Professional / Graduate level trainees

Individuals with graduate or post-graduate level education and have either an academic or experiential background in ASD/DD are encouraged to apply to be a LEND trainee. Graduate education can be in school psychology, social work, child psychiatry, pediatrics, speech-language pathology, physical therapy, education including special education, genetics, public health, or nursing.

The LEND training cycle begins in July and ends at the end of May.

  1. Why were you interested in participating in the NorCal LEND Program?
    One reason I was interested in the NorCal LEND program was to learn more about resources and services provided to persons with disabilities during their transition to adulthood, as my daughter is entering adolescence. Another reason I was interested in participating in the LEND program was to learn and participate in research and clinical projects from experts in the field as I progress in my academic career.

  2. How has being a LEND trainee helped you in your understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders and leadership skills?
    Being a LEND trainee has provided me a new perspective of the team approach to assessing and providing services to families affected by neurodevelopmental disorders. This team approach is critical, and a more in-depth perspective, along with a family perspective, has strengthened my appreciation for clear communication and mutual understanding.

  3. What have been some highlights of your training experience thus far?
    A highlight so far was attending the AUCD conference with other LEND participants, family members, and people with neurodevelopmental disorders and speaking to members of Congress about the importance of the LEND program.

Family Members / Self-advocate trainees

Self-advocates and their family members with an interest in developing expertise in neurodevelopmental disabilities and leadership skills are encouraged to apply to be a LEND trainee. By offering their unique experience and insights, family members and self-advocates contribute to the interdisciplinary aspect of the LEND training and play an integral part of the LEND experience.

The LEND training cycle begins in July and ends at the end of May.

  1. Why were you interested in participating in the NorCal LEND Program?
    As the parent of an individual with autism, I felt that participating in LEND would be a unique opportunity to learn as much as I could about autism and the various evidence-based therapies that are used to help individuals and their families.

  2. How has being a LEND trainee helped you in your understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders and leadership skills?
    LEND has been so important in helping me understand more about the work that is being done to find potential causes of NDDs, relationships between neurodevelopmental disorders like autism and ADHD and how clinicians work tirelessly to properly diagnosis and provide information to families. Exposure to this work and the opportunity to learn from leaders in various areas has given me a foundation of knowledge along with the confidence and opportunity to develop my leadership skills. I hope to go forward and help other families that are new to navigating the world of autism services once my time with LEND ends and I know that my time in this program will help me in my future as an advocate.

  3. What have been some highlights of your training experience thus far?
    As a LEND trainee, I am so impressed by the variety and depth of information I can access during my individual training. I have had the chance to learn more about genetics, assessments that are used in the clinical setting to help provide an accurate diagnosis and the field of research and how valuable it is. The opportunity to network and learn from other trainees has also been a great experience for me.

Training Levels

Please use the following information to help determine the level of training that would be the best fit for you.

LEND Hours of Service Chart

Long-term Trainees

Long-term trainees will receive 40 hours of active research experience in an ongoing project that aligns with their training goals. They will prepare posters or papers from findings of the project to present in conferences based on this experience. Long-term trainees will receive 301 + total hours of training for the year. LEND trainees are expected to attend training activities such as seminars and classes on Mondays and Thursdays.

Fulltime Trainees

Included in our long-term trainees will be fulltime graduate/post-doctoral clinical trainees who are in their final year of training. Each fulltime trainee can be supported via financial stipends to participate in 40 hours per week for the training year. They will be mentored by LEND Faculty.

Medium-term Trainees

Medium-term & Advanced medium-term Trainees: Medium-term trainees (participating in 40-149 hours of training) and Advanced medium-term trainees (participating in 150-299 hours of training) will take part in some of the LEND curriculum activities, be involved in interdisciplinary clinical activities, and may also participate in some of the LEND community training activities. Advanced medium-term trainees will also develop a Leadership/Research Project as part of their training. Candidates for these roles will meet the same criteria as LEND long-term trainees.

  1. Why were you interested in participating in the NorCal LEND Program?
    I was interested in this program because I had such a good experience my first year in LEND. It allows me to network, be a part of new and exciting opportunities that I didn't know was being offered in the community, and allows me to join interdisciplinary teams.

  2. How has being a LEND trainee helped you in your understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders and leadership skills?
    My confidence in ASD/DD assessments & EBPs has greatly improved since joining LEND. This year I was also given the opportunity to help co-facilitate the African American Developmental Disability Parent Alliance Group (AADDPA) (now called "Sankofa"). Not only did this enhance my leadership skills, but this opportunity meant a lot to me because it has given me the chance to work with more African American families. I have always wanted to do that since African Americans are one of many underrepresented groups when it comes to mental health services.

  3. What have been some highlights of your training experience thus far?
    One of my top experiences was when I got to co-facilitate a talk with Elizabeth Morgan at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church. For years, they had been requesting African American representatives to do a family-friendly presentation on ADHD and Autism. The fact that I was able to help create the presentation and present it was very rewarding. The families were so appreciative!!