South Carolina LEND (SC LEND)

Project Profile

MCHB Program: Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (LEND)
Institution: Medical University of South Carolina
Location: Charleston, SC
Region: 4
Project Director:

Michele M. Macias, MD
Phone: 843-876-2875



Severe disparities exist in South Carolina for youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental and related disabilities (DD) and their families.

Goals and objectives:

Goal 1: Provide a state-wide leadership training program through a collaborative effort by the state's three major ASD/DD academic centers. Obj.1.1: Recruit and train 25 diverse long term & advanced medium term trainees (LTT,AMT) yearly, providing them with interdisciplinary leadership skills needed to assess and treat ASD/DD; improve the skills of 50 medium (MTT) & 1250 short-term trainees. Obj.1.2: Offer year-long course on ASD/DD and targeting MCHB leadership competencies. Obj.1.3: Develop training focused on professionals in the community and advanced programming to promote workforce development in ASD/DD. Obj.1.4: Collaborate with SC undergraduate institutions on extending the pipeline program for ASD/DD. Goal 2: Provide continuing education(CE), training activities, and technical assistance (TA) regarding ASD/DD. Obj.2.1: Sponsor at least 3 interdisciplinary CE programs annually using live and distance learning options. Obj.2.2: Sponsor 6 educational outreach events per year targeting rural hospitals and clinics. Obj.2.3: Provide TA collaboratively with the UCEDD, other MCH programs to Title V and other community programs. Goal 3: Disseminate knowledge, best practice and innovative treatment models for youth with ASD/DD. Obj. 3.1. Disseminate information regarding ASD/DD to consumers via Title V and other state partners, SC LEND affiliated websites. Goal 4: Increase the number of trained providers available to diagnose and treat ASD. Obj.4.1: Provide didactic instruction and clinical experience needed to allow LTT, AMT,MTT to evaluate and treat ASD, including training in gold standard screening and assessment tools. Goal 5: Continue to strengthen the statewide SC LEND program. Obj. 5.1. Semiannually review data collected and make necessary changes to each SC LEND component. Goal 6: Provide best practice instruction in national and regional policy and advocacy efforts in ASD/DD. Goal 7: Ensure infusion of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the SC LEND program, including perspectives of those with lived experience of the disability culture.


25 interdisciplinary LT complete core training in leadership, research, and ASD/DD through a flexible, universal curriculum. LT receive intensive training in assessment, treatment, and research at one of the three major ASD/DD teaching clinics in SC. Other MT and ST also participate in selected coursework, CE programs (live, synchronous online, and asynchronous) and clinical/research training.


SC LEND is a coordinated effort between the three major ASD/DD teaching clinics in SC and a) UCEDD; b) DHEC (State Title V); c) BabyNet (Part C); d) ChildFind/Office of Exceptional Children (Part B); e) Family Connection of SC f) SC Autism Society; g) SCDHHS/SCDDSN.


SC LEND will undergo ongoing internal and external evaluation through specified data collection methods.