link to: University of Minnesota

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities

Families as Teachers


Families as Teachers is a program in which families like yours help train professionals who work with children and young adults with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families. These professionals may be physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech/language therapists, pediatricians, nurses, nutritionists, psychologists, social workers, audiologists, special education teachers, or professionals in related fields. The Fellows chosen are being prepared to be leaders in their fields. The Families as Teachers experience is part of the Minnesota Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program (LEND). The MN-LEND Program trains professionals to work in interdisciplinary, family-centered ways.

Each family will have a fellow assigned to them. The relationship between your family and the LEND Fellow will be facilitated by the MN LEND’s family faculty, Barbara Kleist. Your job will be to show the trainee what it is like, in your own personal experience, to have a child or young adult with a disability or special health care needs. We hope that you will share your feelings and experiences, including the good times and bad times, so that they can see “the whole picture” of what it is like to be a family with a child or young adult with a disability. The fellow will always respect your family’s confidentiality and will not share information that may identify your family to others.

For more information contact:
Barbara Kleist
MN LEND Family Faculty

A little girl smiling.

“I take away a broader perspective of working with an interdisciplinary team which I will continue to draw from in my area of practice for many years to come. Having a better understanding of the complex nature of treating neurodevelopmental disabilities makes me better equipped to work effectively with families.”

Gail Anderson, RD, LD, 2009-2010 U of M LEND Fellow