Autism Center of Tulsa

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Autism Friendly Locations

Families affected by autism face many challenges, but one of the most debilitating is the process of taking their loved one out in public. A simple trip to the grocery store, a nearby restaurant, movie theater, or clothing store is never simple for families with autism. Individuals with autism have potential difficulties with communication, social interactions, behavior, changes in routine, and overwhelmed sensory systems. These challenges can result in crying, hand-flapping, pacing, running, or other means of coping. Since autism is an "invisible" disability, you usually cannot tell that someone is affected by autism. These behaviors are often thought of as results of "bad parenting skills" or that the child is just "spoiled." This discourages families from going out in public and creates isolation. 

The good news is that individuals with autism can learn more appropriate behaviors if you use community outings as teachable moments. This effort requires the patience of both family members and the business staff you encounter. Autism Friendly Locations help to create an environment that fosters these teachable moments and allows families to feel welcome. Our goal is to help families resume activities that improve their quality of life, preserve family structure, and create independence for the individual with autism. Community partners and businesses can become an AFL and show that every customer counts.

Become an Autism Friendly Location (AFL)

To join our growing list of Autism Friendly Locations is fast and easy. Simply purchase a Business Toolkit from our AFL store and you'll be added to our National Directory right away. Soon you'll receive our AFL toolkit in the mail with all the informational and promotional material you'll need to make your business a successful Autism Friendly Location. 

Actor Joe Mantegna, father to a child with autism, gives the introduction to our video explaining our Autism Friendly Locations/I'M A-OK initiative. To view the video, CLICK HERE.

For more information on becoming an AFL, CLICK HERE

Request a Business to Become an AFL

Want your favorite business to show their support for our autism community? Let them know about our program! 

CLICK HERE to share this link on how to become an AFL.  

Find an AFL Near You

   

We have partnered with Autism Village to make it easier for you to find any Autism Friendly Location around the country using their handy app. This easy-to-use app allows you to find, rate, and review autism friendly places. For more information about Autism Village, visit their website.

To download the app, CLICK HERE.