Oklahoma Family Center for Autism
13919-B N. May Avenue #106
Oklahoma City OK 73134
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Organization Does Business As (DBA) Name(s)
Organization DBA
AutismOklahoma.org
Mission Statement Investing together to grow, learn, and serve the families of Oklahoma affected by autism.
Contact Information
Contact Name Melinda Lauffenburger
Contact email info@autismoklahoma.org
Address 13919-B N. May Avenue #106
Oklahoma City, OK 73134
Phone (405) 6025212
County Oklahoma County
Alternate Address 2801 NW 154th Street
Edmond OK 73013
Alternate Phone 405 831-5160
How to Give
Donate with Credit Card https://www.autismoklahoma.org/donate
Other ways to donate, support or volunteer
Volunteer
There are many ways to volunteer with Autism Oklahoma.You can help with a parent group in your community or assist with childcare. We have mentorship opportunities with teens or young adults. More information about these volunteer opportunities are on the parent support group pages at our website.
 
Our biggest annual event is the PieceWalk, which is organized by great volunteers serving on PieceWalk committees. The commitment is for 12 months, meets once a month and most position can be done from your home computer. see Piecewalk.org for more details.

 
Our Wish List
  •     MAC Computers
  •     Books and DVDs about autism
  •     Sensory Items
  •     $25 gift cards for awards or volunteer recognition
  •     Downtown Studio space for artists
  •     Monthly meeting space for 40-50 people
  •     Raffle items – gift cards (WalMart, Target, restaurants, stores, Visa check cards etc.)
  •     Office supplies – reams of paper, envelopes, stamps etc.
Financial Summary
 
 
Projected Revenue $564,216.00
Projected Expenses $563,119.00
History and Background
Supported Organization AutismOklahoma.org
Year Founded 2002
IRS Ruling Year 2007
State Registration Expiration Feb 2020
Statements
Mission Investing together to grow, learn, and serve the families of Oklahoma affected by autism.
Background AutismOklahoma.org started in 2002 in Edmond, Oklahoma.  Today, we have 13 Connection Circles throughout Oklahoma, an annual PieceWalk & 5K, summer camps, college, teen and adult groups as well as many more community events and social opportunities. We also have 2 pre-employment clubs for young adults called Bee's Knees and Invisible Layers Productions.  Our websites, e-newsletters, social media, and our mascot Dash provide ways for us to to reach out and connect with each other and with the community.  www.AutismOklahoma.org, www.PieceWalk.org
Impact
Summary of Common Philosophy:
  • Every person with autism is unique and has something to offer our community.
  • By creating interest based connections, individuals with autism are able to reach their potential.
  • We are families helping families and every family has a unique story and journey.
  • We are seizing the opportunities to reach our communities and our state with a positive autism awareness message.
 
Core Values:
  • Every person with autism is unique and has something amazing to offer our community and society.
  • By creating interest based connections, individuals with autism are able to shine and reach their potential.
  • In order to better serve our children and other families, we must become engaged family participants rather than bystanders. Government or education systems cannot and will not "fix" our children or families but we can increase opportunities, joy, and outcomes by helping each other.
  • We are families helping families! AOK will build a structure to support engaged parents and families through their journey. This is our best chance of helping 1 in 50 children who have autism.
  • We will develop and invest in parent leaders who are engaged and participating to support our cause and the programs of AOK.
  • All our groups will provide a safe place to share experiences and challenges with other families who can relate and support each other. "Safe place" means that we are grounded in grace and kindness toward everyone.
  • We will not judge others and we will not criticize approaches that work for families.
  • Creativity is essential to reaching individuals with autism and we are all changed by providing a platform that encourages creativity and expression.
  • We will encourage parent leaders to develop innovative ideas that have a big impact on individuals and families affected by autism. We have grown by seizing opportunities to make something big happen!
  • We are committed to bringing out the best in others and will always have hope.
  • We will seize the opportunities to reach our communities and our state with a positive autism awareness message.
  • We will look for and invest in programs that have a big impact on individuals with autism and their families.
Needs AutismOklahoma.org needs volunteers, including parents and community partners.  Community leaders have a place in planning and executing our annual PieceWalks in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, where approximately 8,000 people participate.
CEO/Executive Director Statement AutismOklahoma.org provides a way for engaged parents to work together to build programs and experiences that benefit families and individuals with autism.  Donations to AutismOklahoma.org directly benefit families living in Oklahoma. We provide the infrastructure and models for parents to get involved and make a difference in Oklahoma. Our goal is to provide programming and opportunities that enhance quality of life for individuals with autism, families, and our community.
Area Served
Area Served
Geographic Area Served
Oklahoma - Statewide
AutismOklahoma has Connection Circles in Blanchard, Canadian Valley, Edmond, Guthrie, Muskogee, Norman, Oklahoma City, Shawnee, Stillwater, Tulsa, Weatherford, Latino community in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City Metro area.   Statewide support and national impact for pre-employment models and films.
Service Categories
Secondary Organizational Category Diseases Disorders & Medical Disciplines/Autism
Tertiary Organizational Category Health Care/Patient & Family Support
Programs
Description
Connection Circles provide problem solving, mentoring, emotional support, educational programming, and family safe events. AutismOklahoma offers parent support groups in 12 Oklahoma geographies under the following names: AutismBlanchard, AutismCanadianValley, AutismEdmond, AutismLatino, AutismMuskogee, AutismNorman AutismOKC, AutismShawnee, AutismStillwater and AutismTulsa. AutismLatino serves the Hispanic community in the Oklahoma City metro area. In addition, we have a Writer's Group for parents who desire a writing experience. Approximately 5-30 families attend each group every month for an estimated impact of 180 families each year per group or 1440 families for all groups. Groups provide childcare for toddlers and school age children with autism and also include regular social groups.
 
Social groups have also been developed to engage teens, young adults and adults in the Connection Circle model. These groups include Heroes, Teen 2 Teen, Avengers of Autism, Tulsa Kids, Connection Point and more. Girls With Voices is a girl's empowerment group that meets year-end to develop friendships, confidence and fun opportunities.
 
The thirteen support groups leaders work together regularly and receive regular mentoring, training and development. The volunteer development program provides support for connection circle leaders as well as social group leaders and includes manuals and annual leadership training retreats.
Strategy
Population Served People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities Families At-Risk Populations
Program Short-term SuccessHelpDescription of short-term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. Helping families and individuals with autism feel less isolated and alone. Help for families to find resources that they need to help their loved one with autism.
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state. Family support and understanding for more inclusive participation in communities, schools, and social events. Families develop more confidence in supporting their family member with autism. Individuals with autism become more confident in developing friendships. Volunteers become trained to facilitate connection circles and lead social group experiences for teens, young adults and adults with autism.
Program Success MonitoringHelpDescription of the tools used to measure or track program impact. Survey data from parents and participants
Examples of Program SuccessHelpSpecific examples of changes in behaviors or testimonies of changes that demonstrate program success. The number of programs developed from our Connection Circle structure has increased from 3 to 24. Parents are getting more involved to assist each other and engage the community for additional programming and support.
Description
AutismOklahoma provides opportunities for individuals with autism to engage with others through their interest area. Research has shown that this is a highly effective way to support participation with others and in the community. The program agenda is adapted each year based on available funding as well as interests of participants. Some recent interest based programs include Lego Camp, SoonerCon, Celebrity Dog, Fun Swim, computer classes, Miss Amazing Pageant, New World Comics, art camps, Camp Noggin and Writer's Group.   
 
For many programs, AutismOklahoma also provides an opportunity for participants to showoff their accomplishments. Some of these showcase experiences include Big Swanky Art Show, public showing of film work, Green Tea Fashion/Talent show, speeches at the State Capitol, and public art displays by Bees Knees. 
 
Strategy
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults Elderly and/or Disabled
Program Short-term SuccessHelpDescription of short-term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program.
Participants are willing to attend events in their interest area
Participants try new things
Participants experience success and have more self-confidence 
Families are proud and show pride for their family members 
Communities better understand and embrace differences 
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state.
Success is measured by helping individuals with autism to discover and recognize their talents
Individuals are encouraged to expand their personal engagement
Individuals are engaged and empowered for personal growth 
Families are more optimistic about their future and the future of their family member with autism
Families have more hope 
Program Success MonitoringHelpDescription of the tools used to measure or track program impact. Surveys for family members, program leaders and individuals participating in the program
Examples of Program SuccessHelpSpecific examples of changes in behaviors or testimonies of changes that demonstrate program success. Families report many successes including a willingness to participate, a new talent recognized and new friendships developed. These seemingly small things can make a huge difference in a families optimism about the future and quality of life for all.
Description

Bee's Knees and Invisible Layers Productions (ILP). Invisible Layers are innovative models, social and pre-employment clubs for young adults who have autism. The club provides for 3 primary needs.

1. The clubs are an avenue for developing social and team skills in an area of interest. This is an important consideration since many young adults with autism isolate if not compelled to participate in life through an interest area.

2.  The clubs provide for "alternative pre-employment" in that the members learn skills to create quality art and videos while building and maintaining a business model with real customers. 

3. The group members participate in developing creative ways to express their views and tell their stories. The club members demonstrate personal transformations in confidence and willingness to participate in life.   

As far as we know, our clubs are one of a kind opportunity and a unique model for personal transformation.  

Strategy
Population Served Adults Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Elderly and/or Disabled
Program Short-term SuccessHelpDescription of short-term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program.
Willingness to participate and try new things
Families are proud of their family member 
Individuals with autism engage with others through their interest
Learn skills to work as a team.  
Share talent and skills with others in the community 
Improved quality of life 
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state.
Individuals with autism could become engaged with others in the community through their area of interest.
Individuals with autism could contribute to the body of work in their interest area.
Quality of life is enhanced.
Program Success MonitoringHelpDescription of the tools used to measure or track program impact.
Parent and individual survey to measure confidence and ability to work together
Willingness to participate  in community activities
Success and pride in developing quality art/film work 
Examples of Program SuccessHelpSpecific examples of changes in behaviors or testimonies of changes that demonstrate program success. Experiences like Bee's Knees and Invisible Layers have produced significant life changes in the participants. Participants have more confidence, capabilities and willingness to try new things. Many of the Invisible Layers participants have learned to drive, have independent social experiences and have obtained employment in the film industry.
Description
AutismOklahoma provides the PieceWalk in both Oklahoma City and in Tulsa. These PieceWalk events are the largest single autism gatherings in our state and draw upwards of 8,000 people annually.  The PieceWalk is an awareness and fundraising platform that features entertainment, resources, and an opportunity to build community acceptance for individuals affected by autism.  
 
AutismOklahoma provides a number of other opportunities for families to experience safe outings as a family. These opportunities serve an estimated 10,000 people annually and are free of charge.  The outings allow families to try new things as a family without worrying about wasting their entertainment budget by leaving after only a few minutes in the event of a meltdown.  Some of the opportunities provided include professional sports events: Dodgers, Oilers, Drillers,Thunder basketball, and Energy Soccer.  In addition, AO provides free swimming events in Mustang, Edmond and Tulsa by renting local water parks for families to attend free.  Mom's Mingles, school supply drives and local parades provide unique and fun experiences for families each year.
 
AutismOklahoma provides education about autism through involvement in various community programs including LEND, LOYAL (Oklahoma Leadership), Freedom Riders, Life.Church, Landrunners events, local running events, Drive for Autism and other community events.
 
All of these programs are designed to engage our community in understanding and accepting people who have autism.
Strategy
Population Served Families Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-term SuccessHelpDescription of short-term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. The result of providing the PieceWalk and other family opportunities, is more confidence and capacity to participate in the community. In addition, our state becomes more accepting of the differences of others and less fearful about autism.  
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state. Our ultimate success occurs when families can more fully participate in their communities.  Individuals with autism need more support than 2 parents can offer.  Programs like the PieceWalk create an environment to promote participation of a group of supporters for each individual with autism and their family.  
Program Success MonitoringHelpDescription of the tools used to measure or track program impact. The ability of persons with autism to engage in the community, have a support system of friends and connections and  We would like to see more people with autism with their own support team participating in safe events every year. 
Examples of Program SuccessHelpSpecific examples of changes in behaviors or testimonies of changes that demonstrate program success. All of our programs have grown significantly.  Last year, we had 300 teams participate in the PieceWalks in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.  Approximately 10,000 people participate in family recreational and empowerment events each year.  
Description
Oklahoma is no stranger to stories with tragic endings when children with autism wander. Several children in our state with autism have wandered off and have been found deceased in a creek after heroic searches. A group of parents and providers approached AutismOklahoma after this incident and started the conversation that created Piece of Mind.
 
AutismOklahoma’s program, Piece of Mind, will grant life-saving safety equipment to families with one or more children on the autism spectrum whose safety is at risk. Through an application process, qualifying families may receive a GPS tracking system with one year of monitoring, a fence or other safety equipment for the home. Families needing equipment can apply online with applications reviewed quarterly.
Strategy
Population Served Elderly and/or Disabled Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults
Program Short-term SuccessHelpDescription of short-term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. Provide hope for families with financial burdens that make it difficult to provide needed home equipment to maintain the safety of their family.
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state.
Safety of individuals on the spectrum
Piece of Mind for families
Ability to maintain families in the home 
Program Success MonitoringHelpDescription of the tools used to measure or track program impact. Survey of families selected to receive equipment for their family. 
Examples of Program SuccessHelpSpecific examples of changes in behaviors or testimonies of changes that demonstrate program success. This past year, Piece of Mind provided a fence for a single mom who had a child with autism who was a wanderer. The fence protected the child from wandering onto a nearby roadway and a nearby body of water.  Since drowning is the leading cause of death for children on the spectrum, the fence provided significant peace of mind and quality of life for this mom.
Comments on Programs
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

AutismOklahoma.org is a grassroots parent’s organization of families affected by autism in Oklahoma. We received our 501c3 in October of 2007. Our mission is investing together to grow, learn and serve the families affected by autism in Oklahoma. Our big dream is that we could improve quality of life, for life for all individuals with autism.  We will do this by engaging families and the community to create opportunities that will make life enjoyable, meaningful and fun.  We believe every person with autism has something valuable to offer and it is our privelidge to help families succeed. 

Our programs include Connection Circles and family outreach, opportunities for individuals with autism to discover and recognize their talents through interests, pre-employment clubs that encourage individuals to expand personal engagement and empower personal growth, safety programs that protect individuals with autism. All of our programs are measured by quality of life indicators for individuals on the spectrum, family success and community acceptance and ability to embrace differences.
 
Will will continue to dream big and create opportunities that will enhance quality of life, for life in Oklahoma for families and individuals affected by autism.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Melinda Lauffenburger
Start Date May 2002
Email melinda@autismoklahoma.org
Experience Melinda Lauffenburger is the founder of AutismOklahoma.org.  Melinda has a Masters of Science degree in business from Oklahoma State University.  She started AutismOklahoma in 2002 in Edmond as a parent support group.  Melinda volunteered as Executive Director until 2012.  Melinda's prior experience includes ownership of Trinity Management Group, sales with Hewlett-Packard, and consultant with Alltel.
Senior Staff
NameTitle
Dee BloseDirector of Program Development
Alicia ClarkDirector, Volunteers
Zac DavisDirector, Media and Invisible Layers
Crystal FrostDirector of Community Engagement
Trina Naff-EavesProgram Director
Stacey WeddingtonDirector of Community Impact
Staff
Number of Full-time Staff 4
Number of Part-time Staff 1
Number of Contract Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 700
Staff Retention Rate 100
Are professional development opportunities provided? Yes
Does CEO/Executive Director have formal evaluations? Yes
Management reports to board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Caucasian 3
Native American/American Indian 1
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 5
Organizational Plans
Fundraising Plan Under Development
Policy against commission-based compensation for fundraising consultant Yes
Communication Plan Under Development
Strategic Plan Yes
Number of Years Strategic Plan Considers 2
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Feb 2015
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policies and Procedures Yes
Collaborations
We have active partnerships with Youth & Family Services of El Reno, Oklahoma Autism Center and Oklahoma Autism Network.
Awards
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Recipient of Double Wolf Dare Week Award and ContributionsEdmond Santa Fe High School2014
Risk Management Provisions
Directors and Officers Policy
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government (federal, state and/or local)? No
Comments on Staff & Management
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments AutismOklahoma worked with a consultant to create a comprehensive Operations Manual in 2015. The manual includes all legally required governance, financial, and safety policies, and standard policies for all "Best Practice" organizations.
Board Chair
Name John Cooper
Company Affiliation Retired
Term July 2019 to June 2020
Email jcooper@trinitymgroup.com
Board of Directors
List Current as of Jan 01, 2020
Board of Directors List
NameAffiliationStatus
Dusty BurchfieldBurchfield Commercial Real EstateVoting
John Cooper PresidentConsumer Credit Counseling of Central OklahomaVoting
Pastor John DavisVoting
Dr. Beth DeGraceOU Health Sciences CenterVoting
Angi Bruss GavinPublic Relations ConsultantVoting
Dr. Tommy IbrahimVoting
Phil InzingaRadio Executive Producer and co-host of The Morning AnimalsVoting
Melinda Lauffenburger DirectorTrinity Management Group LLCVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other Parents of person with autism = 2
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 3
Governance
Board Term Lengths 1 years
Percentage of Board Making Monetary Contributions to the Organization 100 %
Percentage of Board Making In-Kind Contributions to the Organization 80 %
Board Orientation Yes
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Standing Committees
Finance
Management
Comments on Board & Governance
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments AutismOklahoma.org is a growing organization.  This past year, we implemented many of the infrastructure items including governance, program, staff, and volunteer policies and procedures.
Current Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2020-Dec 31, 2020
Current Year Budgeted Total Income $564,216
Current Year Budgeted Total Expenses $563,119
IRS Letter of Determination
Prior Three Years' Financial History
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201820172016
Contributions$568,516$509,667$428,949
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
------
Government Contributions$2,500$2,125$7,500
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified$2,500$2,125$7,500
Individual Contributions------
------
$20,018$12,861$40,706
Investment Income, Net of Losses$1,942$1,789$578
Unrealized Gain/Loss----($7)
Membership Dues------
Special Events$14,315$31,637$20,242
Revenue In-Kind------
Other$12,103--($30)
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201820172016
Program Expense$572,554$532,125$394,608
Administration Expense$25,486$40,056$30,597
Fundraising Expense$10,000----
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.020.981.17
Program Expense/Total Expenses94%93%93%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue2%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$345,615$346,032$355,787
Current Assets$339,115$335,032$353,767
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$16,491$28,262$23,915
Total Net Assets$329,124$317,770$331,872
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities20.5611.8514.79
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Funding Sources
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201820172016
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions $568,516Contributions $509,667Contributions $428,949
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountEarned Revenue $20,018Special Events $31,637Earned Revenue $40,706
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountSpecial Events $14,315Earned Revenue $12,861Special Events $20,242
Endowment? No
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line? Yes
Reserve Fund? Yes
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments on Financials
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments AutismOklahoma.org identified three events as fundraisers. Our annual Drive for Autism OKC/Tulsa, PieceWalk OKC/Tulsa and Think Differently event. These are the fundraisers offered by AutismOklahoma.
Foundation Staff Comments
All prior year financial information is from IRS Form 990s.
 
Contributions may include foundations and corporations when the breakout was not available.
 
Note 1: In fiscal year 2018, $12,103 was added to "Other" revenue for a Prior Period Adjustment. 

The financial information presented is obtained from the following sources: IRS Form 990, independent audit reports, financial statements – board approved when available, and supplemental information from the organization. We do not warrant or guarantee the timeliness, errors or inaccuracies. With respect to information regarding financial performance, nothing on this website should be interpreted as a statement or interpretation by OCCF staff.

Organizations with a GiveSmartOKC profile are responsible for updating information annually within 45 days following the end of their fiscal year.
Address 13919-B N. May Avenue #106
Oklahoma City, OK 73134
Primary Phone 405 6025212
Contact Email info@autismoklahoma.org
CEO/Executive Director Melinda Lauffenburger
Board Chair John Cooper
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired