In 2020, the Michigan Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (MI-LEND) was selected to be part of an AUCD and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) project focusing on telehealth. The goal of the project was ultimately to support both providers and families to access telehealth and other distance care services for pediatric care.

To achieve this goal, MI-LEND Directors, Dr. Sharon Milberger and Dr. Jane Turner, along with MI-LEND Fellow, Sean Jones, developed a curriculum focused on telehealth. The team conducted a needs assessment to understand the telehealth experiences of different stakeholders. Surveys were sent to families of children and youth with neurodevelopmental disabilities, individuals with disabilities, and professionals delivering services through telehealth. LEND Trainees from around the country were also surveyed. Trainees were asked about the past and current telehealth training they’ve received and what they would like to learn more about.

The results of the needs assessment, along with research collected on current best practices and known barriers to telehealth use, were used to design the telehealth curriculum. The curriculum focuses on effective use of telehealth for children and youth with neurodevelopmental disabilities. It was designed to be relevant to the many professionals involved in LEND programs. The telehealth curriculum was then added to the National Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (NDD) Core Curriculum.

The NDD Core Curriculum provides a wealth of resources for LEND Programs and other AUCD centers and programs around the country. The curriculum is maintained by the Interdisciplinary Technical Assistance Center (ITAC) on Autism and Developmental Disabilities. It is currently available to all faculty and staff from Autism CARES or DD Act grantee sites and programs. As part of this curriculum, the telehealth training can be used by programs to enhance their training and outreach. This ensures that future healthcare professionals, family members, and advocates will have a base knowledge of the impact that telehealth has on individuals with disabilities and their families. It will also impart the skills needed to effectively use telehealth to deliver various services.

You can learn more about the NDD Core Curriculum by visiting the ITAC website: https://www.aucd.org/itac/template/page.cfm?id=1170

To learn more about MI-LEND, please visit their website: https://ddi.wayne.edu/milend