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Funded Projects

Grant Status: Active

Grant Title: Delaware LEND Program

Web Site: University of Delaware Project Exit Disclaimer

Project Director(s):

Beth Mineo, Ph.D.
Project Director
University of Delaware
461 Wyoming Road
Newark, DE  19716
Phone: 302.831.1589
FAX: 302.831.4690
Email: mineo@udel.edu

Problem:

Children with autism spectrum disorders and other neurodevelopmental disabilities (ASD/DD) and their families are most effectively served when provider practices are current, appropriate, evidence-based, family-centered, culturally and linguistically competent, and reflect an interdisciplinary orientation. The Delaware LEND will prepare future leaders through clinical contributions, research, teaching, and advocacy. The LEND has six overarching goals related to 1) cultivation of the next generation of leaders in the field of ASD/DD, 2) recruitment of underrepresented groups to careers serving the ASD/DD population, 3) a successfully sequenced and implemented curriculum inclusive of didactic, experiential and clinical components; 4) provision of community education and information dissemination to build capacity among providers; 5) technical assistance to Title V and other partners; and 6) the conduct of research and dissemination activities designed to advance the field. The Delaware LEND is a collaboration between the University of Delaware and the Nemours Foundation/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children. Faculty from these institutions and the community represent seven core and five complementary disciplines. LEND trainees will be drawn from a multitude of disciplines, and will include family members of individuals with ASD/DD. Trainees will benefit from a dynamic learning experience designed to impact their knowledge, skills, and attitudes across varying domains. The curriculum is designed to foster trainees' growth through demonstration that interdisciplinary, culturally competent, family-centered care yields enhanced outcomes for those impacted by ASD/DD. Leadership development will be fostered through both explicit instruction regarding leadership principles and practices as well as the design of experiential activities that enable trainees to engage in self-reflection and hone their leadership skills. An Individual Learning Plan will guide each trainee's experience and an individual portfolio will be used to capture work products, reflections, and evolving competencies. Community-based experiences will sensitize trainees to the application of curricular principles in authentic contexts, and trainees will be required to generate products that demonstrate their evolution as learners and leaders. Through the LEND's extraordinary connectivity with its institutional, state agency, and community provider partners, as well as its connection to families, it can respond to emerging needs and influence policies and practices at many levels. LEND evaluation procedures target both processes and outcomes. Data collection mechanisms will support collection of all federally-required performance data as well as outcome indicators deemed critical by LEND faculty and the community. LEND management and futures planning will be data-driven. The LEND will produce five cohorts of trainees representing a variety of disciplines, including the family discipline, will impact community awareness and capacity, and will develop materials and processes that can be of benefit to others across the country.

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