About LEND

What is LEND?

The Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) Center provides graduate level interdisciplinary training designed to improve the lives and care of individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other neurodevelopmental disabilities (ASD/ND). This is accomplished by preparing trainees from a range of professional disciplines to be leaders in their fields, by ensuring the delivery of high-quality evidence-based care, by maximizing inclusion of traditionally underrepresented groups, and by ensuring high levels of interdisciplinary clinical competence. LEND focuses training on the policy, advocacy, research and clinical skills necessary to affect positive change on all levels, from the individual to systems.

Who can participate in LEND?

LEND trainees are undergraduate and graduate students, residents, fellows, interns, working professionals, family members, and self-advocates. The Stony Brook LEND includes long-term trainees from 12 LEND Core Disciplines (Adult Medicine, Child Medicine, Dental Medicine, Disability Studies, Family, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Psychology, Public Health, Self-Advocacy, and Social Work), however we also accept applicants at different training levels from Applied Behavior Analysis, Audiology, Human Genetics/Genetic Counseling, Health Administration, Nutrition, School Psychology/School Counseling, Speech-Language Pathology, Education/Special Education among others. We accept trainees from Stony Brook University, as well as numerous other training sites and institutions throughout the region.


To improve the training of providers, individuals, and families in understanding all aspects of care for the ASD/ND community, and thereby lead their disciplines in supporting this community

To support excellence in culturally-responsive, person-centered care

To facilitate cutting-edge research aimed at improving the lives of individuals with ASD/ND; and

To foster community, inclusion, acceptance, and belonging of individuals with ASD/ND and their families through the dissemination of current knowledge and offering a regional “hub” for the provider community


Through our Stony Brook University LEND Program, we will increase the number and expertise of clinicians and leaders who are well-prepared to deliver high-quality, interdisciplinary, family-centered, and culturally responsive care, and to appropriately identify and refer children with ASD/ND and their families to comprehensive systems of care.

Through the Clinics affiliated with our LEND Center, we will provide interdisciplinary clinical services that directly benefit children, adolescents, and adults with ASD/ND throughout the region.

Through our outreach initiatives, we aim to establish a base of better-informed and -trained professionals, families, and stakeholders in the ASD community using family-centered, culturally responsive, community-facing approaches.

To provide technical assistance and consultation to enhance unmet community needs by improving clinical practice and systems of care that impact individuals with ASD/ND across the lifespan and their families.

Increase integration of novel disciplines into the LEND program to ensure cutting-edge findings in adjacent disciplines are represented in the body of LEND knowledge.

Through an array of research and quality improvement projects, we aim to advance scientific knowledge about the challenges, needs, strengths, and opportunities of children and adults with ASD/ND and their families.