UC-LEND is a graduate- and clinician-level training program established to improve the health of individuals who are diagnosed with, or are suspected of having, autism or other neurodevelopmental and related disabilities (DD).
Our program prepares trainees to assume leadership roles in the delivery of services to individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities in clinical practice, research, and public policy by providing interdisciplinary training opportunities for graduate- and clinical-level trainees from a variety of professional disciplines, for example: education, pediatric neurology, psychology, public health/policy, social work, and school psychology.
As part of the clinical experience, graduate student and practitioner trainees attend our weekly clinical seminar. Trainees will have an opportunity to learn about the LEND clinic model and the components of case presentations. Through the clinical seminar, trainees will gain an interdisciplinary approach to various cases using the LEND clinic model of care. Trainees will apply the model to clinical cases presented by peers and engage in discussions surrounding diagnosis, services, and educational advocacy. Trainees are required to attend a UC-LEND clinic appointment, where they will gain experience in observing how interdisciplinary care teams work and how to bring their own expertise to LEND cases.
The UC-LEND curriculum covers courses from a Population Health Approach to Autism; Child Health Policy; and Leadership. Practitioner trainees, Physician Trainees, and Nurse Practitioner trainees will be granted access to our virtual coursework, which will cover lectures from the same courses offered to the graduate student trainees.
During the span of the academic year, graduate student and practitioner track trainees complete a capstone project focusing on neurodiversity. Additional research support is provided to graduate students through our Fall quarter weekly research seminar where trainees gain experience in applied research methods, conducting research in neurodiversity, and various skills in manuscript preparation.
During the Winter and Spring quarters trainees will have quarterly in-person social events and Capstone Project updates with LEND faculty, have dedicated meeting time with their capstone groups, and engage in mentorship from the Capstone Project Faculty Mentors.
All trainees are encouraged to get involved in UC-LEND related research and there are multiple opportunities for presentations and publications.
UC-LEND is one of 60 LEND programs around the nation funded by the Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB) and part of a larger AUCD network of interdisciplinary centers advancing policy and practice for and with individuals with disabilities, their families, and communities. The UC-LEND trainees are also a part of the Maternal and Child Health trainee network at UCLA and have the opportunity to collaborate and interact with trainees from our partner training programs, such as the MCH Center of Excellence.