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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 2019 theme of Assistive Technologies, Active Participation.


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.   

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


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1 in 59 Children

Boys 4 times more likely than girls 


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated the prevalence of ASD among children aged 8 years was 1 in 59 in the U.S. (Baio et al., 2018).  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 2017, 6,647 (5.9% 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 13-14 14-15 15-16 16-17 17-18 Percent Change
Age 3-5  220 263 333 360 405 4,400
Age 6-11  305 1,899 1,997 2,194 2,328 2,536 731
Age 12-17  135 2,067 2,417 2,761 3,006 3,391 2,412
Age 18-21  14 203 208 247 298 315 2,150
TOTAL (Age 3-21) 454 4,389 4,885 5,535 5,992 6,647 1,364

 * not reported


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.   If you are a person with autism or a family member of someone with autism, share your story with friends in person or on social media.   If you are an extended family member or professional, share what you know about autism with your friends, family, place of employment, or other community organizations.  Increasing awareness is the first step to acceptance, support, andultimarely more opportunities for individuals with autism and their families.  




Visit with Your Legislators - Autism Awareness at the State Capitol

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 legislators.   Share your child and family story, along with needs related to your child's education or care.



Attend the Autism Awareness Day at the State Capitol
Hosted by: Oklahoma Autism Center Foundation, Oklahoma Autism Network, AutismOklahoma, and the Oklahoma Family Network

The day includes time to visit with your legislators, gather information at the resource fair, and show your support during introductions in both the House and Senate Galleries. 

Date:  April 10, 2019

Time:  8:00 am - 4:00 pm 

Location:  Oklahoma State Capitol, 4th Floor Rotunda




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