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

Submitted by LEND Trainee Kelly McBride

February 12, 2018

2017-2018 Alaska LEND Without Walls Cohort
2017-2018 Alaska LEND Without Walls Cohort

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.

John Cartwright, a parent from Anchorage who works with early hearing detection and intervention, shared how the host family experience has been beneficial to his personal and professional development. He said "I am greatly appreciating the opportunity to observe the specifics of care that make each of our families and our own situations and circumstances unique and collectively worthy of social and cultural equity."

Katrina Nunemann, a trainee from Fairbanks working with Head Start, shared her field experience opportunities to partner with local agencies in screening and parent involvement, thanks to the learning and networking through LEND. Sydney Krebsbach, self-advocate from Juneau, attended the REACH open house and filmed a video testimony. She shared "because of my Autism I've always been a follower not a leader" and through her LEND experiences she has improved her leadership skills, advocacy, and public speaking. She successfully presented with another team member during didactic session on Standardized Assessments. Other trainees mentioned their clinical observations, such as Rita Kittoe, a Public Health Nurse from Anchorage, who observed a speech language pathologist serving children birth to three with neuro/developmental delays. Greta Gabo, a parent in Anchorage, observed a diagnostic team meeting at the FASDx clinic in Anchorage, and felt it was the "perfect example" of the interdisciplinary focus of LEND.

When asked to reflect upon the first part of the year, several trainees commented how beneficial it was to collaborate with other professionals, especially those joining in from rural communities.
Rebecca Bjorke, an Occupational Therapist from Kodiak working with birth to three population, shared "the connections I have made with other professionals has been invaluable in my own practice and professional development." While only halfway through the year, this diverse cohort from across Alaska has had the opportunity to share their experiences and knowledge with one another throughout the time together, developing relationships that will last for many years to come.