New Hampshire LEND Faculty and Trainees Collaborate with State Title V Program on an Autism State Planning Grant

December 18, 2014

In 2013, the state of New Hampshire was awarded a two-year State Planning Grant for Improving Services for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other Developmental Disabilities (the "ASD State Planning Grant") through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) under the Autism CARES initiatives. In collaboration with the grantee - Special Medical Services (NH's Title V Program for Children with Special Health Care Needs), the NH Council on ASD, and NH Family Voices (NH's Family-to-Family Health Information and Education Center), NH LEND faculty and trainees are actively involved in a variety of activities to improve the system of care for children, youth, and young adults with ASD and other related developmental disabilities and their families.

LEND faculty and trainees participated in a needs assessment workgroup charged with the task of reviewing existing data sets and collecting additional information for a needs assessment. A number of data sets provided preliminary findings regarding the characteristics and needs of New Hampshire's children and youth with ASD and other developmental disabilities and their families. These data sets included: (a) NH Department of Education - Special Education Census Data, (b) NH Registry for ASD, (c) National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs, and (d) Needs Assessment Online Survey of Families and Young Adults with ASD completed by Special Medical Services in 2012. Based on the grant proposal a process was created for regional focus groups with targeted questions that would provide more in-depth understanding of families' experiences.

LEND faculty and trainees took the lead on hosting six parent focus groups held in different regions of the state to gather qualitative data regarding parents' perspectives on how the state's healthcare, human services, and related systems of care support children and youth with ASD including care coordination and gaps in available supports and services. Parents also discussed resiliency, commenting on what supports their families need to be strong and have hope for the future. The final needs assessment report will be available by the end of the year and will be used as the foundation for developing a comprehensive state plan to improve overall system of care. LEND trainees will be actively engaged in the development of the state plan.

To learn more about the NH LEND program, visit: