School/Community Consultation Elective for Medical Students, Residents, and Fellows

The HANDS in Autism® (“HANDS”) School & Community Consultation Medical Elective has been designed to provide learners in medical education with an opportunity to shadow, engage and learn about school experience and community living particularly as it relates to individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and a range of other special needs. There are multiple options available to complete this experience: Hybrid (i.e., live and online) and Online Only (see pp. 2 and 3 for more information).

You are responsible for informing and coordinating with your medical school contact and/or advisor to solidify the options, dates and times you will be accessible and wish to select for your elective. Your supervisors for this experience will be Drs. Naomi Swiezy and Tiffany Neal. You will also have benefit of working with a number of other experienced HANDS staff during the elective, depending upon the options chosen.  Regardless of the particular experience and options chosen, regular opportunities for engagement and/or debrief with Dr. Swiezy and/or Neal will be arranged for mutually agreeable times.

To begin the process, complete the application below. To ensure the best experience, contact Dr. Swiezy at least one month prior to the desired start date to provide time to collaboratively design a workable plan and timeline for achieving desired goals. Some experiences are not continually available, so plan ahead to ensure your elective experience is tailored for you!

Elective Option: Hybrid

REMEMBER: You will need to schedule at least two check-in sessions with Dr. Swiezy and/or Neal throughout your elective. Additionally, you will be expected to complete reflections on some of your experiences throughout your elective and a final reflection at the end of the entirety of your elective.

PART 1: Completed by All

  1. Complete FOUR required online training and relevant activities related to ASD and evidence-based practices (modules 1-4 on p.3;
    total approx. 7 hours)
  2. Observe/shadow at least ONE on-site session (or approx. 4 hours) in one of the following:
    1. HANDS in Autism® Center classroom during an intensive hands-on training week while students are present
    1. HANDS in Autism® Center individual or group sessions utilizing the classroom and/or functional skills areas and related to school and community related interventions
    1. HANDSmade™ supported employment individual and/or group work session related to skills training related to adaptive skills and employability
  3. Observe/shadow on location at a participating HANDS collaborative/demonstration program within a community  (i.e., school or other) visit involving some combination of observation, rounding, data collection, and/or consultation and provision of recommendations (some travel may be necessary to and from the participating site)
  4. At least TWO of the optional online training and corresponding activities (based on your professional interest; total approx. 3 hours)
  5. At least TWO of the following (based on online and/or live accessibility of the event):
    1. Attend workshops/trainings conducted for families and/or educators and with content relevant to work in or partnering with schools (e.g., Next Steps™ parent and community workshop, Make It Take It or Curriculum Day hands on workshop) OR a community Learn-Ask-Share Q&A session
    2. Participate in a customizable HANDS in Autism® Healthcare Huddle designed to enable an opportunity for touring the HANDS in Autism® Center-based training facility, making of materials to institute strategies in hospital/clinic, OR Q&A regarding such topics as special education, behavior, parent involvement, and as well as ASD and other social, communication and behavioral disorders
    3. Participate in a quarterly meeting of the Indiana Interagency Autism Coordinating Council (IIACC) composed of an interdisciplinary mix of statewide stakeholder groups with purpose to address the gaps in autism services statewide
  6. Join one of the eight HANDS Local Community Cadres (LCCs) across the state to engage in at least one regional activity and/or event designed to address local needs and gaps in services within that region

Other Options For Involvement (Hybrid & Online)

  • Complete other online trainings offered through HANDS in Autism® and relevant to your field (see website or contact Dr. Swiezy for more information)
  • Participate in current research/writing projects (e.g., informational handouts, papers, posters, eLearning materials) conducted at HANDS in Autism® OR propose your own project that aligns with HANDS efforts and/or needs as well as your own personal interests and/or skills
  • Lead a webinar on topic(s) of expertise or specialty scheduled as a HANDS special event and promoted within the HANDS network
  • Develop a handout on topic(s) of expertise or specialty to support any of the ongoing current projects facilitated by HANDS in Autism®
  • Suggest/brainstorm/participate in student and professional engagement opportunities to promote training or resources (online or live)
  • Negotiate an activity with Dr. Swiezy to ensure the alignment with the HANDS in Autism® mission and vision

Elective Option: Online

The online elective option is recommended for those more remote to the HANDS in Autism® Center and related activities and/or with schedules that will not accommodate the hybrid option.  Given that many Center activities are increasingly provided with an online alternative, participants can still expect to get a comprehensive and engaging experience.

REMEMBER: You will need to schedule at least two check-in sessions with Dr. Swiezy and/or Neal throughout your elective. Additionally, you will be expected to complete reflections on some of your experiences throughout your elective and a final reflection at the end of the entirety of your elective.

PART 1: Completed by All

  1. Complete SEVEN online training and relevant activities related to ASD and evidence based practices (modules 1-7 below; total approx. 12 hours)
  2. Attend TWO workshop/training conducted for families and/or educators and with content relevant to work in or partnering with schools (e.g., Next Steps™ parent and community workshop, Make It Take It or Curriculum Day hands on workshops) OR a community Learn-Ask-Share Q&A session

PART 2: Choose Your Path

  1. At least THREE of the following (based on ONLINE availability):
    • Participate in a customizable HANDS in Autism® Healthcare Huddle designed for Q&A related to topics such as special education, behavior, parent involvement and engagement, application of strategies in the hospital/clinic, as well as ASD and other social, communication and behavioral disorders
    • Participate online in a quarterly meeting of the Indiana Interagency Autism Coordinating Council (IIACC) composed of an interdisciplinary mix of statewide stakeholder groups with purpose to address the gaps in autism services statewide
    • Join one of the eight HANDS Local Community Cadres (LCCs) across the state to engage in at least one online regional activity and/or event designed to address local needs and gaps in services within that region
    • Attend an additional workshop/training conducted for families and/or educators and with content relevant to work in or partnering with schools (e.g., Next Steps™ parent and community workshop, Make It Take It or Curriculum Day hands on workshops) OR community Learn-Ask-Share Q&A session
    • Negotiate an activity with Dr. Swiezy to ensure the alignment with the HANDS in Autism® mission and vision

Online Modules:

  1. What is Autism
  2. Evidence-based Practices
  3. Bridging the Gap
  4. What May Skew Assessment
  5. Setting up for Success: Implementing Physical and Visual Structure
  6. Visual Schedules: From Designing to Implementation
  7. Prompting for Success: Any Skill Level, Any Setting
  8. Team Collaboration: Practical Strategies
  9. Implicit Biases

Additional modules may be made available

The supervising staff for the School/Community Consultation Elective is Dr. Naomi Swiezy and Dr. Tiffany Neal. You may follow other HANDS in Autism® staff through various components of the program but will have opportunity to debrief with Dr. Swiezy and/or Dr. Neal after these experiences by arrangement of mutually effective times for meeting.

To ensure the best experience, we request that contact is made with Dr. Swiezy at least one month prior to the proposed start date of the experience to provide time to collaboratively design a workable plan for completion dependent upon the proposed goals outlined. Many experiences are not available every week so planning ahead is essential.

You are responsible for informing/coordinating with your medical school contact and/or advisor via phone call or email to work through information on options, dates and times accessible and selected for your elective.