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WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY

On December 18, 2007, the United Nations adopted a resolution that designated April 2 each year as World Autism Awareness Day.

Read more about the UN's 2017 theme of Toward Autonomy and Self-Determination.



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PREVALENCE

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated the prevalence of ASD among children aged 8 years was 1 in 68 in the U.S. (Christensen et al., 2016).  The CDC continues to work to find out how many children have ASD, discover the risk factors, and raise awareness of the signs (http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/index.html). 

Currently, we do not know how many Oklahomans have ASD.  Our best guess is based on information the Oklahoma State Department of Education gathers about children receiving special education services through their annual child count.  Through the annual child count, children are identified in one of 13 categories, including Autism.  In 2014, 4,885 (4.6% of all children receiving special education) children aged 3-21 years were identified under the autism category.  This number does not include children with ASD who are served under another category, children with ASD who are not receiving special education services through the local public school, or those under age 3 or over age 21.


Children served under Autism Category in Oklahoma
Child Count by Age Group

 

98-99

11-Oct

12-Nov

13-Dec

13-14

14-15

Percent Change

Age 3-5

*

164

200

210

220

263

2,822

Age 6-11

305

1,405

1,674

1,923

1,899

1,997

555

Age 12-17

135

1,346

1,540

1,816

2,067

2,417

1,690

Age 18-21

14

147

172

172

203

208

1,386

TOTAL (Age 3-21)

454

3,062

3,586

4,121

4,389

4,885

976 

 * not reported

RAISING AWARENESS IN OKLAHOMA

In 2002, the Individuals with Autism and Their Families, Oklahoma Plan outlined a plan for moving the state forward in research, services, and supports for people with autism and their family.  The Oklahoma Family and Interagency Autism Council continue to oversee implementation and updates to the plan.   Awareness and knowledge of autism and availability of services, supports, and community based programs has increased since that time.  Progress has been made, but we still have much work to do to better support the growing number of individuals with autism and their families in Oklahoma.

April is a great time to come together to raise awareness in our state.  You can participate in a variety of ways in your local community to help people in our state better understand and support individuals with autism and their families. 


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Visit with Your Legislators

Another way to raise awareness is to contact your legislators and in a positive way share your story.  Legislators appreciate hearing from their constituents and learning more about how autism has touched your family.  Take a few minutes to call, email or visit your legislature this month. 

http://www.oklegislature.gov/FindMyLegislature.aspx

 

Attend the Autism Awareness Day at the State Capitol

April 3, 2017

9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Open the flyer to see the agenda

 

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Light it Up Blue

On April 2nd  Light It Up Blue to raise awareness about autism.  Light It Up Blue is an international event, with many famous landmarks lit to raise autism awareness.   Oklahoma City's famous I-44 SkyDance Bridge will be lit up blue on April 2, 2017, for World Autism Day.  How about visiting the bridge, taking a picture with it, and then post your pictures to our facebook page? This is another great opportunity to show your support for Autism. Looking forward to seeing your pictures.

The landmark bridge, Oklahoma City SkyDance Bridge is a 380-foot-long pedestrian bridge and 197- foot-tall sculpture that spans Interstate 40 near Robinson Avenue south of downtown. To learn more about the bridge, visit: https://www.visitokc.com/about-okc/okc-facts/.

Click Herefor more information about Light It Up Blue. You can find information about autism in numerous languages. The webiste also contains materials you can use to promote awareness in your community.



 

Autism Awareness Tag

 

 

 

Order an Oklahoma Autism Awareness License Plate

To order yours, visit the 

Oklahoma Tax Commission

If you have an activity you would like to add, email us at okautism@ouhsc.edu