Our Programs

The Oklahoma Autism Network has a broad range of programs focused on improving outcomes and quality of life for individuals with ASD and their families.  Our programs focus on goals addressing early identification, evidence based interventions from diagnosis through adulthood, increasing access to services across Oklahoma, family supports, and building the capacity of communities to meet the needs of their citizens with ASD.  The Oklahoma Autism Network team works in collaboration with other agencies, organizations, families and professionals to achieve these goals. 

Programs

Autism Information and Referral System

The Oklahoma Autism Network serves as the state resource and referral for autism.  We assist individuals with autism spectrum disorders, their families, and the professionals who serve them in locating resources in their community, assistance in identifying and prioritizing needs, and identifying services to meet those needs.    OAN offers a resource room where families and professionals can access books and DVDs with information about autism or make materials, such as visual supports.  We also meet with families and professionals to provide assistance as needed.

Community Capacity and Systems Change

The Oklahoma Autism Network is involved in multiple committees and activities with the purpose of building the capacity of our state to meet the needs of the growing numbers of children and adults with an ASD.  Some of these activities include:

  • Advisory Committee for the Governor's Inter-Agency Executive Council with the purpose of improving the quality of services for Oklahomans with developmental disabilities. 
  • Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) Advisory Committee with the intent of improving policy and services to individuals served through DDS waiver programs. 
  • Oklahoma Transition Council with the intent of improving secondary-transition services for youth transitioning out of high school.
  • Oklahoma's Community of Practice State Team

ConnectedKids: Building a Foundation with Families

ConnectedKids is a program for parents to learn how to use developmental and behavioral (ABA) strategies with their child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The focus of the program is to increase the child’s social communication and engagement skills. We are offering the ConnectedKids program in an intensive, interactive, and in-class training over four full-days. The program, scheduled over a four-month period, allows for practice of strategies between training days. Parents or primary caregivers who participate in the training will learn:

  • to use strategies to increase your child’s interest in interacting with you and others in your family;
  • to use your child’s interest in an activity to teach new social-communication skills, such as requesting, following directions, playing with toys, and imitating others;
  • to use prompting and reinforcement to teach new skills, which are key applied behavior analysis (ABA) techniques that help your child develop new, more complex skills;
  • to identify what skills to teach your child and how to create opportunities to teach during play and daily routines;
  • about resources in the community; and
  • to advocate for your child in a collaborative way.

For More Information

Ginger Glenn Wells, MSW
405.271.7476 or okautism@ouhsc.edu

ConnectedFamilies: Building Your Villlage

  • Who Can ParticipateA parent support group to assist families who have children with autism spectrum disorder to build their natural supports through activities, community networking, and inclusion thereby decreasing the threat of isolation.
  • ConnectedFamilies compliments the ConnectedKids program by providing opportunities for families to meet one to two times monthly to support each other, continue to learn new information, and to provide opportunities to go into the community. 
  • Communities and businesses gain a better understanding of autism and provide accepting environments for all children and their families.
  • Families who have or are currently participating in the ConnectedKids program.

What to Expect

  • Informational meetings provide the opportunity for parents to share their experiences with each other and gain new information to support ongoing advocacy and development of their child with autism. 
  • During meetings, children with autism and their siblings participate in structured group activities. 
  • Students in pre-service training programs including speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, early childhood education, and behavior analysis assist in coordinating and implementing the group activities with the children. 
  • Community activities take place in various settings identified by the families. 

For More Information

Ginger Glenn Wells, MSW
405.271.7476 or okautism@ouhsc.edu

Oklahoma Autism Network Resource Center

The Oklahoma Autism Network Resource Center is available for professionals and family members. The Resource Center has books, videos, and other resources available on-site.  We can also schedule a time to meet regarding a concern or questions related to your child, working with your school, or accessing services.  We also have resources to make visual supports such as visual schedules and social stories.  

For more information or to schedule an appointment contact:

The Oklahoma Autism Network at 
(405) 271-7476 or at okautism@ouhsc.edu

Support to Parent Led Organizations

The Oklahoma Autism Network collaborates with and provides support to the many autism specific parent led organizations in our state.  These parent led organizations provide critical support to families who have a child with an ASD within their local community.  Some of the ways we collaborate with parent led organizations includes:

  • Providing training at local parent group meetings.
  • Collaborating with parent-led organizations to offer training in the community for parents and professional groups.
  • Providing technical assistance to parent-led organizations in meeting the needs of the families in their community.

Technical Assistance

The Oklahoma Autism Network offers technical assistance to families, professionals, and individuals with an ASD by phone, email, or in person.  Technical assistance is provided to help individuals develop a plan and identify supports to address an identified concern or to help individuals implement information learned in a training provided by OAN.  Contact us if you need assistance or to make an appointment.

Trainings

The Oklahoma Autism Network provides training to professionals, parents, and students through our regularly scheduled trainings and by request.  You can contact us to request a training or presentation at a conference or other event. 

Research and Assessments

ConnectedKids: Training Parents To Use Developmental and Behavioral Strategies with Their Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Helping Oklahomans with Autism: Senate Bill 135

The Oklahoma legislature conducted an interim study in 2008 that identified the need for expanded services and supports for Oklahomans diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  The legislature responded by passing Senate Bill 135 (SB 135) to expand programs and expertise of professionals in the diagnosis and treatment of ASD.  The ConnectedKids program was designed and implemented in response to SB 135, which called for research to evaluate behavior analytic strategies within a consultative model that included parent training. 

 

ConnectedKids

ConnectedKids trains parents to use developmental and behavioral strategies with their young child with ASD.  The program focuses on the use of evidence-based techniques to increase the child’s social-communication skills with the parent during play and daily routines.  Trainers work with families in their homes and other community settings over a four month period of time with periodic follow-up for an additional six months.

 

Impact

“We wouldn’t be anywhere right now.  Within a month or so with ConnectedKids it’s like a different kid already.  It was amazing to see such a difference in such a short amount of time." (dyad 13)

Parents reported that day-to-day life was much better because of the strategies they learned through the ConnectedKids program.  Parents learned strategies to interact with their children, and reported that the strategies became a natural part of daily life with their child.  In turn, their children demonstrated improvements in language, imitation, play, and engagement.

 

Recommendations

  1. Develop a plan for statewide implementation of ConnectedKids within SoonerStart, Oklahoma’s early intervention program (SoonerStart providers to provide training for parents). 
  2. Develop a plan for feasibility testing of ConnectedKids within early childhood programs (Early childhood providers to provide training for parents). 
  3. Develop a plan for feasibility testing of the model for older children and youth with ASD (teachers and specialists of school-age students provide parent training). 
  4. Develop sustainable funding streams to recruit and retain Board Certified Behavior Analysts and other professionals competent in the provision of the ConnectedKids program.

 

To read the full report: ConnectedKids: Training Parents to Use Developmental and Behavioral Strategies with their Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder

 

Address correspondence concerning this report to the principal investigators, Julie D. Smith, MS, OTR/L and Rene’ Daman, PT, MS, Oklahoma Autism Network, College of Allied Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 1200 North Stonewall Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73117; email: julie-smith@ouhsc.edu and rene-daman@ouhsc.edu  


ConnectedKids In the News

Autism: Parent-Focused Approach Video News Release

Tuesday, June 2, 2014
Children with autism often struggle with communication and social skills and programs to help are limited. Watch the video

 

OU Research Evaluates Parent-Focused Approach in Autism

April 29, 2014
A new study by researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center finds parents of children with autism can help improve their children’s communication and social skills utilizing specific techniques. Read the article

 

OU Research Evaluates Parent-Focused Approach in Autism

Parent and Young ChildApril 29, 2014

A new study by researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center finds parents of children with autism can help improve their children’s communication and social skills utilizing specific techniques. Watch the video

Oklahoma Autism Needs Assessment Surveys

2015 OKLAHOMA AUTISM NEEDS ASSESSMENT SURVEY

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center 
College of Allied Health
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences
Tolbert Center for Developmental Disabilities
Oklahoma Autism Network

STUDY INFORMATION
2/10/15
IRB #5205

During 2015, the Oklahoma Autism Network conducted the second statewide Oklahoma Autism Needs Assessment Survey. The results are published in a report titled: Oklahoma Autism Needs Assessment Survey: Parents, Caregivers and Individuals Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders dated June 30, 2016. The primary goals of this study were to collect information to describe the types of services and supports children and adults with an autism spectrum disorder use and need, to assess satisfaction of services and supports, and to inform the Oklahoma Family and Interagency Autism Council, state agencies, and the legislature.

If you have questions about this study, please contact the Principal Investigator, Julie D. Smith, or the Co-Principal Investigator, Rene' Daman at 405.271.7476, 1.877.228.8476, or okautism@ouhsc.edu.

 


2012 OKLAHOMA AUTISM NEEDS ASSESSMENT SURVEY

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center 
College of Allied Health
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences
Tolbert Center for Developmental Disabilities
Oklahoma Autism Network

STUDY INFORMATION
2/20/12
IRB #16364

In 2012, the Oklahoma Autism Network conducted the first statewide Oklahoma Autism Needs Assessment Survey. The results are published in a report titled: Oklahoma Autism Needs Assessment Survey: Parents, Caregivers and Individuals Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The results of the survey were presented to the Oklahoma Family and Interagency Autism Council, state agencies, and the legislature to alert them to the needs of families and individuals.

If you have questions about this study, please contact the Principal Investigator, Julie D. Smith, or the Co-Principal Investigator, Jennifer Moyano at 405.271.7476, 1.877.228.8476, or okautism@ouhsc.edu.

Oklahoma Autism Needs Assessment Survey of Professional Development

OKLAHOMA AUTISM NEEDS ASSESSMENT SURVEY OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center 
College of Allied Health
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences
Tolbert Center for Developmental Disabilities and Autism
Oklahoma Autism Network

STUDY INFORMATION
9/23/14
IRB #4769

The Oklahoma Autism Needs Assessment Survey of Professional Development is a statewide training needs assessment approved by the OUHSC Institutional Review Board. The purpose of this study is to better understand the professional development needs relevant within the state of Oklahoma.  Results of the survey will be presented to the Oklahoma Family and Interagency Autism Council, state agencies, and the legislature. View and/or print the final report: 2014 Oklahoma Autism Needs Assessment Survey of Professional DevelopmentJune 30, 2014.

 Address correspondence concerning this report to the principal investigators, Julie D. Smith, MS, OTR/L and Rene’ Daman, PT, MS, Oklahoma Autism Network, College of Allied Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 1200 North Stonewall Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73117; email: julie-smith@ouhsc.edu and rene-daman@ouhsc.edu