About Us

HANDS in Autism® has emerged as a state-wide training and resource center making a significant impact in the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other special needs as well as their families and caregivers. The evidence-based behavioral and educational practices at the core of the HANDS curriculum have had noted feasibility and practicality to providers and other stakeholders across settings (educational, medical/clinical, home/community). In addition, though the focus and expertise of HANDS is well recognized in ASD and related disabilities, consumers also appreciate that the same behavioral and educational principles and practices are relevant and useful to a wide range of individuals across functioning levels and the lifespan.

Central to HANDS success in outreach and training is its integration within a setting immersed with medical professionals, serving individuals and families and consulting statewide within community schools, homes, treatment facilities, and otherwise. Through this immersive role within the diversity of settings has required HANDS to intimately learn the factors impacting successful outcomes in service delivery across these settings. In addition, working closely with the individuals within these systems has fostered an understanding of the perspectives, language, approaches, tools and roles defining the context and impactful to the type of technical assistance that is most conducive to engagement, learning and usability of the information and strategies.

Furthermore, the trainers at HANDS have emerged from practice in a number of fields and settings and continue to practice beyond a training or consultative role within the field across settings, ages, functioning levels and disabilities. This enables a greater depth and breadth of relatedness, understanding, examples, and delivery of information pertinent to those providing service across such contexts.


To provide unique learning opportunities designed to improve understanding of the process and ability of working with individuals with ASD and a range of other developmental and behavioral challenges through hands-on and coaching experiences and building bridges of information, resources and collaboration across family, educational, medical and community systems.


Our core beliefs expressed in a diagramThe overall vision of the HANDS in Autism® Interdisciplinary Training and Resource Center is to build local capacity in the use of behavioral and educational practices implemented to fidelity to address even the most complex community-based contexts. This vision is supported with the comprehensive and data-driven HANDS Model curriculum, framework, and process of outreach, education, and training that is accessible, usable and relevant across systems, providers and communities serving individuals and families affected not only by autism spectrum disorder (ASD) but a full range of disabilities, ages, intellectual and functional abilities and neurodevelopmental, behavioral and other challenges.

Advisory Board

We are honored to introduce our Advisory Board:

Gary B. Mesibov, PhD
Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Director of Division TEACCH at the University of North Carolina (1992-2010).

Catherine E. Rice, PhD
Epidemiologist and Developmental Psychologist with the Developmental Disabilities Branch at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Aubyn Stahmer

Past Advisory Board Members