News is divided into three categories: ITAC News, ASD/DD News, and LEND/DBP News. Click the “View All” Links to see previous items. Please send Sarah DeMaio any suggestions for additional news items.




AUCD Welcomes Brett Enneking as the 2018 Assistant Virtual Trainee

Brett Enneking is the 2018 Assistant Virtual Trainee for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), where she will participate in efforts to engage trainees across the AUCD network. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in clinical psychology and a second-year trainee with Indiana's LEND program, the Riley Child Development Center (RCDC).


Expert Autism Reviewers Needed

The National Clearinghouse for Autism Evidence & Practice, NCAEP) are launching the update to the 2011 systematic review on evidence-based practices for children and youth on the autism spectrum. Please consider serving as a reviewer as well as passing this email and flyer along to your colleagues and graduate students.


Announcing 2018 FAST Projects: Five Programs that Increase Diversity, Improve Program Evaluation or Leverage Technology to Provide Statewide TA and Training Awarded Supplementary Project Funds

In July of 2017, AUCD indicated an ability to provide supplementary funding and targeted assistance to programs working to address these identified areas of need in ways that could be replicated by other programs or could benefit the broader network. After careful review of a diverse pool of program proposals, five programs were selected to receive Focused Assistance to Support Training (FAST) Projects which includes up to $8,000 in supplemental funding.




New Autism CARES/LEND Act Funding Alert

The President's FY 2019 Budget Request eliminates funding for the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) Autism CARES Act programs. This $47 million cut includes the $31.3 million appropriation for LEND programs. The national network of LEND programs would be eliminated. LEND directors, health professionals, trainees, families and allies must educate their Members of Congress about why this training program is important and why it must not be eliminated.


Spread the Word to End the Word

Join us on March 7

The R-word hurts. It's offensive. It's derogatory. This worldwide campaign asks people to pledge to stop saying the R-word as a starting point toward creating more accepting attitudes and communities for all people. Language affects attitudes and attitudes affect actions. Pledge today to use respectful, people-first language.

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.




New 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.


New Vanderbilt Consortium LEND

The Vanderbilt Consortium LEND program has provided far reaching opportunities for trainees to gain expertise in family-centered care, to become familiar with community resources, and to develop an interprofessional problem solving mindset. In addition to providing rigorous leadership training and an intensive 24-week core series on topics ranging from life course to ethics, from specific diagnoses to medical home, from newborn screening to policy, the core curriculum and leadership seminars have reinforced the importance of interprofessional and family-centered care within the healthcare setting. These learning experiences have aided our understanding of our role as part of a healthcare team and have helped expand our knowledge of the roles of other professionals we work alongside.


South Dakota LEND Trainees Experience the State Legislative Process

Leadership is the first word in the full definition of LEND. Underlying leadership are a dozen MCH competencies. The South Dakota Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disorders (LEND), housed at the Center for Disabilities in the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, takes one of those competencies-Policy and Advocacy-and engages its LEND trainees in an immersion experience with the policy makers and influencers in the state.