Connecticut LEND (CT LEND) Program
Grant Status: Active
Training Category: Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (LEND)
Mary Beth Bruder, Ph.D.
University of Connecticut Health Center
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030
Interdisciplinary leaders in CT at the University, state and community level are needed to improve life course outcomes of children, youth, and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Neurodevelopmental, and other related disabilities (DD). This program will provide training to long term, medium term and short-term UConn and community trainees to develop, enhance and deliver culturally competent, equitable and coordinated care across CT state and local service delivery systems for those with ASD/DD, and their families.
Goals and Objectives:
Goal 1: To provide didactic, clinical, research, advocacy and community-based learning opportunities to interdisciplinary and racially diverse graduate students and community participants about children, youth, and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), other related disabilities (DD). Goal 2: To increase the capacity of practicing health, education and social service professionals, families, and self-advocates to improve national, state and local service delivery systems for children, youth and adults with ASD/DD, and their families. Goal 3: To develop and disseminate materials, tools, and resources about research findings, evidenced based practices, and policies for infants, children, youth, and adults with ASD/DD. Goal 4: To improve the effectiveness of LEND programs and outcomes for trainees across the country through collaborative meetings, activities, and trainings with other LEND programs.
The LEND two semester seminar will be implemented with 12 graduate student LTT and 2 community based LTTs. In addition, all LTTs enroll in a Public Health course on disability, a Special Education course on family centered practice, modules on the medical home, life course and ASD interventions, participate in clinical experiences, and implement home and community visits with families, conduct research projects and a legislative advocacy project. Community trainings and technical assistance will be provided to agencies, organizations, professionals, families, and self-advocates throughout CT. Key staff, 10 core faculty discipline coordinators (including a family and a self-advocate), 11 support faculty, 7 national faculty, and additional professional, family and community faculty will implement the CT LEND.
CT LEND will coordinate activities with State and National MCH initiatives through: 1) UConn Schools and Campuses; 2) CT State Departments including Public Health (Title V, CSHCN); 3) CT state, regional, and local service delivery agencies and programs that provide services to children, youth, adults with ASD/DD and their families; 4) National and state parent and self-advocate organizations; and 5) Other LEND Programs.
We will use formative evaluation strategies to monitor and measure program implementation and progress to make changes and improvements as needed over the 5 years of the program. Summative evaluation strategies will measure the program's impact on all participants, including measurement of competencies, pre/post knowledge tests, immediate and follow-up impact for all trainees, faculty impact, and community impact.