HANDS in Autism is the only program focusing on autism named to the Indiana Resource Network (IRN).
An acronym for Helping Answer Needs by Developing Specialists in Autism, HANDS in Autism was created in 2005 to develop statewide partnerships to expand outreach, education and training to entire communities with a particular focus on shared information and collaboration between school personnel, medical professionals, families and other caregivers.
“HANDS in Autism’s ultimate goal is to improve the bridging and coordination of systems in providing education and services available to individuals with autism and their families,” said Naomi Swiezy, Ph.D., the clinical director of the Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center and program director of HANDS in Autism.
“With the Indiana Resource Network approach, students, families and schools will receive more consistent and coordinated information and training opportunities and have access to university specialists with the latest resources available,” said Dr. Swiezy, who also is the Alan H. Cohen Family Scholar of Psychiatry and an associate professor of clinical psychology in clinical psychiatry at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
The IDOE will refer schools to one or more of the IRN centers to improve the quality of special education services. IRN centers will also provide more universal assistance in many forms, including professional development, capacity building and policy examination.
Other programs select for the IRN with the ultimate goal of developing an organized system for technical assistance and student improvement activities are:
Effective Assessment and Instruction Indiana University, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community
Effective Evaluations Indiana State University, Blumberg Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Special Education
Effective and Compliant Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) Indiana State University, Blumberg Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Special Education
Positive Behavior Support Indiana University, Center for Evaluation & Education Policy (CEEP) and Indiana Institute on Disability and Community
Transition to Adulthood Indiana University, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community