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Funded Projects

Stony Brook University LEND

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

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

Project Director(s):

Michelle Ballan, PhD
Stony Brook University
Research Foundation for SUNY Stony Brook University
W5510 Melville Library
Stony Brook, NY  11794-3362
Phone: 631-444-2318


Autism Spectrum Disorder and other Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ASD/ND) are highly prevalent in the United States, and individuals with ASD/ND require complex multidisciplinary systems of care and support to succeed and flourish throughout their lives. There is a dearth of professionals and leaders who are trained to understand and work within such systems and provide high-quality care, intervention, and services.


  1. To increase the number and expertise of clinicians and leaders who are well-prepared to deliver high-quality, interdisciplinary, family-centered, and culturally responsive care, and to appropriately identify and refer children with ASD/ND and their families to comprehensive systems of care.
  2. Through the Clinics affiliated with our Autism Initiative and Stony Brook Medicine, we will provide interdisciplinary clinical services that directly benefit children with ASD/ND throughout the region.
  3. Through our outreach initiatives, we aim to establish a base of better-informed and trained professionals, families, and stakeholders in the ASD community using family-centered, culturally responsive, community-facing approaches.
  4. To provide technical assistance and consultation to enhance unmet community needs by improving clinical practice and systems of care that impact individuals with ASD/ND across the lifespan and their families.
  5. Increase integration of novel disciplines into the LEND program to ensure cutting-edge findings in adjacent disciplines are represented in the body of LEND knowledge.
  6. Through an array of research projects, we aim to advance scientific knowledge about the challenges, needs, strengths, and opportunities of children and adults with ASD/ND and their families.


At least 9 long-term and 305 short- and medium- trainees (with >30% of minority backgrounds) will be recruited each year across 11 represented LEND disciplines. This Program provides core training through 1) interdisciplinary weekly didactic trainings (in person and online), 2) multidisciplinary clinical experiences on- and offsite that prioritize family-centered care, 3) innovative leadership training leveraging best practices in leadership education, and 4) individual research and/or service project to build skills in communication, empirically-supported research, and public health methodology. Three unique aspects will be 1) utilization of cutting-edge methods in interdisciplinary communication within the training, 2) integration of novel disciplines with a focus on ASD/ND to enhance the breadth of training, and 3) an explicit focus on ASD/ND across the lifespan.


Our LEND will collaborate with more than 55 partner provider agencies, hospitals, universities, school systems, government entities, and other MCHB training programs.


Annual progress reports will focus on achievement of core training goals and metrics, including trainees' satisfaction, implementation of training plans, and successful utilization of the full range of available training disciplines. Long-term evaluation of trainee outcomes to ensure placement into leadership roles will be conducted.