437 S Yellowstone Dr Ste 217A, Madison, WI 53705 info@autismsouthcentral.org (608) 630-9147

Waisman Center Opportunity for Families

We received this opportunity from the Waisman Center to pass on to families:

Mentor Family for the Wisconsin Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (WI LEND) Program

Three quick questions:

  • Are you a family member of a child, adolescent or young adult with a
    developmental disability?  
  • Would you like to help future professionals learn more about families’ experiences raising a child with a neurodevelopmental or related disability?
  • Are you interested in an opportunity to influence future systems of care for all children and youth with neurodevelopmental and related disabilities by meeting with a pair of future professionals 4 times over about 4 months?

If you answered yes to all three questions consider being a LEND Mentor Family!

What:  The WI LEND program is an interactive leadership training program for professionals, family members and self-advocates who will work with individuals with developmental disabilities.  An important part of LEND training is the Family Mentor experience. In the Family Mentor experience, a pair of LEND trainees is matched with a family of a child with disabilities. The trainees and Mentor Family meet four times over about four months allowing the trainee to learn directly from families of children with disabilities what it is like to raise a child with disabilities.

Mentor Families are expected to meet four times with their pair of trainees:

  • Invite your trainees into your home (First Visit)
  • Include your trainees in activities your family does outside your home; such as, school related visits, doctor or therapy appointments, sports or community outings, family events, restaurants, parks, etc. (Second and Third Visits)
  • Wrap-up the Family Mentor experience with your trainees (Fourth Visit)
  • Be willing to answer questions from your LEND trainees throughout all the Family Mentor experience.

When: The LEND Program takes place during the 9-month academic year (late August-early May.)  We try to have all trainees meet with their Mentor Families between late September and January.

Where: your home and community

Why: The Family Mentor experience allows future professionals to gain insights into the families’ perspective by hearing about and participating in families’ lived experiences and asking questions they may not otherwise get to ask. Trainees learn about the need to understand families’ experiences, what’s important to families’, what works well for families and what doesn’t, and what they as professionals can do to help improve the systems of care families rely on.

The Waisman Center offers financial support (stipend) to qualifying Mentor Families. The stipend is intended to offset expenses you might have that relate to being a Mentor Family for the LEND training program; i.e., outings, transportation.  The typical stipend is $200.

Visit our website for further information: http://www.waisman.wisc.edu/mchlend/ 

If you are interested in being a LEND Mentor Family or have any questions please email Sandy Tierney or stierney@wisc.edu.