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SAY CHEESE: Oklahoma Autism Center’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese event helps spread awareness in the community

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The Oklahoma Autism Center will be hosting a Grilled Cheese Fundraiser and 10th Anniversary Celebration on Thursday, November 30th.
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OKLAHOMA CITY—As the incidences of Autism Spectrum Disorder continue to rise, there’s been an increased need for organizations like the Oklahoma Autism Center (OAC) to help provide children and parents with the latest in up-to-date information, treatment and training for professionals. It’s something that, according to Liz Moore, program coordinator for Early Access, OAC has been specially designed to do, improving the quality of life for children as well as their families.

“Our goal is to do that by building capacity for existing public school programs,” Moore said. “We have three different projects under the OAC: the MESA Project, which allows us to go out and help school districts that are struggling with students that have challenging behavior or autism. Another one of our projects is Early Access, a state-wide autism outreach and awareness campaign where the goal is to go out into communities and help get children identified as being at-risk for autism or developmental delays as soon as possible. Our last project, which is in our tenth year, is Early Foundation, a school and model site for the youngest kids who are at-risk for having autism and we do this in collaboration with SoonerStart.”

Even though people are becoming more and more familiar with autism—1 percent of the population is identified with having autism—Moore believes that awareness is the key to identifying and treating it as soon as possible. One of the ways OAC creates awareness is through their annual Gourmet Grilled Cheese fundraising event.

“In addition to promoting awareness about autism, it’s also to celebrate the fact that we’ve been here for ten years and to invite back past families and past providers,” Moore said. “We also open it up to the community so that families can come get access to family-friendly events like face-painting, Disney characters, balloon art and really just be an event where they can feel comfortable and accepted. You don’t have to worry if your child needs additional support, it’s not a big deal, we can provide that here.”

The OAC Gourmet Grilled Cheese event will be held at Early Foundations, 3901 N.W. 63rd on Thursday, November 30th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for lunch and then again from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for dinner and family activities. For a $10 donation, patrons will receive a sandwich, chips, cookie and a drink. T-shirts will also be available for sale.

“This agency, this organization, is really trying to help support families, help support children and help support providers who work with this population who is affected by autism,” Moore added. “When you come out and support this event, you’re not just supporting OAC, you’re supporting toddlers who are identified with autism, you’re supporting professionals who work with children with autism and you’re supporting families who have autism affect their life each and every day.”

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Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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