Reporting as an autistic person


For people of all ages with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), it can be difficult to cope with busy surroundings, especially in public areas. Parking can get stressful, noisy crowds can get overwhelming and the lack of maps and schedules can become frustrating. However, there are solutions to these problems, and there are places in OKC where ASD people can feel relaxed, safe and can overcome obstacles. Many attractions have even added special programming for people like me with ASD. From personal experience, here are a few places that are suitable for those with ASD. 


Farmer’s Market at Scissortail Park 

The outdoor Farmer’s Market at Scissortail Park is a great place for autistic people to try new foods and experiences! There’s an information tent with a map of the booths and a schedule. As you walk through the market, you’ll see booths lined up with different products -- cookies, pretzels, popcorn, freeze-dried candy. Most booths offer free samples! The morning I visited the farmers market, there was a guitarist named Tone from Amarillo. He played calming jazz music. In another area of the market was a fiddler, Julia, from Oklahoma City who played Celtic music. Music makes it more fun! For those sensitive to crowded areas, there are more open areas to sit or walk by the Love’s Travel Stop Stage. You’ll want to avoid parking frustrations, so free parking during market weekends is available around the perimeter of the Park and in the special event parking lot on the northwest corner of Oklahoma City Boulevard and Thunder Drive across from Paycom Center. Overall, the Farmers Market at Scissortail Park is a blast! 


National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is a great place to learn about Western and Native American culture. The museum has art exhibits to look at and exhibits to interact with. They also have various games and puzzles to solve at the museum, which makes it even more fun. It wasn’t very crowded when I visited, which gives a level of peace for someone who has ASD. There is a large parking lot at The Cowboy, so no need to worry about parking! 


Factory Obscura: Mix-Tape 

With immersive art inspired by music, Factory Obscura can introduce those with ASD to a new experience. Immersive art means you are encouraged to touch the exhibits, which is an added bonus. There are places to sit down throughout the experience, and there are also many nooks, crannies, stairs and slides to explore as well. There is calming interactive artwork, which can relax anyone, especially those with ASD. It feels like you are in a video game, and there’s even an arcade game inside that is fun for the whole family! They offer glasses to enhance the experience, although you don’t have to wear them, especially if they cause confusion. Parking is located to the east of Factory Obscura, although it can be tricky to find when traveling east on N.W. 9th Street.  


OKC Museum of Art 

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art has a calm, quiet and relaxed atmosphere, making it a perfect destination for those with ASD. Like the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, those with ASD can get a unique perspective of color, art and detail. Discovery packs are available to help children with ASD explore art on a deeper level. In each pack, there are coloring pages and a scavenger hunt for family fun. Sensory booster packs bags are also available upon request and free of charge. Booster Pack options include a wiggle seat, fun and twisty brain noodles, noise cancelling headphones and social narratives designed to introduce visitors to the Museum. The first exhibit I checked out was the permanent Dale Chihuly glass art; it was inspiring. There are brightly colored glass shapes of many different shapes and colors. I was taking it all in and could only say, “Wow!” It was unique, surprising, beautiful and just a lot to understand. Parents should watch kids carefully at the OKC MOA because you can get very close to the exhibits. 


There are plenty of fun things to do in OKC that can entertain and teach those with ASD. From trying new foods to experiencing art, history and calming music. OKC has plenty to offer for anyone on the autism spectrum! 


Learn more about how Oklahoma City is accessible for all.