Services of Entitlement

Select a Category:

It may be challenging for families, caregivers, individuals with ASD, and others to navigate support systems and services. In order to best support individuals, families, providers, and communities statewide as they learn to navigate life with ASD or a related disability, HANDS in Autism© together with the NeuroDiagnostic Institute and IIACC partners reached out to organizations and asked directors and professionals to share about the noted service or program they oversee or facilitate in order to support awareness of, access to, advocacy for, and/or navigation within as individuals, families, and teams statewide are connected. Hear what they had to say below.

Category: Advocacy


Special Education Parent Support

Indiana 211

Connecting you with professionals in mental health & addiction, health care, housing assistance, tax assistance, food & clothing, education & employment, and more

Category: Education

The Indiana Education Scholarship Account Program (INESA)

INESA, managed by the state treasurer’s office, will allow eligible parents/guardians to establish an education scholarship account (ESA) that can be used for their child’s education expenses.

Category: evaluation

Indiana Dept. of Education and Indiana IEP Resource Center

Video Series: Simulated Intake for Parent Referral for Preschool Evaluation

Category: Savings

Indiana ABLE

INvestABLE Indiana helps individuals save, while preserving their SSI and Medicaid.

Category: Pre-ETS

Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Employment services program for Indiana students in transition (ages 14-21) and adults with disabilities

The Arc of Indiana

On oversight of delivery of Pre-Employment Transition Services

Category: Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)

Indiana VR Services by The Arc of Indiana

What to expect with VR

Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services

This short video describes the VR process, eligibility, and the services VR can provide if you need some help to learn new skills, find a job, or start a career.



Law Enforcement and First-Responder Considerations

Click on the icons below to explore other sections:










How to Inform Police and/or First Responders that an Individual Has Autism Spectrum Disorder?

There is a strong chance that individuals with ASD may encounter police in their lives. Statistics shows that:

  • Individuals with ASD are 7 times more likely to intersect with the criminal justice system, either as victims or offenders (Berryessa, 2014).
  • 19.5% of youth with ASD have been stopped and questioned by police by the time they reached their early 20s. Of them, nearly 5% were subsequently arrested (Rava, Shattuck, Rast, & Roux, 2017).
  • Yet, the prevalence of actual unlawful behavior of individuals with ASD is relatively low (Woodbury-Smith & Dein, 2014).
  • Socio-emotional challenges present in ASD do not allow individuals to have an intent to purposefully harm another person (Berryessa, 2014; Freckelton, 2013; Woodbury-Smith & Dein, 2014).
  • Presence of co-morbid psychiatric disorders can be a strong underlying reason for offensive behaviors.
  • 20% of children with autism have been physically or sexually abused. However, justice personnel is not sufficiently ready to interact and advocate for these victims (Mandell et al., 2005)

Individuals with ASD have higher risks of victimization due to the nature of autism and the social environment, namely:

  • Reduced privacy
  • Lack of experience with decision-making
  • Lack of education about sexuality
  • Reduced expectations
  • Rewards for rule-following
  • Limited socialization
  • Negative attitude of others towards disability (Autism Speaks, n.d.)

Call 911 in case of emergency!

Visit CRISIS page for more information on the hotlines to report abuse.

Steps that you can take:

  1. Build awareness in the community and among police and first responders that an individual has ASD and therefore may not respond in an expected way.
  2. If possible, contact your community’s 911 office to let them know that there is an individual with ASD living in this community.
  3. Teach individuals about inappropriate touching and how to avoid it in public.
  4. Police are often being called at school for behavioral issues of older individuals with ASD. Be sure to address the issue in the child’s IEP as a protection. Also, help educate school resource officers on what to do (see example tag from HANDS in Autism® below.)
  5. HANDS in Autism® developed a number of resources to help inform the police and first responders (see examples below). Go to for more information.

This Individual has Autism
Card to share with community members or during outbursts in public places:

I Have Autism Spectrum Disorder card for first responders
Wallet card to present to police or first responders:

Strategies that work
Strategies that Work

Alert Magnet for first responders with information about individuals that live in the house
Include this magnet in your home to help first responders

People with ASD may: Card
Here is an example of a card with ideas of what a security officer might expect.

Additional Resources

Click on the icons below to explore other sections:











What Are Assistive Technologies?

Assistive technology (AT) device is “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities” (Technology Related Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988). Such technologies can be “high” or “low tech” (from canes to voice recognition and speech generation devices). More information on different types of AT can be found at

AT for Communication Skills

Some individuals with ASD may be non-verbal or have difficulties understanding social cues or conversation. Speech generating devices may help such individuals. This can be a standalone device or specialized software installed on a tablet of phone. The NIDCD at the NIH has more information.

AT for Social Skills

Social skills is often a challenge for individuals with ASD. There are many applications to help individuals with ASD develop social skills that range from teaching facial expressions, to academic and social learning, to helping deal with stress and maladaptive behaviors. Informing Families has more examples.

Daily Living Skills

Daily living skills, such as hygiene, organization skills, and recreational skills, are important for individuals with ASD to master on their path towards independence. You can find some examples at wikibooks.

Where to Find Information on Such Devices

You can check out the following resources:


When an individual engages in negative behaviors, such as a tantrum or aggression, it is important to focus on the safety of the individual, those around them.

In case of emergency, call 9-1-1!


Indiana’s Adult Abuse Hotline: Report any types of adult (18+ y.o.) abuse (e.g., neglect, battery, or exploitation) who may be incapable due to mental illness or other physical or mental incapacity to Adult Protective Services. State hotline: 1-800-992-6978. For more information or to report online:

Indiana’s Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline: Call 1-800-800-5556 to report child abuse (e.g., physical abuse, sexual abuse) and neglect allegations. Help is available 24/7. More Information here:

Suicide hotline: Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk to a counselor at Lifeline crisis center near you. Help is available 24/7. For more information:

The Hotline: 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, the National Domestic Violence Hotline provides essential tools and support to help survivors of domestic violence so they can live their lives free of abuse. Contacts to The Hotline can expect highly-trained, expert advocates to offer free, confidential, and compassionate support, crisis intervention information, education, and referral services in over 200 languages.

Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States, anytime. Crisis Text Line is here for any crisis. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds, all from our secure online platform. The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you move from a hot moment to a cool moment.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service):  Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357). Help available 24/7. For more information:

National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline: Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

Trans Lifeline’s Hotline: a peer support phone service run by trans people for our trans and questioning peers. We believe that some of the best support that trans people can receive is from trans community members with shared lived experience.

Postpartum Support International: For the 24hr helpline, call 1-800-944-4773, or text 503-894-9453. Options are available in English or Espanol. For more information: For Indiana-specific resources:

Autism Society National Hotline: “The Autism Society’s National Helpline welcomes your phone calls, emails and letters. Please keep in mind that our helpline does not provide direct services/assistance, such as treatment,  legal services, and case management. However, our trained Information & Referral (I&R) Specialists provide many resources to services and supports across the country. To speak to an I&R Specialist directly, call 800-3-AUTISM (800-328-8476).” 

National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health Hotline Guide: “If you are in crisis and need help immediately, please consult one of the toll-free national hotlines listed below or contact your local police or emergency services. The following free, national hotlines and helplines can assist parents, caregivers, families and youth. They are organized by topic to help you find what you are looking for easily. “

A Guide to Safety from Organization for Autism Research: ” A Guide to Safety is an autism safety resource that covers a range of topics, including:

  • Safety network development
  • Prevention and management of wandering and elopement behaviors
  • Relationship, physical, and sexual safety discussions
  • Strategies to address bullying and online threats
  • Tips on money and workplace safety”

When to Ask for Help?

Individuals with ASD experience many challenges. However, it is important for parents and caregivers to recognize when they need to seek help:

  • Aggression, self-injury or other changes in behavior, like irritability or anxiety, are recurrent, persistent, and have strong negative impact onto those around them
  • Dangerous or unsafe behaviors that are challenging to manage or contain (e.g., elopement and wandering)
  • Threats of suicide
  • Regression in skills

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

On this page, you can explore the following topics (click on the topic of interest):

What is ABA?

Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, is a research-based philosophy of working with individuals of different abilities, not just individuals with ASD. ABA encompasses a range of strategies and methods based on standard behavioral principles designed to address reduction of behaviors by encouraging positive or desired behaviors and discouraging negative or unwanted behaviors in order to improve a variety of skills. Behaviors are considered to be a form of communication that can be addressed by teaching appropriate skills to support the reduction of undesired behaviors across settings.

Back to Top

Examples of ABA methods include, but are not limited to:

Back to Top

  • Incidental Teaching: Creating a learning environment based on an individual’s interests or motivations

Back to Top

Back to Top

  • Social Stories™: Using words and/or pictures to describe what to do in various situations that may challenge or provoke anxiety within an individual (developed by Carol Gray)

Back to Top

Additional Resources

Autism Speaks: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB): About Behavior Analysis

HANDS in Autism® Interdisciplinary Training & Resource Center: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). What is it? 

Back to Top