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Effect of Family Navigation on Diagnostic Ascertainment Among Children at Risk for Autism: A Randomized Clinical Trial From DBPNet



AIR-B Network Continues Outreach in Diverse Communities

Although much of the research activity has moved virtual, the Autism Intervention Research Network on Behavioral Health (AIR-B Network; PI: Kasari) continues its research-community partnership in the COVID-19 era. The AIR-B is a network of researchers at UCLA, UC Davis, University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester, Drexel University, University of Kansas, University of Washington and each site's local community partners working to increase equity in access to ASD information and interventions for families of children with ASD.



AIR-P (UCLA): Progress to Date

The Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P) is a multi-disciplinary, multi-site network that supports innovative life course intervention research and promotes optimal health and well-being of autistic individuals across the lifespan. In September 2020, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) was awarded funding by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau in the Health Resources and Services Administration to lead and develop the network with the primary goal of increasing the life expectancy and quality of life for autistic individuals.



Autism Friendly Initiative

Patients on the autism spectrum have various sensory and communication needs which can make the fast-paced and often over-stimulating hospital environment particularly challenging. In response, Boston Medical Center (BMC) launched the Autism Friendly Initiative in order to improve the healthcare experience for patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families.



Increasing Access to Diagnostic Evaluations and Ongoing Care for Autism Across Washington State

University of Washington LEND is excited to report initial outcomes of ECHO Autism Washington: our new ECHO program supporting primary care providers (PCPs) in Washington State in diagnosing and managing autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ECHO Autism Washington is supported by UW LEND in collaboration with the Washington State legislature and Washington State Health Care Authority. We launched our first cohort of 28 PCPs from 15 counties in Washington in December 2019 (see Map).



Nisonger LEND Leadership Project: Pilot ECHO with AMSEN School in Tanzania

Nisonger LEND Leadership Project: Pilot ECHO with AMSEN School in Tanzania This year a team of LEND trainees and faculty developed an Extensions for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) pilot project with an AUCD Professional Fellow and other teachers from the Al Muntazir Special Needs School (AMSEN) in Tanzania. According to the 2012 Tanzania Disability Monograph only one major university in Tanzania produces teachers for students with ASD/DD.



2021 Autism Acceptance Month Webinar Series

AUCD's Autism Special Interest Group (SIG) is sponsoring a series of three webinars for Autism Acceptance Month. Topics will range from telehealth to cognitive behavioral therapy to caregiver coaching strategies. We will also host an open house for AUCD network members to learn more about activities of the Autism SIG.



April 2021: Autism Acceptance Month

April is widely recognized as Autism Acceptance Month. AUCD, our members, and partners have used this as an opportunity to share information relating to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).



Request for Assistance: The Focused Assistance to Support Training (FAST) Projects for Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Training Programs

Application for Assistance Due: Sunday, March 28, 2021 at 8:00pm ET


Sharing Stories of Individuals with Disabilities: Vanderbilt Consortium LEND's Collaboration with Saddle Up!

By Tatum Gross, Family Discipline LEND Trainee at Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt Consortium LEND's trainees have been split into groups to work on interprofessional collaboration group projects. My group is working with Saddle Up!, a therapeutic horseback riding program in the Nashville, TN, area. Saddle Up! provides Adaptive Riding, Therapy Services, and an Equine Assisted Learning Program to individuals with disabilities ages 2-26.



Kansas LEND Partners to Disseminate PCIT Across Kansas

Kansas LEND partnered with another HRSA grant, Telehealth ROCKS (Rural Outreach to Children of KS)/ KANDO, to take the first step in disseminating Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) throughout the state. PCIT is an evidence-based intervention that has been shown to be effective in improving behavior, language, social skills and play in young children with neurodevelopmental disabilities (ADHD, Autism) and trauma.



Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Researcher Documents How COVID-19 Multiplies Stress and Trauma for People with a Disabilities

In a article published in Rehabilitation Psychology, Anjali J. Forber-Pratt, Ph.D., assistant professor of Human and Organizational Development and a Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) member, reviews research on disabilities and COVID-19 to help rehabilitation psychologists mitigate the effects of the added stress of the pandemic. In addition, the work addressed how systemic discrimination against people with disabilities intersects with other forms of inequity.



MN LEND Fellow Challenges Disability Stigma in Zambia

More than 7 percent of Zambia's children have disabilities, and nearly half have never attended school. Many lack health services and experience isolation and stigma in their communities. Four the last four years, however, Renee Hepperlen (MN-LEND 2011-12) has been part of a multi-disciplinary team working to train local nurses, therapists, and other professionals in infant and child development, early intervention, daily living skills, positive language around disability, and disease prevention.



Request for Assistance: The Group Opportunities to Advance Learning (GOAL) Projects

Application for Assistance Due: Friday, January 15, 2021 at 11:59pm ET

AUCD's Interdisciplinary Technical Assistance Center on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (ITAC) will offer technical assistance through the Group Opportunities to Advance Learning (GOAL) Projects. The GOAL projects are designed to support the planning and implementation of collaborative activities that engage trainees and faculty from neighboring LEND and DBP programs.



Access for All at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Since the beginning of the Zoo Access for All program, LEND's Program Director, Dr. Jen Smith, has collaborated with the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden (CZBG) to train zoo employees and identify priority areas to increase accessibility. Over four hundred CZBG employees have gone through the unique training with Dr. Smith, learning some of the types of developmental disabilities they may encounter at the zoo, how they can support those with developmental disabilities, and how they can assist families when issues arise.

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