CT LEND Trainees


Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) programs provide long term, graduate level interdisciplinary training as well as interdisciplinary services and care. They are funded under the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support (Autism CARES) Act, and are administered by the Health Resources and Service's Administration's (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). The purpose of the LEND training program is to improve the health of infants, children, and adolescents with disabilities. This is accomplished by preparing Trainees from diverse professional disciplines to assume leadership roles in their respective fields.


The program is one of 52 LEND programs across the country that focus on the training of future leaders from a wide variety of professional disciplines in order to improve the health care delivery system for children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities.

The training program requires the completion of coursework, research studies, advocacy projects and community practicum assignments with infants, children and youth with developmental disabilities and their families.

CT LEND provides funding for Trainees who participate in the year long program as:

  • Long Term Trainees (commit 300+ hours)
  • Medium Term Trainees (commit 40 to 299 hours)
  • Short Term Trainees (commit up to 39 hours)

Professional Disciplines

  • Audiology
  • Nursing
  • Public Health
  • School Psychology
  • Social Work
  • Special Education
  • Speech Language Pathology
  • Other*

*Families, self advocates, and community participants are also accepted into our LEND program.

CT LEND Objectives

While each LEND program is unique, with its own focus and expertise, we all provide interdisciplinary training, have faculty and trainees in a wide range of disciplines, and include parents or family members as paid program participants. We also share the following objectives:

  • To advance the knowledge and skills of all child health professionals to improve health care delivery systems for children with developmental disabilities;
  • To provide high-quality interdisciplinary education that emphasizes the integration of services from state and local agencies and organizations, private providers, and communities;
  • To provide health professionals with skills that foster community-based partnerships;
  • To promote innovative practices to enhance cultural competency, family-centered care, and interdisciplinary partnerships.

Trainee Competencies:

The LEND Curriculum addresses the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) core leadership competencies:

I. Self

  • Critical Thinking
  • Ethics & Professionalism
  • MCH Knowledge Base/Context
  • Self-reflection

II. Others

  • Communication
  • Cultural Competency
  • Developing Others Through Teaching and Mentoring
  • Family-Centered Care
  • Interdisciplinary Team Building
  • Negotiation & Conflict Resolution

III. Wider Community

  • Policy and Advocacy
  • Working with Communities and Systems

The LEND Curriculum addresses the following interdisciplinary knowledge and skill areas:

Interdisciplinary Teams



  • Assessment, Intervention and Evaluations
  • EBP and Data Based Decision Making
  • The Role of Other Disciplines
  • Team Communication
  • Team Process
  • Assistive Technology
  • Customized Employment
  • Intervention Practices
  • Personal Futures Planning
  • Self Determination
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Social Competence and Positive Behavior Supports
  • Advocacy
  • Evaluation
  • Mentoring Others
  • Model Development, Implementation, and Scaling
  • Policy Development
  • Strategic Planning Systems Change

Risk and Disability

    Foundations of Practice

    Systems of Service

    • Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • Biological Risks
    • Environmental Risks
    • Established Risks including Genetic Syndromes & Disorders
    • Medically Complex Conditions
    • Mental Health
    • Multiple Disabilities
    • Cultural Competence
    • Evidenced Based Practices (EBP)
    • Family Centered Practice
    • Medical Home Care Coordination
    • Research Design and Analysis
    • Social Determinants of Life Course Health Outcomes
    • Working with Others
    • The NICU Environment
    • Early Intervention and Home Visiting
    • Preschool
    • Elementary School
    • High School and Beyond
    • Mental Health Services
    • Transitions to Adulthood: Medical Care, Work, and Community Living