1. MCH Workforce Development
  2. Funded Projects

Funded Projects

Iowa Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (ILEND)

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (LEND)

Project Director(s):

Dianne M. McBrien, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Center for Disabilities and Development
University of Iowa
100 Hawkins Drive
Iowa City, IA  52242
Phone: (319) 356-7044


There is currently a critical shortage of qualified providers to serve individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related developmental disabilities (DD), and their families. Population to be served: The target population of the ILEND program is individuals across the lifespan with ASD/DD and their families. Project summary and proposed services: ILEND is designed to strengthen the community, state, and region's capacity to screen, diagnose, and treat individuals with ASD/DD or who are at risk for ASD/DD. The program will build capacity in these areas by training future leaders who will use their knowledge and skills to develop effective, evidence-based, integrated, person- and family-centered, community-based systems of care. The project is five years in length.

Goals and Objectives:

GOAL I: Train a diverse group of graduate, post-graduate, family and self-advocacy trainees to serve the needs of those with ASD/DD across the lifespan and to be effective MCH leaders in an interdisciplinary, culturally competent and person- and family-centered manner. Objectives: In each project year: 1) Recruit, enroll and support a min. of 18 long-term ILEND trainees (LTTs) from 12 core disciplines. 2) Provide interdisciplinary, culturally competent, and person- and family-centered training to all LTTs. 3) Train 60 short-term and 80 medium-term trainees. 4) Assess LTTs' growth in knowledge/skills in all aspects of the program. GOAL II: Enhance the clinical expertise and leadership skills of practicing community professionals, and the leadership skills of individuals with disabilities and their families to improve outcomes for individuals with ASD/DD across the lifespan. Objectives: In each project year: 1) Provide 100 continuing education (CE) opportunities to at least 7500 practicing professionals, individuals with ASD/DD and their family members. 2) Provide at least 20 web-based seminars to practicing professionals serving rural and underserved populations, family members, and individuals with ASD/DD. 3) ILEND faculty and trainees will provide at least 85 technical assistance (TA) activities to local, state and national programs and agencies to improve the systems of care for people with ASD/DD. 4) ILEND faculty and trainees will provide CE to individuals with ASD/DD and their families through at least 20 web-based seminars. 5) Increase capacity of professionals, ILEND faculty, and LTTs to provide screening, diagnostic evaluations, and treatment, through at least one formal external training opportunity. GOAL III: Increase knowledge and create new knowledge in the field of ASD/DD by performing research and disseminating findings regarding evidence-based, person- and family-centered, and culturally competent clinical practice. Objectives: In each project year: 1) Develop LTTs' ability to evaluate the evidence base for screening, evaluation and treatment for ASD/DD by presenting didactic training. 2) Mentor all LTTs in the development, completion and presentation of a research project and presentation of a poster at the ILEND Research Symposium. 3) Disseminate at least 80 ILEND faculty and trainee research products.