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Mentoring Autism Researchers to Advance Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

At the Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention in San Diego, February 2022, Dr. Landa brought together current and past mentees to support their career development and foster exchanges between early investigators from diverse cultural, racial, and geographic backgrounds. Each of the mentees had the honor of presenting cutting edge research at this very prestigious scientific meeting.



MCHB Minute - April 2021

In the DC area, signs of spring are all around us - a welcome appearance after what felt like an especially long winter. They bring renewed hope and energy for what is ahead. I am also feeling energized about the opportunities in front of us, particularly around achieving equity for children, adolescents and families with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other Developmental Disabilities (DD). With a focus on achieving health equity at all levels of the Biden-Harris Administration, we are poised as the Autism CARES network to take stock of our equity goals and of the current and potential impact of our work. This may include reflection on our collective accomplishments over time and charting a course for equity for the next 10 years.



Interprofessional Group of NJLEND Faculty and Nutrition Fellow Write Article for Exceptional Parent Magazine

An article on oral health and nutrition concerns for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) written by an interprofessional group of NJLEND Faculty and Nutrition Fellow was published in the February 2021 issue of Exceptional Parent Magazine. Jane Ziegler, DCN, RDN, LDN, NJLEND Nutrition Faculty, Evan Spivak, DDS, NJLEND Dental Faculty, and Karen Stanfar, MPH, RDN, LD, NJLEND Nutrition Fellow, authored "Oral Health and Nutrition Concerns in Autism Spectrum Disorders" to provide information about autism-related behaviors, dietary habits, medical comorbidities, and medication use which may contribute to oral health and nutrition concerns.



Reflection on CCSN Experience Three Years Later

Megan Yung, Tufts Child Health Intern Spring 2018

During my time as an undergraduate at Tufts University, I interned at the Center for Children with Special Needs. Prior to this experience, I did not have much experience with children with special needs. Through this internship, I had the opportunity to not only learn about different developmental-behavioral disorders, but also to interact with and learn from children with these disorders as well. I began to see and understand how much support these children require, and I was inspired to help and learn more about the field. This internship inspired me to take my current job as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT). 



Southern LEND Regional Collaborative

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental & Related Disabilities (LEND) trainees and faculty from the states of Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas participated in the Southern Regional Collaborative Seminars on November 20th and March 5th virtually via Zoom. The Southern Regional Collaborative Seminar is an opportunity for each state's program to come together to learn more about each other's programs and to give trainees an opportunity to network.



UCLA All Brains

UCLA All Brains was established in 2017 after students recognized the unmet need of UCLA as a neurodiverse-friendly campus. At the first town hall meeting, many neurodivergent students expressed the lack of resources and communities. As a result of this need, All Brains was formed. All Brains works as a community intervention model with three branches including socials, peer mentoring, and training/workshops. Although we are UCLA based, all of our services are open to all students.



ITAC is Hiring! Seeks Bilingual Program Manager

Interested in working for a national disability organization in the Washington, DC area?  Passionate about growing diverse and skilled leaders? If you or someone you know can answer "yes" to any or all these questions, consider working for AUCD!  



2021 Autism CARES Meeting Update

Due to the ongoing pandemic, travel restrictions, and the concern for the safety and well-being of grantees, the 2021 Autism CARES Meeting will be held virtually in Summer 2021. This virtual event is an opportunity for HRSA-funded CARES grantees (representing research, training, and state systems) to share information about activities within their respective networks, discuss emerging trends, and facilitate meaningful collaboration. Grantees will be asked to be engaged in the planning process for this event (as requested) and participate in all virtual activities.



AIR-P (MGH-scheduled to sunset)

The AIR-P (MGH-scheduled to sunset), is led by Karen Kuhlthau, PhD. The key goals for the AIR-P Network from 2015 to 2020 were two-fold: To conduct multi-site research on evidence-based interventions that improve physical health of children and adolescents with ASD and developmental disorders, especially underserved populations. To transform AIR-P into a multi-site Autism Learning Health Network (ALHN) which will provide a collaborative laboratory for developing and testing evidence-based interventions and accelerating the adoption of effective interventions and system management approaches into practice.



AIR-P (UCLA-initiated 9/1/20) Updates

n September 2020, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) had the opportunity to assume leadership of the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P) programming and activities under the direction of Dr. Alice Kuo. Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, the AIR-P is an interdisciplinary, multicenter research network for scientific collaboration and infrastructure to increase the life expectancy and quality of life for autistic individuals, with a focus on underserved/vulnerable populations. The AIR-P supports innovative life course intervention research in six areas (Research Nodes): (1) primary care services and quality, (2) community-based lifestyle interventions, (3) gender, sexuality, and reproductive health, (4) health services and systems, (5) neurology, and (6) genetics.



MCHB Minute - January 2021

Lauren Raskin Ramos, Director, Division of MCH Workforce Development

There are few words to share that adequately capture my appreciation and admiration for all of your work to care for children, youth and families with ASD and other developmental disabilities over the past year. I am grateful for your unwavering commitment to advancing training, research and systems development efforts in extraordinary circumstances, for your rapid implementation of innovative approaches, and your dexterity in responding to a changing environment. We end a challenging year with many CARES network successes, new models of care, and lessons learned that will strengthen the CARES network and advance shared goals, as well as a continued commitment to advancing health equity for the populations that we serve.



MN-LEND Project Responds to Opioid Crisis

What can you do if your baby, or a loved one's baby, has neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)? How can a toddler's development be affected by NAS? Where can Minnesotans find support? As part of their 2019-20 MNLEND fellowship experience, Bridget Winchester (pictured) and Catie Mapa are answering those questions, and more, through online content expected to be launched next month from the MNLEND website. The fellows created the content with support from ICI's Jennifer Hall-Lande and Rebecca Dosch Brown, LEND fellow Whitney Terrill, and the Institute's communications team.



National Autism Indicators Report- Health and Health Care

The National Autism Indicators Report: Health and Health Care is the sixth in the National Autism Indicators Report Series produced from the Life Course Outcomes Research Program area at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute. It reports indicators of health and health care for autistic people across the lifespan. Topics covered include overall health, health services, medication, insurance, and accessing services. The report combines data from two national surveys about health, one national sample of hospital inpatient stays, and previously published findings from Kaiser Permanente Northern California patient records.



Recommendations for Weight Management in Primary Care for Children and Youth with ASD from the Healthy Weight Research Network

In response to the lack of training and limited resources to guide primary care providers on weight management for children and youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the Healthy Weight Research Network, funded by the Maternal Child Health Bureau of the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and coordinated by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center at UMass Medical School, developed a set of recommendations for weight management in primary care for this population. The recommendations were published in the journal Pediatrics in April 2020. The recommendations include suggestions for screening, evaluation, prevention, and intervention, and provide practitioners with suggestions specifically targeted for working with children with ASD their families, allied health professionals, and school systems. They also include modifications to and expansion of the American Academy of Pediatrics guidance on managing childhood obesity, tailored for children and youth with ASD and their families.



Updates from the State Public Health Autism Resource Center

2021 has arrived! Despite the challenges we have all faced during COVID-19, our Community of Learners have persevered and made excellent progress in their work. Most notably, the Iowa team successfully hosted the 2020 Virtual Peer to Peer exchange in the midst of a severe derecho. The theme for P2P was The Iowa Family Navigator Model: Providing Family-to-Family Support to Families of Children and Youth with ASD/DD. The virtual event took place over three days and was filled with engaging workshops and inspiring panel discussions with family leaders. Participants included the current grantees from North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin, as well as former grantees from Delaware, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and Virginia.

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