Each trainee, in partnership with their supervisor, develops an individualized training plan with goals that can be related to clinical services (assessment, diagnosis and intervention), advocacy and public policy, research and scholarship, cultural competence, and community-based programming. Many trainees pursue a clinical track within the Riley Child Development Center clinics, while some base their learning on the didactic sessions and project work only.
All trainees complete a project that enhances their learning within the LEND program’s core content areas. Areas of emphasis for past projects include evaluations of specific clinical interventions, surveys of current professional practices, the creation of community support programs, advocacy around issues facing individuals with disabilities, development of educational interventions and exploration of the disability community.
Didactic and experiential learning across key content areas are infused throughout the curriculum. Trainees meet as a group one day each month for a required didactic session. Targeted content areas include leadership, interdisciplinary practice, advocacy, life course, cultural competence, autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions, mentoring and development, and family and community. Other weekly learning occurs during optional didactics, including grand rounds, journal club discussions, and webinars. An online learning platform (Canvas) is used to manage learning activities and homework assignments.
The training period for the LEND program runs for one year and is based roughly on the academic calendar, running from August through April, with optional summer training time. Long-term trainees spend a minimum of 300 total hours in the Riley Child Development Center, which typically works out to one full day per week. Some trainees complete as many as 2,000 hours, depending on their individual needs and expectations. Trainees receive a stipend in exchange for their time commitment to the program.
For individuals who cannot make the full time commitment, shorter-term training experiences are available, including summer options. One-day observations of interdisciplinary clinic work are also available throughout the year.