About Special Kids (ASK) is Indiana’s Parent to Parent organization that works throughout the state to give support, answer questions and provide information and resources to families of children with special needs. ASK staff are extensively and continually trained as well as parents of children with special needs; therefore, we can empathetically help other families and professionals understand the various systems that families encounter related to special needs. ASK has a parent liaison in each region of the state with our central office location in Indianapolis.
ASK’s mission: Helping children with special needs live better lives by educating, empowering and connecting their families.
We define children with special needs as children with:• Physical, mental, emotional disabilities
• Developmental delays
• Chronic or terminal illnesses
• Mental health concerns
• Behavioral disorders
• Learning disabilities and educational delays
- • Children who have risk factors or who are showing signs of a suspected disability
As a parent, once you make contact with ASK you will be connected with a parent liaison. Parent liaisons focus on teaching families how to anticipate child and family needs, identify appropriate resources, and access community systems to help them meet the needs of their children. Additionally, ASK’s parent liaisons follow up with each family that contacts us. So...even if there is something that you forget to address during that first call you make, you will have plenty of contact with your liaison to answer your questions and anticipate future needs. Follow-up calls are scheduled to cover information for families on pertinent topics such as special education, health care financing, respite, childcare and the medical home.
ASK was incorporated as the Indiana Parent Information Network in 1987 by two parents and two professionals who represented the perspectives of a family of a child with developmental disability, a family of a child with serious chronic illness, a professional in medical social services, and a professional in special education.
• In 2013, ASK served a family in every county in the state helping more than 3,200 new families. ASK has served approximately 45,000 families and professionals since 1987. We make a difference in Indiana by:
- • Connecting families who have children with a certain disability or chronic health condition to appropriate support groups.
- • Educating families on various public health insurance options available.
- • Training families on the rules & regulations of Indiana’s special education law.
- • Finding childcare options for kids with special needs.
Another very important aspect of the education project is that ASK also provides information and trainings for professionals who work with children with special needs and their families. ASK has tailored a workshop called “What Every Parent Wants You to Know” which provides the professional a unique insight into the daily lives, routines, stresses and history of a family of a child with special needs. The goal is to let the professional understand the family’s perspectives and to use this insight to help address accommodations the child will need to be as successful as possible in a variety of settings.
ASK provides intensive services to families of children with special needs in conjunction with medical and behavioral case management received from these organizations. The range of services ASK provides families includes guidance on how to access essential community resources, 1 on 1 training regarding health care financing and education options, and parent to parent support. ASK also educates the care coordination personnel about community resources, education, health care financing options and disability issues.
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