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Portland Maine LEND Holds Annual Family Picnic

"The family picnic is the first step of our family-led experiences for LEND Trainees. We welcomed 5 families during the picnic and solicited more in the process. Each LEND trainee will be matched with a family that fits their learning goals. Host families will teach the trainees about everyday life with children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Trainees will play, eat, and enjoy family life with their host family and in the process they will learn deep lessons that they will carry through into their leadership. Trainees may also accompany children to appointments, school planning, activities, and family experiences," explains LEND Training Coordinator, Clinical Professor and occupational therapist Dr. Kathyrn Loukas.



Spectrum Learning Community To Connect Texas A&M Students On Autism Spectrum (TX UCEDD)

By Maggie Rians Texas A&M University Division of Student Affairs

The Texas A&M University Division of Student Affairs will launch a learning community in fall 2018 that will connect students on the autism spectrum.

2017-2018 Alaska LEND Without Walls Cohort


AUCD Trainee Updates: News from the North (AK LEND)

Submitted by LEND Trainee Kelly McBride

Alaska's LEND Without Walls, part of the Center for Human Development at the University of Alaska Anchorage, is building capacity. 2017-2018 LEND trainees have had a variety of experiences so far, including time with host families, field experiences, and clinical observations.

Ellyn McNamara, Disability Studies IL LEND Trainee, screening a child for ASD.


IL LEND Hosts Autism Community Screening Events for Families in Illinois

On October 1st, IL LEND post-doc, Robin Dodds, and Clinical Training Director, Ann Cutler, organized and supervised the first autism spectrum disorder (ASD) community screening event of the fall semester. The event was held at the Spectrum Toy Store in the north side of Chicago. Six LEND trainees - in a variety of disciplines - provided screenings and discussed steps for further diagnostic evaluation, when indicated. In collaboration with Grupo Salto, a family advocacy and support group for Latino families, a second screening event was held on October 21st for Spanish speaking families in the west side of Chicago. A third screening event was held in Urbana, Illinois in December.



2018 OAR Scholarship Program

Deadline: May 7, 2018

The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) will accept applications for the "2018 OAR Scholarship Program" starting Monday, December 4, 2017 through Monday, May 7, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Applicants can apply to either the Schwallie Family Scholarship or the Lisa Hussman Scholarship. Each offers $3,000 scholarships to students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (DSM-IV or 5 criteria) pursuing full-time post-secondary, undergraduate education in the United States.



ADOS Training at NJLEND

New Jersey LEND Fellows, faculty discipline coordinators, administration and staff, as well as pediatric clinicians from Children's Specialized Hospital, a NJLEND clinical partner, participated in a two-day ADOS-2 Clinical Workshop. The workshop was led by Dr. Whitney Guthrie, ADOS-2 Independent Trainer. Dr. Guthrie is an author of the ADOS-2 Toddler Module and works at the Center for Autism Research, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The training took place at The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, NJ's UCEDD and LEND, and part of the Department of Pediatrics at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.



New Grant: Parent-Directed Comprehensive Language and Literacy Supports (L2): Providing Universally Designed Community-Based Literacy Experiences for Children with Autism (TX UCEDD)

The purpose of this project is to establish sustainable, parent-directed, comprehensive community supports for literacy and language (L2) of children with ASD, prioritizing those with limited spoken language. The strain on parents of children with ASD are already great without adding the burden of continuously creating novel literacy experiences for their children.



Updated Educator's Guide Available from OAR

The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) prides itself in the evidence-based information resources it shares with self-advocates, their parents, educators, and paraprofessionals. Among these materials are the eight "Life Journey Through Autism" guidebooks that OAR has published since 2003. The ninth and newest guide in that set is "Life Journey Through Autism: An Educator's Guide to ASD (Level 1 Supports)," a revision and update of the "Educator's Guide to Asperger Syndrome."



Young Adults with ASD talk about life Beyond High School (Co UCEDD/LEND)

JFK Partners, Colorado's UCEDD and LEND is very pleased to announce a new video, "Young Adults with ASD talk about life Beyond High School." This video documents a conversation between two young women with ASD as they discuss their transition from high school, as well as topics such as gender and sexuality, relationships, and what has helped them over the years.



Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WY UCEDD) Launches ECHO Network for Families of Children with Autism

For Wyoming families that have a child with autism, large geographic distances and a shortage of resources limit the availability of providers, care, and support. UW ECHO for Families: Autism is bridging the gap. The Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND) recently launched a new ECHO network to support families of children with autism. This virtual community was built by and for families of children with autism and meets weekly using videoconferencing technology.



The Autism CARES Partnership Network ​Our Journey Toward Collaboration

By bringing together organizations that all care deeply about improving outcomes for individuals with autism and their families across the lifespan, this Partnership Network hopes to be an example of collaboration and alignment at many different levels.



AUCD Summary and Analysis: Young Adults and Transitioning Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder

In September 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services publicly released a report to Congress focusing on young adults and transition-age youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as mandated by the Autism CARES Act of 2014. The report summarizes existing federal initiatives (across agencies) focused on transition and identifies gaps in research, programs, and services. AUCD has developed this abbreviated summary of key findings as a resource for the LEND and DBP networks.



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.

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