The HANDS in Autism® Interdisciplinary Training and Resource Center was founded in 2004 to extend the outreach and training offered by the Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley Hospital at IU Health and the IU School of Medicine.
With incredible passion and efforts of HANDS staff and foundational support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and subsequently from such sponsors as the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE), IU Health, and various charitable and philanthropic organizations and individuals, HANDS has been able to emerge as a state-wide program and resource center in its own right.
Training: The Center provides innovative, research-based, and practical training and technical support to school staff, medical and service providers, primary caregivers, and individuals on the autism spectrum within Indiana and globally based on the HANDS training model. This model is founded on the belief that training should focus on: individual strengths; comprehensive training; data driven decision making; blended evidence-based intervention strategies; and hands-on practice, coaching and mentoring with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder as well as a range of other individuals with diverse strengths and challenges in their natural settings. HANDS offers complementary resources and negotiates a range of service contracts to suit consumer needs.
Service: The Center provides customizable live and online trainings, interactive workshops, onsite coaching and consultations, and intensive hands-on trainings for school personnel, health care providers, families, therapists and other caregivers. Much training occurs within or is presented from the perspective of comprehensive work within natural settings, lending emphasis to practical use with increased feasibility, support of effective implementation or transfer of learning, and improved building of local capacity. The HANDS in Autism® team is available for independent behavioral and educational evaluations, setting up data systems, and developing systems of visual and physical structure in home and service settings to set up for optimal success of individuals with special needs. Additionally, self-paced tutorials, webcasts, and podcasts, as well as a number of downloadable materials (from informational handouts to templates to manuals) are available online, with several online tools offered free of charge.
Community: The HANDS in Autism® Center also focuses on identifying and meeting specific community needs as well as fostering: collaboration and networking across medical, school, family, and community settings; reciprocal sharing of information within and across communities; increased dissemination and awareness of resources and information; and increased training opportunities within, relevant to, and informed by the specific community. Since 2010 and in an effort to expand and enrich awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Indiana as well as to expand on community collaborations, HANDS in Autism® initiated and continues to facilitate Local Community Cadres (LCCs). These cadres bring together interested individuals representing school, medical and family/community systems and perspectives to take action in meeting local community needs of individuals with autism spectrum or related disorders, families, and the entire community.