Oklahoma Family Center for Autism


aka   |   Edmond, OK   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Oklahoma Family Center for Autism

EIN: 26-0807671


Investing together to grow, learn, and serve the families of Oklahoma affected by autism. Through a value-centered approach, we create opportunities for families, children, teens and adults to have more happiness, joy and a higher quality of life, for life.

Ruling year info


Principal Officer

Melinda Lauffenburger

Main address

PO Box 7747

Edmond, OK 73083 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info

Arts and culture


Human services

Population served info





People with disabilities

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (P01)

Autism (G84)

Patient Services - Entertainment, Recreation (E86)

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The impacts of autism run deep and they trickle down through the entire family. The CDC estimates that one in 44 children are diagnosed with autism, and 40% are non-speaking. Nearly two-thirds of children with autism between the ages of 6 and 15 have been bullied. Nearly 28 percent of 8-year-olds with autism have self-injurious behaviors. Head banging, arm biting and skin scratching are among the most common. Families are often excluded because of behavioral challenges and lack of understanding of those behaviors by others. Nearly 50% of 25-year-olds with autism have never held a paying job, despite having the skill sets and expertise to excel in the workplace. 50-75% of the 5.6 million autistic adults in the U.S. are unemployed or underemployed. Suicide is a leading cause of premature death for autistic individuals. Autistic people are six times more likely to attempt death by suicide – and up to seven times more likely to die by suicide – compared to those who are not autistic.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

How We Support Individuals

We help people with autism connect through their passions and reach potentials. We provide connection opportunities to help discover and recognize talents. We also have programs to expand friendships through meet-ups, social activities and personal growth programs.

We believe in the power of INTERESTS!

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

We create connections for families
Connections promote resource sharing, problem solving and produce outcomes of hope and optimism about the future. Families can find each other through community-based FaceBook groups, or by attending Canadian Valley or Tulsa in-person groups.

Families can also try new things through safe and supportive free family events.

Since safety is a big issue for many families, our life-saving safety programs help families protect their loved ones for peace of mind.

Population(s) Served

We help Oklahoma communities learn to Think Differently by bringing them together to join our mission for quality of life for life.

We align with restaurants, movie theaters, recreational event centers, church partners, and more, who enable participants to access and enjoy community services while being who they are. The annual PieceWalk is Oklahoma’s largest annual autism outreach event. We help and support businesses, civic partners, and potential employers to understand autism, embrace differences, and become part of the solution.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

This is a best estimate of unduplicated participation, but 85-90% of this number is based on accurate counts. Some large events to not require registration so exact numbers are difficult to come by.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Meaningful connections with others and quality of life are the goals for all individuals with autism, and our goal is to create opportunities for them.

Through a holistic approach, we create opportunities for families, children, teens and adults to have more happiness, joy and a higher quality of life, for life.

AutismOklahoma was founded by parents in Oklahoma to improve quality of life and create opportunities for our loved ones with autism. We strive to encourage parents, providers and the community to think about how they might also create a unique opportunity for someone with autism.

We measure our program effectiveness based on outcome measures for individuals, families and the community.  Individuals:
Help individuals to discover and recognize their talents
Individuals will be encouraged to expand their personal engagement path
Individuals will be engaged and empowered for personal growth 
Families are proud, show pride for their family members
Families are optimistic about their future
Families show confidence in problem solving
Families show peace of mind
Families try new things
Families have hope 
Help communities understand, embrace differences, and become part of the solution

Since 2002, has provided support, education, opportunity, outreach, inspiration, and more to thousands upon thousands of autistic children, teens, adults and their families. We remain dedicated to providing our programs free or nearly free as we have for 20 years.

Our small staff of just four all have autistic children. We live it and we know what works to build success upon success. We have a proved model that Interest + Opportunity = Magic. We create and design programs based on the often narrow interests of our participants, and that is is where the magic happens.

Our programs and events provide a platform for connections in safe and nonthreatening ways. We have families who drive over 100 miles so their child can participate. Our participants are becoming leaders, many now independently joining and connecting with others with a shared interest.

We have been with many families for 20 years and have watched as their child eats a new food, gets their driver's license, gets married, gets a job, raises their hand, makes it through the entire school day, hugs a friend. The unique nuances of autism make it hard to assign specific milestones of progress, and we believe strongly in the uniqueness of each individual and what they have to offer the world We help them catch their dreams and open doors to reveal their talents.

We believe that our participants can best describe our progress and our impact on their lives:

"Honestly, I'm surprised our kids actually asked me about the Santa hats! They normally don't want to wear anything like that. This makes my heart happy when they feel free to be themselves and not feel they have to hide their quirks, stimming, and other things considered "abnormal behaviors" by other "normal" people. I can't express how grateful we are for this group!!"

"The AutismOklahoma programs allow my son to meet new friends, true friends not just people who tolerate him and his interests. Events offer him a safe place to be himself and not worry about what other people think of his challenges. I love these events because I don't have to worry about judgements being made about my parenting, everyone here is pretty much in the same boat."

"The mere opportunity and ability for persons on the spectrum to freely express emotions through mediums that enhance social skills, talents, confidence, and enjoyability in an environment such as AutismOklahoma and their programs are undeniably important. The communication barrier that many people fear are torn down by these programs. Our family is blessed to participate."

" I found other parents going through the same struggles and celebrations that I was. I gained knowledge, understanding, and most of all acceptance. Simply knowing that I wasn't alone in our journey and that my issues had been experienced by so many others gave me the strength to pull myself up by the bootstraps and become a better mom for my daughter. Not only has AutismOklahoma given me confidence in myself, it has given my daughter a circle of friends who accept her just as she is. I truly can't thank everyone involved enough for the incredible impact you've had on our lives!"


Oklahoma Family Center for Autism
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 74.28 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 7.5 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 13% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Oklahoma Family Center for Autism

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Oklahoma Family Center for Autism

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Oklahoma Family Center for Autism

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Oklahoma Family Center for Autism’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $11,354 -$197,724 $12,714 $21,616 $22,807
As % of expenses 1.9% -34.0% 3.3% 5.4% 5.5%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $11,354 -$197,724 $12,714 $18,616 $22,807
As % of expenses 1.9% -34.0% 3.3% 4.6% 5.5%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $607,291 $384,160 $397,310 $418,999 $434,801
Total revenue, % change over prior year 8.8% -36.7% 3.4% 5.5% 3.8%
Program services revenue 3.3% 6.8% 0.5% 2.6% 1.8%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.3% 0.3% 0.9% 0.0% 0.1%
Government grants 0.4% 0.7% 22.7% 15.4% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 96.0% 92.2% 75.9% 82.0% 98.2%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $608,040 $582,245 $384,596 $397,401 $413,222
Total expenses, % change over prior year 6.3% -4.2% -33.9% 3.3% 4.0%
Personnel 56.7% 56.8% 72.2% 68.7% 63.2%
Professional fees 24.8% 24.9% 12.2% 26.6% 17.8%
Occupancy 6.1% 7.8% 3.8% 2.9% 3.5%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 12.5% 10.5% 11.8% 1.8% 15.4%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $608,040 $582,245 $384,596 $400,401 $413,222
One month of savings $50,670 $48,520 $32,050 $33,117 $34,435
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $658,710 $630,765 $416,646 $433,518 $447,657

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 6.7 2.9 5.7 7.1 7.7
Months of cash and investments 6.7 2.9 5.7 7.1 7.7
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 6.5 2.7 4.5 4.9 5.4
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $339,115 $141,124 $182,204 $233,858 $265,398
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $12,315 $12,315 $12,315 $15,315 $15,315
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 4.8% 6.9% 22.0% 30.7% 30.4%
Unrestricted net assets $329,124 $131,400 $144,114 $162,730 $185,537
Temporarily restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total net assets $329,124 $131,400 $144,114 $162,730 $185,537

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Principal Officer

Melinda Lauffenburger

Melinda Lauffenburger is the founder of  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.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Oklahoma Family Center for Autism

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Oklahoma Family Center for Autism

Board of directors
as of 03/09/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Mike Panas

Feed the Children

Term: 2022 - 2023

Melinda Lauffenburger


John Cooper

Community Volunteer

Dr. Beth DeGrace

Crossings Community Church

Dusty Burchfield

Burchfield Commercial Real Estate

John Davis


Dale Spoonemore

From Seed To Spoon

Max Harned


Mike Panas

Feed the Children

Michelle Cross


Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/13/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data