In 2018 the Centers for Disease Control determined that approximately one in 59 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Here are some ways you can support little learners with autism in Indiana.
1. Be an advocate for people with autism.
Share your experiences raising your child(ren) with your friends and family. When you are in need of help, ask for the support that you need. All families are different and sharing your experiences makes families stronger.
2. Get involved in an autism walk in your community.
Meeting families who are similar to yours can help you build a network and find resources you may not know about. Autism walks can also be empowering to your family.
3. Volunteer in your little learner’s classroom.
Get to know your child’s teacher so that you feel comfortable communicating their needs.
4. Find an expert or advocate and ask for their advice.
You can hire someone or find an experienced parent to give you advice. What’s most important is having a person who understands what your child needs in a program. This person can make a world of difference in choosing what is right for your family.
5. Join a parent group.
These days it’s easy to connect with other families for support and advice through social media. While parent groups for families with children on the spectrum are a great way to connect, joining any type of parent group will help you learn about the different ways you can advocate for your family. Click here to see a complete list of parent support groups in Indiana.
Resources for families:
The Indiana Resource Center for Autism is great for individuals on the spectrum and their families. While they are a research-based organization in Bloomington, their work helps all Hoosier families through early detection and diagnosis programs and by connecting families to resources. Additionally, their website has a long list of high quality early childhood and school-age programs that utilize evidence-based practices, family support and other activities for improving quality of life.
Autism Evansville supports families in Southwestern Indiana by cultivating relationships, promoting acceptance and inclusion and above all providing meaningful experiences.
About Special Kids is a parent-to-parent organization that works throughout the state of Indiana to answer questions and provide support, information, resources and training for families of children with special needs. Most noteworthy, this organization was formed by parents of children with special needs.
This organization works to empower and support individuals on the autism spectrum and every family affected by autism in the state of Indiana with high-quality services. To reach a coordinator in your area call 800-609-8449 or visit their website: http://www.autismsocietyofindiana.org/our-staff/. Also, check the website for other programs they offer to support to families and individuals on the autism spectrum.
The Center provides live and online training, interactive workshops, onsite coaching and consultations, and intensive hands-on training for school personnel, health care providers, families, therapists and other caregivers. The HANDS program is a joint effort between the Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center, Clarian Health Partners, and Riley Hospital for Children.
Want to get started with setting more goals for your family? Check out these Brighter Futures Indiana tools:
Are you curious about your child’s development? Check out the Developmental Milestones, Screening & Services tool.
Many Indiana families are eligible for financial help paying for early childhood programs. Find out if yours is eligible!