Support across the lifespan.
Family support services and other means of supporting families across the lifespan should be available to all Oklahoma families to strengthen their capacities to support family members with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD) in achieving equal opportunity, independent living, full participation, and economic self-sufficiency. We represent and serve all ages and more than 100 different diagnoses including autism, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and various other developmental disabilities.
The Arc of Oklahoma believes counseling, support groups, respite, training, cash assistance and information and referral must be made widely available to family caregivers, especially those who are aging, and who provide supports in the community to help avoid costly and unwanted institutional placements of Oklahomans with IDD.
Family caregivers include, but are not limited to, parents (including those with IDD themselves), adoptive parents, foster parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents, grandchildren, and individuals who are in spousal-equivalent relationships.
Our bilingual family support program is a free resource for families supporting Oklahomans with IDD of all ages across the state.
BILINGUAL RESOURCE NAVIGATION AND REFERRALS
Understanding the resources available for people with disabilities can feel overwhelming. Our bilingual staff can help families explore options and connect them to resources that align with their unique needs. We can also help in applying for critical support programs such as the respite voucher system, Medicaid, Sooner Start, TEFRA, the Family Support Assistance Program and the DDS Waiting List for waiver services. We can also provide referrals for specialty services and supports including medical, counseling, speech and hearing, vision and nutrition. For more information, contact Hannah at HChaboya@TheArcOK.org.
SPECIAL EDUCATION ADVOCACY
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) lays out a process that schools must follow to identify which children with disabilities require services and which supports and services a child requires. We can help families learn more about the special education process and the rights that students and their families have in that process.
Our expert staff will assist families and advocates in navigating the special education system, including understanding IDEA and early intervention services, IEPs and Section 504. For more information, contact Sherilyn at SWalton@TheArcOK.org.
- Mom’s & Dad’s: For parents of children with IDD focusing on nurturing and supporting families, encouraging positive strategies in dealing with challenges, and sharing in the joy of raising children. Meets in person or via Zoom last Thursday of the month 7 to 9 pm. No meeting in November. December meeting is the second Thursday. Contact Sherilyn at SWalton@TheArcOK.org.
- ¡Nos Apoyamos! (We Support Each Other!) For Spanish-speaking parents of children with IDD to gather in a relaxed, casual setting with opportunities to share and learn from each other and hear from guest speakers.
- Teen Connection: Social group for middle and high school students (6th through 12th grade) with high-functioning autism. Students play board and video games where they can practice positive social skills. Meets in person last Wednesday of the month 4:30 to 6:00 pm. No meeting in December. Contact Sherilyn at SWalton@TheArcOK.org.
- Kids Connection: Social group for students in kindergarten through 5th grade with high-functioning autism. Meets in person second Wednesday of the month, 4:30 to 5:30 pm. Contact Sherilyn at SWalton@TheArcOK.org.