lifelong neurological disability that affects a person’s ability to communicate, understand language, play and socially interact with others. The first signs of autism usually appear as developmental delays before age three.

    Autism is classified as a developmental disability because it interferes...Read More
  • The Dan Marino Foundation
    Every person with autism is different. However, there are some common characteristics of individuals with autism that may occur. Remember that although these are some common characteristics no two persons with autism experience the world or behave in the same way:
    • Difficulty in using and unde
    ...Read More
  • Dawn Smith
  • 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
    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...Read More