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Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities Welcomes Jonathan Payne to Our Team (NY UCEDD)

Jonathan recently joined the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities staff after a successful year in Project SEARCH. Jonathan splits his time between the University of Rochester UCEDD and the Levine Autism Clinic in the Department of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Besides general office work, in his time with the UCEDD Jonathan serves as a peer mentor for both our Project SEARCH class at the University of Rochester Medical Center and the Job Club pilot through the Rochester Regional Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders.



Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, LEND, IDDRC) Investigator Develops Initiative to Focus on Empowering Young Adults with Autism

by Tom Wilemon

A new initiative, developed by Beth Malow, M.D., M.S., Burry Chair in Cognitive Childhood Development; professor of Neurology and Pediatrics, and a Vanderbilt Kennedy Center investigator, aims to improve the lives of young adults with autism spectrum disorders who often end up socially isolated once they leave school.



Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Curriculum

Using the free Moodle learning management system platform, Vanderbilt LEND has worked with experts from across the country to create a set of curriculum resources (readings, assignments, discussion prompts, case studies, additional resources, etc.) on more than 30 different Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (NDD) topics - from early identification of Autism and hearing in children to positive behavior support, Special Education Part B Services, and sexual health for individuals with disabilities. These modules, which can be updated and added to as needed, are housed on a central Moodle site and pushed out to individual programs / centers for customization.



Dreams Do Come True

By Jonny Thomas Emeron (with help by Judy Warth, Iowa's UCEDD)

Jonny Thomas Emeron is a 19 year old man with Asperger's, high functioning autism, depression, anxiety, a sensory integration disorder and a delightfully wicked sense of humor and a passion for Zelda. He is participating in a transition program through the Iowa City Community School District. Jonny works at Wild Bill's Coffee Shop at the University of Iowa's School of Social Work



Kickoff of the PEERS for Young Adults Certified Training Seminars (CA UCEDD)

Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson, director of the UCLA PEERS Clinic, recently held the first 3-day PEERS for Young Adults Certified Training Seminar at the University of Maryland on June 14th - 16th, 2017. Over 65 mental health professionals and educators attended the training seminar sponsored by The University of Maryland Autism Research Consortium (UMARC) and the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences.



New Learning Module! Communicating the Value of Developmental Screening

The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) has released a new learning module focused on communicating the value of developmental screening. This easy-to-use learning module incorporates evidence-based practices with perspectives from physicians, parents, and the director of a Title V program for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN).



Indiana LEND Awarded Grant to Study Needs and Service Utilization of Children Following Neurodevelopmental Diagnosis

Rebecca McNally Keehn, PhD, HSPP, Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, has been awarded a grant to study the needs and service utilization of children following neurodevelopmental diagnosis, as a quality improvement initiative of the Riley Child Development Center, the Indiana LEND's interdisciplinary evaluation clinic.



Va-LEND Launches New Distance Learning Module

For the past year, Va-LEND has been focusing on ways to expand training opportunities statewide and beyond. Zipporah Levi-Shackleford, former outstanding LEND trainee and current faculty member, has used material from the Vanderbilt Consortium LEND (VCL) Moodle and other on-line resources to develop a module on the "Early Identification of Autism".



Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, LEND, IDDRC) TRIAD pilot works to provide ASD Diagnostic Services in Primary Care Setting

Team members within the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, LEND, IDDRC) Treatment & Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD) are piloting a project to see if embedding a trained behavioral health provider within the traditional primary care setting such as a pediatrician's practice, would improve the likelihood of earlier diagnosis for children who show signs of an autism spectrum disorder and would streamline the intervention process.



Autism Myths on Public Radio for Kids (MT UCEDD)

In partnership with Montana Public Radio, the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities is co-sponsoring several episodes of "Kids Like You and Me." This series is broadcast across Montana and focuses on helping kids learn about each other. The Autism episode features a son and her mother (a former LEND trainee).



OHSU & UW Study Genetic Contributions to Autism

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and the University of Washington (UW) are conducting a study on genetic contributions to autism, involving identical twins. The study is funded by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) and seeks to better understand how genetic changes that occur early in development might lead to autism. In particular, the researchers are seeking pairs of identical twins who are discordant for autism (that is, one has any autism spectrum diagnosis and one does not) to help answer this important question.



Your Input Needed for Sex Ed Resource

Deadline: June 15th

OAR is developing a new resource tool to help people with autism navigate sex education and understand sexuality. This subject can be daunting and is often overlooked. At the same time, it is important in terms of personal growth, development, and safety. We are excited to create a resource on this topic that is specific to the needs of people with autism. Please help us address those needs by filling out the survey below and sharing with your connections in the autism community.



Va-LEND Trainee Receives 2017 OAR Research Grant

by Jennifer M. Drummond

Heather Coleman, who received her certificate of completion from Virginia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (Va-LEND), Program this past May also received a $2000 Research Grant from The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) to support her dissertation research. Coleman's was among 26 proposals submitted to OAR, a national non-profit organization formed and led by relatives of children and adults with autism and Asperger Syndrome. A doctorial student at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Coleman's study is titled Parent Implemented Communication Intervention for Young Children with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities. She has 18 months to complete her research and will work directly with parents and their children with autism.



GAO Report: Youth with Autism

Federal Agencies Should Take Additional Action to Support Transition - Age Youth

According to GAO's nationwide survey of school district special education directors, GAO estimates that about 85 percent of districts in school year 201516, provided youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) services such as instruction on life, social, and behavioral skills, as they transition from high school to adulthood. ASD is a group of complex developmental disorders characterized by difficulties with social interactions, communication, and repetitive behaviors.



Northeast Regional LEND Programs Co-sponsor Annual Spring Conference

The NH-ME LEND Program at Dartmouth College,"Geisel School of Medicine; The Child Psychiatry Autism Program at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in partnership with The Maine LEND at the" University of New England; The LEND Program at Boston Children's Hospital" and Eunice Kennedy Shriver LEND Program at University of Massachusetts Medical School will host a conference at the Southeastern Regional Education Center in Bedford, NH on May 15, 2017.

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