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!

Hotlines:

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: in.gov/fssa/da/3479.htm

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: in.gov/dcs/2971.htm

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:  suicidepreventionlifeline.org

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: www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov

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: postpartum.net. For Indiana-specific resources: psichapters.com/in/

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).”  autism-society.org/about-the-autism-society/contact-us/ 

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