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Autism Event Scheduled For Southeast Oklahoma

Monday, July 11, 2016 - Campus News -

Families and professionals who want to learn more about autism spectrum disorders in children are invited to “Understanding Autism: An Evening for Families and Professionals,” sponsored by the Oklahoma Early Access Autism Project July 25 in Idabel.

Early Access is a part of the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics Oklahoma Autism Center. The program will include the most current information about autism spectrum disorders in children  as well as  about practical strategies to use in the home and community. Participants will receive complimentary resources and materials. 

The event is scheduled for 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Kiamichi Technology Center, Idabel. It is being offered at no cost to participants, however, to ensure that there are sufficient materials and meeting space available, attendees should visit or call (405) 295-5273 to register.

In addition, Early Access will present “An Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders for Early Childhood Professionals” as part of professional development activities for the Little Dixie Community Action Agency. This training will be on July 26 at the Kiamichi Technology Center in Hugo for Head Start, Early Head Start and Early Start-Child Care providers. The presentation will focus on the importance of early identification as well as strategies for working with young children with autism.

The goal of the project is to promote autism awareness and build early identification capacity in communities throughout Oklahoma by holding awareness events and training Community Screening Partners to conduct autism screenings. Current Community Screening Partners include the Chickasaw Nation, the Choctaw Nation, Oklahoma State Department of Health Child Guidance and Head Start providers throughout the state. 

These upcoming Early Access trainings are made possible by the support of the Carolyn Watson Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation, which was founded in 1995 by Carolyn Watson, then CEO and chairman of Shamrock bank, N.A., to improve the quality of life in rural Oklahoma communities. Through its two grant programs, the organization promotes education, health, literacy and arts and the humanities in 20 Oklahoma counties. Since its inception, the Carolyn Watson Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation has awarded nearly $900,000 in grants to schools, teachers, and communities in rural Oklahoma. Additionally, the Carolyn Watson Opportunities Scholarship offers awards of up to $10,000 per academic year for high school seniors graduating from 62 rural Oklahoma counties to attend college. For more information, visit

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