Our “Together We Can” Philosophy Impacts Thousands

January 31st, 2018
The end of every year is a time for reflection, reviewing, and recasting a vision. Data collection is an important part of what we do, […]

The end of every year is a time for reflection, reviewing, and recasting a vision. Data collection is an important part of what we do, and throughout the year we collect data on programs offered, number of participants, number of volunteers and hours given, and surveying participants to improve program outcomes. Our goals are to build “Together We Can” opportunities for families, parents, volunteers, and our community to 1. Help Families Thrive, 2. Help Individuals with Autism Reach Their Potential and 3. Build Awareness and Acceptance for Individuals with Autism in Oklahoma.

Our team meets frequently to reflect on the accumulated program data collected by our staff and volunteers. To tell you truth, our “Together We Can” philosophy is working!  We are overwhelmed with the impact that we are making TOGETHER in the state of Oklahoma.  Here’s a short recap.

HELPING FAMILIES THRIVE

Our 13 different parent support groups that meet regularly throughout the school year provide FREE meetings, child care, and support for families.

Parent Support Group locations included:  AutismBlanchard, AutismCanadianValley, AutismEdmond, AutismGuthrie, AutismLatino, AutismMuskogee, AutismNorman, AutismOKC, AutismShawnee, AutismStillwater, AutismTulsa, AutismWeatherford, Writer’s Group

These groups of savvy parents provide emotional support, education, resource sharing, and problem solving for families who have a child or loved one with autism. Most of the groups provide child care so that parents can attend the groups together while the children participate in their own activities.

Altogether, these volunteer-led parent support groups impacted nearly 4,500 people, with 700 volunteers clocking more than 1,000 hours of service.

In addition to the regular meet-ups, the groups also provided FREE Family Fun Experiences. There were lots of varied events that included swimming events,and  soccer and baseball games, with some participants attending more than one event.

INDIVIDUALS WITH AUTISM REACH POTENTIALS

Autism, Resources, Parents, OklahomaAutismOklahoma provided 86 programs targeted to serve individuals with autism.

16 of these programs meet year round while eight are short-term camps and experiences.

Year-round programs include social groups for teens, college students and adults provided by parent support groups. Others are interest-based like Girls With Voices, All-Star Bowling, Fuzzy, Bee’s Knees and Invisible Layers Productions.

Popular short-term camps include Swanky Art Camp, Little Swanky, Camp Noggin, Green Tea, Lego Camp, and SideKicks (Energy FC partnership)Autism, Resources, Parents, Oklahoma

Since we encourage participants to get involved and engaged, many individuals with autism attend multiple programs.

AUTISM AWARENESS AND ACCEPTANCE IN OKLAHOMA

Autism, Resources, Parents, OklahomaProviding ways for the community to become more educated about people with autism benefits everyone! One of the best ways we can educate the community is to highlight the strengths and talents of people who have autism. Our Core Values & Beliefs state We believe every person with autism has something unique and amazing to offer our community and society and that by creating interest based connections individuals with autism are often able to shine and reach their potential.  AutismOklahoma provides showcase platforms for people with ASD to demonstrate their talents and capabilities.  A few of these included: Even In Death/Girl with The Green Sword Reading, the Green Tea Party, and the Swanky Art Show.

Programs that involve community leadership is another way to provide education, awareness, and acceptance of those on the spectrum. Our Youth Advisory Board, partnerships with LOYAL, Kaleo Foundation, Life.Church, DASHboard, Central Oklahoma Humane Society, Lyric Theater, Edmond Public Schools and the Autism Conference further connected us with the community in 2017.

Programs that target the general public like the PieceWalk & 5K, PieceWalk community events, Dash Bash, Drive fore Autism, rural library outreach program, local art displays, 5K outreach, Comic Conventions, and Miss Amazing Pageant, provided new opportunities to bring autism education and awareness to the forefront in our state.

AutismOklahoma and our dedicated network of volunteers, provided 56 public awareness programs, reaching 12,630 people, and 2,209 volunteers spent more than 5,620 volunteer hours making awareness possible in Oklahoma.

LEADERSHIP TRAINING

Since the fuel behind our programs is primarily volunteers and engaged parents, AutismOklahoma provides leadership and mentoring throughout the year for volunteer leaders. Our leadership development and training programs provided 196 seats. We are so grateful for dedicated leaders who have adopted the AutismOklahoma philosophy of “Together We Can” and are committed to a better life across Oklahoma for the people we love who are affected by autism.

WE HAVE SOME PRETTY AMAZING IMPACT STATISTICS!Dash and friends visit the Blanchard Christmas parade.

  • 128 programs provided in
  • 86 programs provided for families and individuals who have autism
  • Programs provided opportunities for 4,500 participants.  Many were engaged in multiple programs
  • Utilized the talents of over 700 volunteers donating nearly 10,000 hours of service
  • 56 Community Outreach programs, attended by more than 12,500 people

Thank you to the  families and volunteers throughout our state who give their time daily, weekly, and monthly to serve families and individuals, and whose energies and commitment are making a difference in those lives. We appreciate our AutismOklahoma family and the hope that they share. We are honored and humbled you serve and we encourage any family or person with autism to join us and get involved. We will always have room for you.

Here’s to more success in Oklahoma for families affected by autism!

SOCIAL