Graduate Education/Training : Leadership Development in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND )

Structured Didactics

Educational goals are achieved through exposure to information in the structured seminars and didactic sessions.

1. Online LEND Course: Fundamentals of Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Providing Care to Children with Special Needs and Their Families (Mandatory)

One of the requirements for LEND trainees is the completion of all modules in the specially constructed online course, “_Fundamentals of Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Providing Care to Children with Special Needs and Their Families_.”
This course is designed to enhance interdisciplinary diagnostic and evaluation skills while building an understanding of the current philosophical approaches when working with children with special health care needs and disabilities.
It uses a case-based curriculum to introduce diagnostic and evaluation strategies from thirteen different disciplines. The case scenario builds discipline specific skills as well as an understanding of the interdisciplinary team process. It is divided into 6 short modules, each consisting of didactic instruction, graphics, a case study and a post-test. Each case study is embedded within core curriculum threads that are critical in defining best practices for the fields of maternal child health and disability. These core curriculum threads are: (1) family-centered care; (2) interdisciplinary teams; (3) cultural competency; (4) advocacy; (5) transition planning; (6) autism

2. Understanding the Family Perspective and Advocacy (Mandatory)

Understanding the Family Perspective is an interactive interdisciplinary discussion series. Small groups of disciplines that attend are: social work, speech pathology, audiology, pediatrics, psychology, public health and education interns. We meet year round on a Friday from 1pm-5pm for a month rotation. The topics repeat each month. The curriculum addresses advocacy and also informs about the issues and concerns of families who have a child with a disability or special chronic health care need. The lecture series is developed and delivered by parents of children with disabilities and an adult with a disability.

All trainees are expected to participate in legislative advocacy initiatives that address specific approaches to advocating for child health issues. This is accomplished through a series of structured didactics incorporated into the monthly Understanding the Family Perspective series and participation in child advocacy training module (e.g., selection of advocacy topic of interest, community exploration, collaboration with community partner, development of three-level advocacy plan).

3. Interdisciplinary Leadership LEND Trainee Conversation Series (Mandatory)

All trainees are expected to attend the monthly Interdisciplinary Leadership LEND Trainee Conversation Series. These lectures take place on the third Friday of the month at the Mailman Center at 4:00 PM on the third floor conference room 3003. This lecture series is based on a framework that incorporates effective leadership practices and disability content with a best practice and systems change focus. View Schedule (To be published)

4. Ethics Education (Encouraged)

Training in ethics and cultural competency is integrated into the content of the Interdisciplinary Web Course, the Interdisciplinary Leadership LEND Trainee Conversation series and the clinical training rotations. In addition, trainees are encouraged to participate in a specified number of specific sessions devoted to these areas. These requirements are met by attending sessions in the following:

  • Dialogues in Research Ethics (Held 2-3 times per year and dates TBA)
  • Florida Bioethics/University of Miami Annual Clinical Ethics Conference (Held in the Spring and dates TBA)

5. Pediatric Clinical Research Forum (Encouraged)

Pediatric Clinical Research Forum is a weekly seminar that involves weekly research presentations by faculty and students. The seminar is highly interactive, and presenters are encouraged to present research concepts, projects in progress, and early analyses so that the research process can be shared.


The curriculum includes different training pathways, dependent on the entry level knowledge and skills of trainees and the amount and duration of time committed to the training program. This approach permits full-time trainees to take full advantage of all aspects of the program. Those with interest in the area who are limited in their available time are still able to participate in the program and acquire advanced, but more limited, knowledge and skills. Trainees start the training program by completing a Trainee Form that includes contact information and demographic information with their Discipline Supervisor and/or LEND Training Director.

Trainees acquire knowledge and skills in an integrated program that uses structured didactics, clinical rotations involving children with NDD and SHCNs and their families, research activities, and participation in policy development, technical assistance, and model program development to develop leadership skills.