Goals and Objectives:
GU LEND will build the capacity of interdisciplinary team members to identify, diagnose, and serve children with autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental disabilities (ASD/DD) and their families. The purpose of GULEND is to improve the health and well-being of diverse persons who have or are at risk for developing ASD/DD across the life course. This will be accomplished by providing graduate-level training consistent with the MCH Leadership Competencies. The trainees will participate in didactic, clinical, and experiential activities to enhance knowledge, promote skill development, and develop critical inquiry and research strategies.
The GU Center for Child and Human Development (DC's UCEDD), community partners, and other academic programs will plan and implement a comprehensive, integrated program of continuing education, consultation, and technical assistance to build the capacity of existing service systems to provide services that reflect best practice.
GULEND faculty will develop and implement a program that advances racial and health equity in teaching models, clinical skills, critical inquiry and research, and advocacy for individuals with ASD/DD. Collaboration with other universities and LEND programs regionally and nationally will focus on the infusion of principles of contemporary practices related to people with neurodevelopmental disabilities and related disorders and their families within the context of their community through the life course.
GULEND will improve the health status of those in DC with ASD/DD through leadership training of individuals from a broad range of professional disciplines and diverse backgrounds by accomplishing five goals:
- Increase the number, diversity, and capacity of interdisciplinary graduate-level trainees to meet the interests and complex needs of persons with ASD/DD and their families/caregivers throughout the life course.
- Increase the leadership capacity of professionals, family members, caregivers, and persons with the lived experience of ASD/DD to improve the systems of supports and services from birth throughout the life course.
- Advance innovative practice models that enhance cultural and linguistic competence, family centered/ person-centered, and life course approaches.
- Develop the knowledge and skills of interdisciplinary service professionals to respectfully enter diverse communities and foster partnerships and meaningful inclusion of persons with ASD/DD in the communities in which they live.
- Implement an iterative quality improvement process to guide program implementation during the five-year grant