Enhancing Lives
       Individuals - Families - Communities
       Confidence - Competence - Capacity
Let's Talk Autism
New Update To Our Website!
As we continue to expand our website, we have developed a section of our website for those that are Spanish speakers in an effort to increase access to information and resources in Oklahoma. In the upper right hand corner of our website we have a section titled
"En Español". 

Under this section are resources, bilingual providers, and support groups. This is a work in progress, so if you know of any resource that can assist a family, an individual, or a professional impacted by autism that has bilingual services, please reach out to us at okautism@ouhsc.edu

El propósito de esta sección es proporcionar recursos e información de proveedores para familias que hablan español y que buscan servicios. Esta lista no es exhaustiva y podrían estar disponibles otros recursos que desconocemos. Si conoce un servicio o proveedor que brinde servicios bilingües, contáctenos a okautism@ouhsc.edu

Upcoming Training For Parents
Regarding Special Education Services
During The Pandemic
As families prepare to go back to school, TARC invites parents to join them on Thursday, Aug. 27th at noon for a webinar featuring Oklahoma special education attorney George McCaffery to learn more about your child’s rights. Questions will be welcome.

TARC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and proud Partner Agency of the Tulsa Area United Way. TARC educates, empowers, advocates, and supports individuals with developmental disabilities, and their families, through a network of programs and services designed to ensure a high quality of life for all Oklahomans. Serving individuals throughout their lifespan, TARC programs include parent and family support (pre-birth through high school), self-advocacy, public policy and advocacy, grief support, and Oklahoma Advocates Involved in Monitoring, a program monitoring the quality-of-life for those living in state-supporting residential housing.

Oklahoma Parents Center
Advocating for Children with Disabilities to Build a Better 

The Oklahoma Parents Center (OPC) is excited to share their newest resource...BACK TO SCHOOL PLANNING GUIDE!  This nine (9) page guide features specific worksheets to help families as they prepare for how their children with disabilities will receive the services and supports outlined in their Individual Education Programs (IEPs).
To Learn more:
Virtual Learning & Managing Screen Time- Part 1
Students are returning to school and many are being asked to participate in virtual learning at some level. While the American Academy of Pediatrics
has suggested screen time recommendations for children 5 years old and older, there are not any specific limits for children 6 and older as long as it does not interfere with sleep, physical activity, and other healthy habits. To help families create routines and structure around screen time, here are some tips to keep in mind as families’ work to find creative ways to keep everyone calm, healthy, and engaged in constructive work and play.

  • Make a plan. What technology will be accessed and when? When will you and your child take a break from tele-work & tele-schoolwork to relax and connect with each other? What objects or activities will your child engage in that do not fall into the technology category? To help organize part of your plan you may want to use the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) online tool to Create Your Family Media Plan https://www.healthychildren.org/English/media/Pages/default.aspx#wizard. This tool is available for both English and Spanish speaking families. When possible, include your child in creating your plan and rules around using technology.

  • Limit distractions. Set up your child’s at home learning environment with the least amount of distractions. If your child is being asked to participate in virtual learning consider using headphones to help limit outside distractions. Have your child close out of other programs on the device they are using to access virtual learning. If technology is provided from the school (i.e., school computer/ tablet) have that device only be available to access videos, internet, and programs related to school work and learning.  Your child should use a personal device for free time on electronics. This can help establish rules and discrimination of different ways to access technology.

  • Set boundaries. Make a plan for how much time your child can play video games online with friends, and where their devices will charge at night. Create some screen free zones in your home. You might also consider having places where your child uses screens for leisure and places where they use their screens for school to help them learn when and where they can have access to favorite YouTube videos versus educational media.

  • Use media together. When possible, engage with your child while they are using technology. This may be an opportunity to work on turn taking, or label language for your child around screen time activities. Depending on your child’s current skill level, you may use this time as an opportunity to teach them about social rules related to online social engagement. This may be an opportunity to pay closer attention to who, what, and how your child is engaging in screen time. If it is appropriate for your child’s age, this may also be a time as well to have conversations around topics such as cyber bulling and other topics that come with being a part of an online community.

  • Make time for offline experiences. Make a list of offline activates that your child and/ or family enjoys doing. Make time for activities like cooking together, reading, dancing, going on walks, playing games, and other activities that give an opportunity for movement and shared enjoyment.

  • Talk with other families to share these ideas and come together to think of additional offline activities you may want to do as a family.

  • Communicate with teachers about what educational activities your child can do both online and offline if they have not already provided options and your child is needing them.

  • Consider what skills are needed to access technology. If your child is not finding success engaging with technology, consider what modifications can be made to see that they are getting access to what they need. Additionally, consider what prerequisite skills they need to successfully or more independently access technology without challenging behavior. Are there skills/goals that could be addressed that would give them more success accessing virtual learning or teletherapy services? For example, are they able to engage in an adult led activity using technology? Are they able to stay engaged at a computer/tablet for 8-10 minutes at a time? Work with your child’s teacher or therapist to help you identify skills that will help your child be more successful with on-line learning.

We invite you to explore these tips and find out which ones are helpful to you as a family. Please watch for additional tips next week in Part 2.
We Are Here For You!
As employees of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, we are still working remotely. Although we are unable to respond timely to phone calls at this time, we are still available to assist you daily through email at okautism@ouhsc.edu
We encourage you to reach out if you need assistance!
Stay safe and healthy!
The Oklahoma Autism Network Team