2010 Autism Impact Awards: Winners Revealed

High School Senior and one of the silent auction winners, Brandon Lloyd smiles for the camera with MISS USA 2009, Kristen Dalton

During the ICare4Autism 2010: Cocktail Gala, an award ceremony hosted by Miss USA, Kristen Dalton, and co-hosted by ICare4Autism Chief of Staff Ruth Amber Gristak, was held to acknowledge two organizations and one individual who have performed exquisite work for the autistic community in the Tampa Bay Area.  Each award winner received a special plaque that listed their name and accomplishment.

The event was held at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, Florida from 6pm-10pm on the evening of Thursday April 15th, 2010. There was also a luxury auction  held that evening which feature one-of-a-kind items such as sports memorabilia and event the chance to attend the Grammy’s. One auction winner, Brandon Lloyd took home a helmet signed by an entire professional football team!

Recipients of this year’s  Autism Impact Award’s are:

Behavioral Consulting of Tampa Bay (BCOTB)BCOTB has offices in Tampa and Wesley Chapel, Florida. This organization was founded by Kelley Prince.   BCOTB’s teaching methods are heavily based on Applied Behavior Analysis and also focus on individualized instruction.

BCOTB provides 1 on 1 instruction to children with a diagnosis of autism or a related disorder.  Instruction areas include: language/communication, self-help skills, academic skills, appropriate play skills, compliance training, and classroom readiness skills.  Each child receives an initial evaluation and an individualized set of goals to be targeted.  Learn more at http://www.bcotb.com.


Photo of Reno Williams

Reno Williams is a 12-year-old who has overcome being diagnosed with a multitude of disabilities.  Taught to acknowledge and be proud of his abilities, Reno could not avoid noticing that he was different from his peers. Reno began researching autism and became overwhelmed by the confusing information on the internet.

In response, Reno wrote a brochure guiding others who just were as puzzled as he was about the debilitating disability.  Once Reno developed his project, he contacted the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) and connected with Leigh Anna Nowak.  Their meeting resulted in creating powerpoint presentations for Reno and exploring Reno’s public speaking abilities.  

Reno has spoken to thousands of children, educators and community members on various autism topics and published his own book last year entitled, Reno’s World: Presenting Autism and Related Disabilities.

Learn more about Reno at http://www.renosworldautism.com.


Sydney’s School for AutismKathy Swenson founded Sydney’s School for Autism after being unsatisfied with the education her autistic daughter was receiving at a “mainstream school.”

Sydney’s School for Autism uses Applied Behavior Analysis in addition to social interaction with other preschool children at Great Beginnings (which was integrated with Sydney’s School to form one establishment).  Sydney’s School is in the process of partnering with major area hospital, making them the first center offering this kind of service east of the Mississippi River.  Learn more at http://www.sydneysschoolhouse.com/.

The Florida Aquarium

ICare4Autism would like to say thank you to the MISS UNIVERSE organization, all the amazing sponsors (Raymond James, Presidor, Johnny Love Vodka and Century Buick/GMC), door prize donors and volunteers! You all helped to make a positive impact in Autism Awareness.

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One Comment

  1. Posted May 14, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

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