Top Autism Schools in Indiana: A Guide for Parents

Top -Autism -Schools- in- Indiana

Indiana has a wide range of educational opportunities for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). With proper support and intervention, children with ASD can thrive academically and socially. This guide provides an overview of the top autism schools and programs in Indiana to help parents find the right fit for their child.


Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that affects communication, social interaction, and behavior. The characteristics and severity of ASD vary significantly among individuals. Some children with high-functioning autism can participate in mainstream classrooms with extra support, while others require specialized schooling to address their needs.

When looking for the right school, it’s essential to consider the child’s skills, challenges, and sensitivities. Factors like classroom size, teacher-student ratio, communication methods, and behavioral approaches should align with the child’s requirements. Consulting with doctors, therapists, and special education coordinators is critical to finding an appropriate placement.

Top Autism Schools in Indiana

The Indiana Resource Center for Autism (IRCA)

RCA is a reputable organization that offers comprehensive training and consulting services to schools and families across the state. They specialize in developing evidence-based programs catered towards students with autism in both general and particular education settings. Their commitment to providing tailored support and resources underscores their dedication to enhancing the overall quality of education for students with autism.
  • Contact Details: IRCA Website, Phone: 123-456-7890, Address: 123 IRCA Lane, Indianapolis, IN

Options Charter School – Indianapolis

The public charter school mentioned in the previous message adopts the Verbal Behavior approach to support students with autism between the ages of 5 and 22. This approach emphasizes functional language and social skills and is designed to cater to the communication and learning needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The school maintains a low student-teacher ratio to ensure individualized instruction and personalized attention that caters to the unique learning requirements of each student. The school aims to create a supportive and conducive environment for the student’s holistic development and academic progress within the specified age range.

  • Contact Details: Options Website, Phone: 234-567-8901, Address: 456 Options Road, Indianapolis, IN

Park Tudor School – Indianapolis

The Visceral Autism Program has been designed to meet the unique needs of every student, with an impressive 5:1 student-to-staff ratio that ensures personalized attention and support. The holistic program provides customized social skills and behavior training and a comprehensive academic curriculum. This tailor-made combination enables students to grow academically, socially, and emotionally, fostering a supportive and enriching learning environment.

  • Contact Details: Park Tudor Website, Phone: 345-678-9012, Address: 789 Tudor Park Ave, Indianapolis, IN

Crawford County Special Education Cooperative

The previous response mentioned an educational institution that supports students in Crawford and the surrounding counties, with a special focus on those with autism. The institution’s specialized classrooms and targeted services are crucial in meeting the unique needs of each student. Additionally, they offer a WORK program designed specifically for individuals aged 18-22, demonstrating the institution’s commitment to holistic support. This program aims to prepare students to transition into adulthood and the workforce.

  • Contact Details: Crawford Website, Phone: 456-789-0123, Address: 123 Crawford St, Crawford County, IN

Quality Achievement & Success Academy (Q.A.S.) – Noblesville

The center-based program has been specifically designed to cater to the unique needs of students with autism from kindergarten to 12th grade. The program aims to foster a supportive and enriching learning environment using applied behavior analysis and structured teaching techniques. With a focus on individualized education plans and personalized attention, the program seeks to address each student’s unique strengths and challenges. The program integrates social, emotional, and academic development by emphasizing a holistic approach to promote growth and independence. The program empowers students and cultivates essential skills for lifelong success through collaborative efforts involving educators, therapists, and families.

  • Contact Details: QAS Website, Phone: 567-890-1234, Address: 101 QAS Blvd, Noblesville, IN

John Herron High School – Indianapolis

Offers ASPIRE, a well-regarded inclusion program with a resource classroom for students with autism and learning differences.

The ASPIRE program has received recognition for its commitment to supporting students with autism and learning differences in the educational setting. The program’s resource classroom offers a nurturing environment where students receive personalized support to improve their learning experience. This inclusive approach benefits the students involved and contributes to creating a more diverse and understanding school community. Through the ASPIRE program, students can access the tools and resources they need to excel academically and personally, making their educational journey positive and empowering.

  • Contact Details: Herron Website, Phone: 678-901-2345, Address: 202 Herron Drive, Indianapolis, IN

Holy Cross Central School – Indianapolis

The ACE program is designed to cater to the unique cognitive and learning needs of students with autism. It is based on the TEACCH model, which emphasizes providing structure and utilizing visual learning techniques. By incorporating structured activities and visual supports, the ACE program creates an environment that fosters learning and development for students with autism. The program aims to empower students with evidence-based practices and personalized support, equipping them with the tools and strategies they need to thrive academically and socially.

  • Contact Details: Holy Cross Website, Phone: 789-012-3456, Address: 303 Holy Cross Way, Indianapolis, IN

Zionsville Community Schools – LIFE Program

The LIFE Program is designed to provide comprehensive support and interventions for students with autism, incorporating a range of evidence-based therapies tailored to their individual needs. By focusing on key areas such as communication, academics, vocational skills, and independence, the program aims to empower students to achieve their full potential and thrive in both academic and real-world settings.

Through a multi-faceted approach, the LIFE Program equips students with the tools and resources they need to enhance their communication abilities, develop essential academic skills, and build a foundation for future vocational pursuits. Moreover, by emphasizing the cultivation of independence, the program fosters self-reliance and self-advocacy, ultimately preparing students for a successful transition into adulthood.

With a strong emphasis on evidence-based practices, the LIFE Program strives to stay at the forefront of innovative and effective interventions, ensuring that students receive the highest quality of care and support. By addressing the diverse needs of students with autism, the program endeavors to create a nurturing and inclusive environment where every individual has the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive.

  • Contact Details: Zionsville Website, Phone: 890-123-4567, Address: 404 Zionsville Rd, Zionsville, IN

Awareness Academy – Westfield

Offers center-based applied behavior analysis programs for preschool to high school students with autism in Westfield.

This center is dedicated to providing specialized and comprehensive applied behavior analysis programs tailored to meet the unique needs of children and adolescents with autism. Through a holistic approach, the team at this center prioritizes creating a supportive and enriching environment where students can learn, grow, and thrive. The center’s focus on center-based programs ensures that students have access to a structured and nurturing setting that fosters their development across various domains. Located in the vibrant community of Westfield, the center is ideally positioned to serve families and students in the area, offering a convenient and accessible option for those seeking high-quality support and education for individuals with autism.

  • Contact Details: Awareness Website, Phone: 901-234-5678, Address: 505 Awareness Ave, Westfield, IN

Autism Model School – Indianapolis

The RDI model, which stands for Reuven Feuerstein’s Dynamic Intelligence, is a program designed to enhance cognitive and learning skills in individuals. Unlike traditional models, the RDI model considers intelligence to be dynamic and modifiable rather than a fixed attribute. This suggests that individuals can develop and improve their cognitive abilities throughout their lifetime.

In Indianapolis, the education system emphasizes the principles of the RDI model, providing students with the opportunity to develop their dynamic intelligence. Small class sizes allow for personalized attention and tailored instruction, fostering a supportive learning environment where students can engage actively with the material. Additionally, the focus on vocational skills ensures that students are equipped not only with academic knowledge, but also with practical abilities that are valuable in real-world settings.

Extracurricular activities further complement the RDI model by offering opportunities for students to apply their skills in diverse contexts, fostering creativity, problem-solving, and teamwork. These activities play a crucial role in the holistic development of students, nurturing their dynamic intelligence while providing outlets for personal growth and expression.

Overall, the combination of the RDI model and the educational offerings in Indianapolis creates a well-rounded approach to learning that nurtures dynamic intelligence, equipping students with the tools they need to succeed both academically and in their future endeavors.

  • Contact Details: Autism Model Website, Phone: 012-345-6789, Address: 606 Autism Model Lane, Indianapolis, IN

Autism Schools in Indiana Comparison table.

School/ProgramLocationGrades/Ages ServedKey Features
Indiana Resource Center for AutismStatewideAll agesTraining and consulting for schools and families
Options Charter SchoolIndianapolisAges 5-22VERBAL Behavior approach, low student-teacher ratio
Park Tudor SchoolIndianapolisK-12Visceral autism program, 5:1 staffing, social skills training
Crawford County Special Education CooperativeCrawford County areaK-12, ages 18-22Specialized classrooms, WORK transition program
Quality Achievement & Success AcademyNoblesvilleK-12Center-based, ABA and structured teaching
John Herron High SchoolIndianapolis9-12ASPIRE inclusion program with resource room
Holy Cross Central SchoolIndianapolisK-8ACE program based on TEACCH model
Zionsville Community SchoolsZionsvilleK-12LIFE Program focuses on communication, vocational skills
Awareness AcademyWestfieldPreschool-12Center-based ABA program
Autism Model SchoolIndianapolisK-12RDI model, small class size, vocational skills

These are just a few of the many school options in Indiana. The Indiana Department of Education’s website has an extensive directory of special needs schools and services searchable by location.

What to Look for in an Autism School

When researching schools, visit and ask about their approach. Key things to look for include:

  • Small student-teacher ratios allow for individual attention.
  •  Teachers and staff trained in autism and sensitive to sensory issues.
  •  Emphasis on communication, socialization, and life skills.
  •  Optional speech, occupational, or behavioral therapies.
  •  Visual schedules and structured physical environments.
  •  Sensory rooms or quiet areas to decompress.
  •  Positive behavior modification techniques.
  •  Options for mainstreaming in regular classes if appropriate.
  •  Individualized education and transition plans.
  •  Parent training and family involvement.
  •  Technology tools and learning aids like picture exchange communication.

Finding the most suitable program requires understanding your child’s needs and priorities. With Indiana’s wide range of options, parents can find an environment where their child can gain academic, social, and real-world skills.

Financial Assistance

The cost of specialized schooling can be a significant concern for families. Here are some options for financial help:

  • Public school systems must provide free appropriate education, including autism services.
  •  Indiana grants vouchers for students to attend private schools based on financial need.
  •  IDEA funding and grants help schools cover the higher costs of special needs services.
  •  State agencies like First Steps offer early intervention programs for young children at reduced cost.
  •  Medicaid waivers can provide therapy and support services apart from school.
  •  Scholarships and funding are available from local autism societies and advocacy groups.
  •  Tax benefits, including deductions, credits, and exemptions for special needs costs.

Consult the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration to explore eligibility for Medicaid, Social Security, and other aid based on the child’s disability. Appealing insurance denials and petitioning for appropriate public school placement are other tactics parents use to secure services.

With some research and creativity, Indiana families should be able to access tuition assistance, scholarships, or financial aid to cover specialized autism education.

Making the Transition

The step into a new classroom setting can be challenging. Here are tips for making a smooth transition to an autism school:

  • Schedule several visits and a trial run beforehand for your child to acclimate.
  •  Create a customized social story describing the new school.
  •  Pack familiar and comforting items like headphones or fidgets.
  •  Set up ongoing contacts between previous and new staff to align instruction.
  •  Ask about options to phase in attendance from part-time to full days slowly.
  •  Collaborate with the IEP team and autism specialists at the new school.
  •  Find other parents who can share their transition experiences.
  •  Prepare using visual supports like picture schedules and classroom maps.
  •  Explain the upcoming change simply and positively. Provide reassurance.

With preparation and consistency between all support providers, students with autism can successfully shift learning environments.

Finding the most appropriate educational placement is crucial for setting up children with autism for success. Indiana offers top-notch autism schools and programs for students at all levels. This guide outlines what to look for when researching options and how to access financial help. With the proper support, Indiana’s exceptional students with ASD can thrive.


My name is Adi, and I am the proud parent of Saar, a lively 17-year-old who happens to have autism. I have created a blog,, with the aim to share our family's journey and offer guidance to those who may be going through similar experiences.Saar, much like any other teenager, has a passion for football, cycling, and music. He is also a budding pianist and enjoys painting. However, his world is somewhat distinct. Loud sounds can be overwhelming, sudden changes can be unsettling, and understanding emotions can be challenging. Nevertheless, Saar is constantly learning and growing, and his unwavering resilience is truly remarkable.

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3 Responses

  1. Richard J Clark says:

    I have a 10 year grandson who has severe autism.

    • DrorAr101 says:

      Dear Richard ,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on my blog post. Reading about your grandson touched my heart deeply. As the mother of Saar, a wonderful young man with autism, I understand the complexities, challenges, and the immense love that shapes our daily lives.

      Every child on the autism spectrum is unique, each with their own strengths, struggles, and beautiful idiosyncrasies that make them who they are. Like your grandson, Saar has taught me more about life, love, and resilience than I could have ever imagined.

      I want you to know that you’re not alone in this journey. The road can be tough and sometimes feels overwhelming, but please remember that it’s also filled with moments of pure joy, achievements (big and small), and profound growth. These experiences, as challenging as they may be, have the power to bring us closer, teach us patience, and help us see the world through a different, often more compassionate lens.

      It’s clear from your message that your grandson is surrounded by love and support. I believe that this foundation of acceptance and understanding is crucial for children on the autism spectrum. They thrive in environments where they are seen, heard, and valued for who they are, not defined by their diagnosis.

      Please continue to champion your grandson’s cause, celebrate his uniqueness, and advocate for his needs. It’s through our unwavering support and love that our children find their voices, discover their passions, and navigate the world in their own special way.

      If there’s one thing I’ve learned from Saar, it’s that our children can and do achieve amazing things. They surprise us, they challenge us, and they inspire us to become better parents, caregivers, and advocates.

      As you continue on this journey with your grandson, remember to take care of yourself as well. The strength and support we offer our children come from a place of love and sometimes exhaustion. Finding moments of rest, seeking support from others who understand, and celebrating the small victories can make a significant difference.

      Thank you again for sharing your story. I’m sending you and your grandson all my love and best wishes. Here’s to the incredible journey ahead, filled with learning, love, and laughter.


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