HANDS as CTSI Service Core

HANDS in Autism® is a Designated Service Core of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) that brings together the state’s brightest minds to solve Indiana’s most pressing health challenges through research. CTSI is a statewide partnership among Indiana University, Purdue University, the University of Notre Dame and numerous life sciences businesses, government entities and community organizations.

The Indiana CTSI Research Service Cores and Resources are your aid to locate instrumentation and services suited to your research.

HANDS in Autism offers:
Data, Information, and Resource Sharing
Recruitment and engagement in the community
Outreach and training resources
Facilitation of systems collaboration and change
Translation of evidence-based practices with fidelity
Quantitative and qualitative assessment protocols
Behavioral and educational consultations
Behavioral and educational interventions

Click on the tabs below to explore research, service, and consultation opportunities offered through HANDS in Autism as a Service Core


Ensuring the security and integrity of research data is of the utmost importance to maintain participant confidentiality and data quality. Some general policies regarding confidentiality of research data are as follows:
  • All data must be kept confidential. No data or information regarding subject participation will be shared or accessible with anyone who is not listed as a co-investigator on the IRB-approved protocol or involved in activities related to CTSI Core services.
  • All data should be de-identified. Subject names or other identifying information should not be included on data forms.
  • The study protocol will be followed as written, without exception. Deviations will be reported to the IRB and/or the department or organization for which HANDS Core services are being accessed through at the time of deviation.
  • If collecting data off-site, data will remain with study staff at all times. Data should be transported in a locked case and not left in cars or unattended in public areas.
  • To ensure security of data, all data will be stored in locked cabinets. No disposal of data containing PHI or other identifying information will be permitted.
  • The use of the computer’s lock function under the Start button will be utilized by all HANDS Core personnel when leaving work areas to ensure that unauthorized individuals do not have access to data and passwords will not be shared among HANDS Core personnel.
As a CTSI core, we are required to provide the name and department of investigators making use of the core and a list of publications resulting from core use. This information will be provided confidentially through biannual reporting.

Partial or Waived Payments

The HANDS core expects payment for services rendered. An IU account number or a purchase order number (PO#) should be provided at the beginning of the service. A full payment is expected if services are delivered regardless of whether or not it represents the results expected by the investigator. Payment details will be specified within the contract agreement and will be determined prior to the beginning of HANDS core services. Partial payments or waiver of payments would require discussion with the HANDS Director and Financial Services Manager as part of the Neurosciences Administration prior to service delivery.

Prioritization of Work

Work is generally completed on a first come first served basis. Minor rearrangements may be made if a minor shift in schedule can make better use of the HANDS Core services. The HANDS Core Director reserves the right to break up larger service requests if it will expedite availability of the HANDS Core Director and key personnel in regards to service delivery in an effort to minimize delays for Core consumers. Ongoing communication with consumers of HANDS Core services will facilitate processes and scheduling.

Publication and Authorship

We ask that the HANDS in Autism® Center be acknowledged in all publications resulting from data and/or delivery of HANDS Core services, and that a copy of the publication be provided to the HANDS Core Director to enable accurate reporting of HANDS in Autism® research and partnership activities in annual reports and semiannual meetings with the HANDS advisory board. Inclusion of HANDS personnel as authors in publications is expected only when we provide collaboration on study design and /or analysis and interpretation of the data and study findings. If substantial intellectual contributions are required in regards to the study design, data analysis, interpretation, discussion, and/or manuscript writing, co-authorship should be granted to the involved Core personnel.

Conflict Resolution

The HANDS Core Director will discuss all issues with the invest
  • Conducting and/or guiding behavioral, educational, functional, and/or vocational assessments
  • Assisting program evaluation efforts targeted to a range of community stakeholders
  • Broadening community and research profiles and activities across participant groups
  • Sharing data and information related to extensive literature and statewide gap analyses related to ASD
  • Sharing and/or adapting of internally derived measures ranging in scope from gap analyses to knowledge and implementation of ABA-based interventions
  • Facilitating implementation science efforts to guide programming as well as mixed methods and other research designs
  • Consulting related to specialty content areas of:
    • applied behavior analysis (ABA)
    • special education
    • autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other disabilities (e.g., ID/DD)
    • implementation science and practice in the community
    • caregiver, teacher, and provider skills training
  • Individuals with ASD and their families
  • School personnel
  • Healthcare providers
  • Service providers
  • Community members
Consultations pertaining to:
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), developmental or intellectual disabilities (DD/ID), and other neurodevelopmental disabilities
  • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and special education
  • Behavioral and educational assessment and intervention
  • Implementation science and practice in the community
  • Caregiver, teacher and provider training
  • Program evaluation and gap analyses
Development and use of behavioral and educational measures to assess:
  • Sample profiles
  • Impact of intervention at the level of individuals, families, service providers and other stakeholders
  • Impact of interventions at the community and/or state level
  • Change in knowledge about disabilities and evidence-based practices
  • Application of knowledge related to evidence-based practices
  • Implementation of evidence-based practices in educational, medical and other community practice settings
  • Analyses of needs and gaps related to services (quantitative and qualitative)
Are you working with participants at risk for ASD, newly diagnosed, and/or with ongoing needs related to their ASD, we can provide a full set of options of resources, training, support to your participants, families and providers who take part in you study. It is often challenging to find the right information AND in the right format to share with your participants, whether they are individuals with ASD across lifespan, their families, or providers. We can help you locate and/or provide accommodations to make the information accessible to your participants.
As we use the measures in our studies, we can collaborate on a range of materials by providing access to our databases and analysis.
  • Ali, M., Swiezy, N., & Neal, T. (2018). Effects of HANDS Interventions and ABA Therapy on Vocational Training for Individuals with ASD. Poster presented at the Spring 2018 Poster Session, Life-Health Sciences Internship Program at IUPUI.
  • Aregbe, A., Neal, T., & Swiezy, N. (2018). Measuring and predicting change: Knowledge, perceptions and attitudes of entry level medical professionals. Poster submitted for the 2018 Purdue Autism Research Conference, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.
  • Bradshaw, J., Gillespie, S., McCracken, C., King, B., McCracken, J., Johnson, C., Lecavalier, L., Smith, T., Swiezy, N., Bearss, K., Sikich, L., Donnelly, C., Hollander, E., McDougle, C., Scahill, L. (2021). Predictors of Caregiver Strain for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders51(9), 3039-3049.
  • †Gentry, M., Neal, T., Hendricks, D., Swiezy, N. (2019, April). Intervention Methods for Job Readiness as a Part of the HANDSmade™ Program at HANDS in Autism®. Poster presented at the Life Health Sciences Internship (LHSI) Spring 2019 Poster Session at IUPUI Student Research and Engagement Day, Indianapolis, IN.
  • HANDS in Autism. (2020). Indiana Interagency Autism Coordinating Council (IIACC): Annual report, 2019-2020. Retrieved from the Family and Social Services Administration, Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services website: https://www.in.gov/fssa/ddrs/files/IIACC-Report-2019-2020-final.pdf
  • Indiana Interagency Autism Coordination Council (IIACC). (in progress). Indiana comprehensive state plan for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), 2020 (last revised). Prepared for the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) under facilitation by HANDS in Autism.
  • Lecavalier, L., McCracken, C.E., Aman, M.G., McDougle, C.J., McCracken, J.T., Tierney, E., Smith, T., Johnson, C., King, B., Handen, B., Swiezy, N.B., Arnold, E., Bearss, K., Vitiello, B., Scahill, L. (2019). An exploration of concomitant psychiatric disorders in children with autism spectrum disorder. Comprehensive Psychiatry, vol 88, pp. 57-64. https://doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2018.10.012, ISBN/ISSN: 0010440X
  • Madison, N., Swiezy, N., & Neal, T. (2018). Sexual Victimization and Education of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Poster presented at the 2018 Fall Conference, Indiana Association of School Psychologists, Indianapolis, IN.
  • Neal, T. & Swiezy, N. (2017). Statewide systems level evaluation and implementation. Paper presented at the 4th Biennial Global Implementation Conference (GIC 2017), Toronto, Canada.
  • †Passwater, C., Neal, T., Swiezy, N. (2019, April). The Autism Knowledge Survey-Revised (AKS-R) as a Measure of Stigma. Poster presented at the Student Research and Creative Activities Day 2019, Indianapolis, IN.
  • Postorino V., Gillespie S., Lecavalier L., Smith T., Johnson C., Swiezy N., Aman M.G., McDougle C.J., Bearss K., Andridge, R.R., Vitiello B., Scahill L. (2019). Clinical correlates of parenting stress in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and serious behavioral problems. Journal of Child and Family Studies, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-019-01423-7
  • Sheridan, E.H., Gillespie, S., Johnson, C.R., Lecavalier, L., Smith, T., Swiezy, N., Turner, K., Pritchett, J., Mruzek, D.W., Evans, A.N., Bearss, K., Scahill, L. (2021). Using Parent Target Problem Narratives to Evaluate, Outcomes in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, 1-9.
  • Sukhodolsky DG, Lecavalier L, Johnson C, Smith T, Swiezy N, Bearss K, Kalvin CB, Scahill L. (2020). Anxiety in 3- to 7-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder seeking treatment for disruptive behavior. Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, 24, 400-410.
  • Sullivan, E., Swiezy, N., & Neal, T. (2017). HANDS in Autism® Intensive Training: A Comparison of Knowledge of Teachers in Inclusion vs. Non-Inclusion Settings. Poster presented at the Summer 2016 Poster Session, Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (Indiana CTSI).
  • Swiezy, N., Neal, T., Garman-McClaine, B, & Ashby, I. (2018). A framework and process for facilitating systemic change in Indiana autism services. Paper presented at the 2018 START National Training Institute (SNTI), Boston, MA.
  • Swiezy, N.B., Neal, T.J., Monahan, P., Garman, B.M., & Stone, W. (in progress). The Autism Knowledge Survey-Revised: A Cross Group Comparison.
  • Swiezy, N. & Neal, T. (2017). School WORK: Measurement for effective implementation practices in autism spectrum disorder. Paper presented at the 11th Annual Autism Conference for the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Puerto Rico.
  • Swiezy, N.B., Smith, T., Johnson, C.R., Bearss, K., Lecavalier, L., Drill, R., Warner, D., Deng, Y., Xu, Y., Dziura, J., Handen, B., & Scahill, L. (submitted). Direct observation in a large-scale randomized trial of parent training in children with autism spectrum disorder and disruptive behavior.
  • Torres, C., Rollman, N., Neal, T., & Swiezy, N. (2018). Cultural Responsiveness for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Poster presented at the Spring 2018 Poster Session, Life-Health Sciences Internship Program at IUPUI.
  • Workman, S., Swiezy, N. & Neal, T. (2018). Disciplinary Actions and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Maximizing Support and Using De-escalation Techniques to Deter the Administration of Disciplinary Actions on Students with ASD. Poster presented at the 2018 Fall Conference, Indiana Association of School Psychologists, Indianapolis, IN.

Currently Available Measures/Instruments

If you would like to use any of our measures in your research, please request access by emailing us at hands@iupui.edu. In your email, please include the measure(s) you are interested in, how you plan to use it, and any other pertinent information. If you are a graduate student working on a research project, please include your PI.

Additionally, we ask to include the citation to our measure in your work, as well as share your publication citation once published.

Upon request, you can get the relevant information that may include some or all of the following, depending on the selected measure:

  • the instrument/measure
  • description of the instrument/measure
  • a key for the instrument/measure, and
  • references for articles describing studies that used the instrument/measure
Measure NameMeasure DescriptionFormatPopulationParticipate
Assessment of Knowledge-Expanded (AoK-E, HANDS in Autism®, 2009)assesses application of evidence-based practices encompassed within the HANDS Model curriculum45-minute survey
(.75 hours)
Educators, Medical Providers, Service Providers
Autism Knowledge Survey-Revised (AKS-R, HANDS in Autism®, 2005)assesses knowledge of the general characteristics, interventions, and diagnoses of ASD10-15 minute survey
(.25 hours)
Educators, Medical Providers, Service Providers, Community, FamilyOngoing research open to public
Exploring Autism Spectrum Disorder thru Lived Experiences (ASDLE; HANDS in Autism®, 2013)multi-modal system comprised of a survey, information interview series, and focus group toolkit that is assesses stakeholder needs15-30 min survey (.5 hours), 40-60 min intervention (1 hour)Educators, Medical Providers, Service Providers, Community, Family
HANDS-Assessment for Collaboration Tool (HANDS-ACT, 2014)brief, environmental screening tool for the implementation of EBPs completed via observation, review of records, and interview to assess programming elements related to Physical Structure, Visual Structure, Schedules, Choreography, Prompting, Behavioral Responding, areas of Broad Program Implementation/Screening30 min observation, review and interview (.5 hours)Educators, Medical Providers, Service Providers, Community, Family
Indiana Autism Needs Assessment (HANDS in Autism, 2014)HANDS in Autism® is conducting an Assessment of Needs in ASD Resources and Services in the State of Indiana. The data collected serves to inform the State and best guide recommendations for policies, processes, services, and programming as it pertains to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Indiana.10-15 min survey, interview, focus groupIndividuals with ASD, Educators, Medical Providers, Service Providers, Community, FamilyOngoing research open to public
Participant Profile Inventory (HANDS in Autism®, 2013)measurement of general background, demographic, and practice characteristics20-minute survey
(.5 hours)
Educators, Medical Providers, Service Providers, Community, Family
Reinforcer Checklist (HANDS in Autism®, 2005)rating scale to identify potential preferred objects or activities that may serve as reinforcers and provides information to other potential reinforcers10-15 minute survey
(.25 hours)
Educators, Medical Providers, Service Providers, Community, Family
SchoolWORK™ (HANDS in Autism®, 2007)a task analyzed assessment of the implementation of EBPs on behalf of the teacher and educational setting staff via observation, review of records, and interview with school personnel, to assess the five noted and essential domains of programming (i.e. Program Design, Assessment, Environmental Control, Teaching, Behavior Intervention)2-3 hour observation, record review, and interviewEducators
Sensory Considerations Checklist (HANDS in Autism®, 2005)rating scale that provides information about different sensory factors that could be uncomfortable or difficult10-15 minute survey
(.25 hours)
Educators, Medical Providers, Service Providers, Community, Family
Survey of Autism Awareness and Practice (SAAP) in Medicine (HANDS in Autism®, 2011)assesses the knowledge, awareness, perceptions, attitudes, preferences and needs of healthcare professionals (e.g., physicians, nurses, EMTs, etc.) and care providers (e.g., social workers, office staff, etc.) with sections related to personal demographics, current and past role(s) and setting(s), relevant training(s), familiarity and/or use of evidence-based strategies, attitudes and knowledge related to ASD74-item survey
(.50 hours)"
Medical Providers, Service Providers