The 2023 Oklahoma Autism Conference, hosted by the Oklahoma Autism Network in October, was a great success. The event was held in-person for the first time since 2019.
Published: Wednesday, October 25, 2023
The Oklahoma Autism Conference welcomed 290 attendees, including 37 family members of an individual with autism or self-advocates. The 2023 conference was also the first time that Spanish-speaking participants were able to access real-time English to Spanish translation at the event, making it even more impactful for more individuals in Oklahoma. There were 11 sponsors of the event and 18 exhibitors who provided valuable resources and information for all participants, and 34 experts from Oklahoma presented during the 19 breakout sessions. The conference featured Mickey Rowe, an autistic Broadway actor, and David Flood, the parent of autistic young adult son, as the general session speakers.
Conference evaluations received so far have been positive. Some of the comments from participants include:
- The positive aspects of the conference were the opportunity for professionals and parents to hear the positive side of autism, hearing autism referred to as neurodivergent instead of a disease, and meeting professionals who are working to help solve problems.
- As a parent and educator, I really appreciate the resources and information brought together at this conference. It was amazing. Thank you so much!
- I learned a lot from this conference, and it was in a good location for me. I am excited for the next one.
- David Flood was amazing and made the conference for me. Even though I went as an educator, I gained more as the parent of a special needs child (not autistic) and most of that was because of David Flood's keynotes and the breakout session with him. I enjoyed the entire conference, but nothing was more impactful for me than the sessions with David Flood.
- The networking opportunities with other professionals advocating for a similar cause were great.
- The conference helped me to understand the autism spectrum a lot better.
We are grateful for the sponsors, exhibitors, presenters, and volunteers who helped make this conference an opportunity for learning, sharing, planning, and growing for so many Oklahomans. If you are interested in learning more about supporting or receiving support from the Oklahoma Autism Network, visit www.okautism.org.