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Heading into the Third Decade of Services for Individuals with Autism: Michele DeBerry Leading the Way for Autism Support in the State

Published: Tuesday, June 6, 2023

The Oklahoma Autism Network has a long history of helping families, individuals, and providers, and they are excited about kicking off the 20th anniversary with a wide range of resources, training, and services for Oklahoman’s. Michele DeBerry joined the Network as Director and a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences in June of 2022 and is continuing to build on the great work of her predecessors. To ensure comprehensive expertise within the coalition, Amber Davis, DS.c., M.S.O.T., O.T.R./L, has been hired as Autism Specialist for the Network and as a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences. With her extensive background in the field, Davis will play a vital role in providing guidance, expertise, and strategic direction to the coalition's efforts.

Michele is continuing to grow the Network’s ongoing initiatives encompassing a wide range of activities, including the development and implementation of the Train-the-Trainer Childcare Provider Professional Development Series for Oklahoma DHS Childcare Providers. This program equips childcare providers with the necessary skills and knowledge to support children with autism effectively. One of the notable achievements of the Oklahoma Autism Network was the successful hosting of the 2022 Oklahoma Statewide Autism Conference. The conference served as a platform for sharing knowledge, experiences, and best practices in the field of autism. Michele participates in several advisory committees, including the Oklahoma Family Network, IPSE Alliance Advisory Committee, OKDHS-DDS Liberty Advisory Committee, and the Oklahoma State Department of Education Special Education Services Policy and Procedure Revision Committee, among others.

Additionally, Michele has presented at various conferences, including the Wellspring Family Retreats, where she delivered a presentation titled "School and Family Communication: Building a Great Team," as well as sharing valuable insights at conferences such as the Oklahoma Association of Neonatal and Pediatric Therapists Conference, Oklahoma Transition Institute, Joining Forces 2023 Conference, and the OK Dept of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services - Children's Behavioral Health Conference. The Network’s commitment to professional development and training is evident through the workshops and programs it has provided to organizations such as the Oklahoma State Department of Education, Trinity Charter Schools, Colbert Public Schools, Minco Public Schools, and Idabel Public Schools, among others. These initiatives aim to equip educators, caregivers, and service providers with the tools and knowledge necessary to support individuals with autism effectively. Demonstrating a strong presence within the community, the Oklahoma Autism Network actively participated in various events, including the Bethany, City Council Proclamation for Autism Awareness Month, the Oklahoma Conference of Exceptional Children Conference, and resource fairs organized by Yukon Public Schools, Mustang Public Schools, Putnam City Public Schools, Mid-West City Public Schools, and Cleveland County. They also participated in the Challenge Air Event in Tulsa and provided Autism Awareness Training at Tulsa University's Pathfinders program.

To enhance accessibility and engagement, the Network launched a revamped website,, providing a wealth of resources, information, and updates for individuals, families, and professionals involved in the autism community. Furthermore, with the support of the public, the Network initiated a logo and publication materials update to commemorate the 20th year of the Oklahoma Autism Network.

As the Oklahoma Autism Network continues to make strides in promoting autism support, their dedication to creating a more inclusive society for individuals with autism and their families remains unwavering. Through their ongoing efforts, they are raising awareness, providing essential resources, and fostering an environment that embraces the unique abilities and contributions of individuals on the autism spectrum.

For more information about the Oklahoma Autism Network and its initiatives, please visit