MNLEND Fellow and Latino Childcare Network Collaborate for Early Diagnosis of Autism

Wed Feb 14 2018
Alice Kraiza, MNLEND Fellow, 2017-18.

MNLEND Fellow Alice Kraiza (pictured) is collaborating with leaders of the Latino Childcare Providers Network (La Red) to train Latino parents about early developmental milestones and signs of autism in young children using "Learn the Signs, Act Early," (LTSAE) materials and resources. LEND Fellows are graduate or postgraduate students, or community members selected for their outstanding skills and commitment to improving the quality of life for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities (e.g., autism) and their families. LEND Fellows participate in a nine-month training through the interdisciplinary leadership training experience MNLEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities) Program, an affiliated center of ICI. MNLEND is funded by the Maternal Child Health Bureau of the US Department of Health and Human Services. 

Since fall 2017, Kraiza has contributed Minnesota LTSAE materials and helped design a business plan for La Red's outreach efforts. The team ensures the trainings and outreach will be relevant, appropriate, and informative for metro-area Latinos. The community trainings will be delivered in Spanish, and they anticipate about 45 childcare providers from across the Twin Cities will attend the first training in April. Kraiza, a University of Minnesota master's degree candidate in Public Health Administration and Policy, is working closely on this project with guidance from both her MNLEND mentor, Robin Rumsey, and Jennifer Hall-Lande, MNLEND Faculty and Act Early Ambassador to Minnesota. "Alice's LTSAE outreach in the community with the Latino Childcare Providers Network is building an important professional collaboration and is promoting increased awareness of developmental milestones and acting early if there are concerns," says Hall-Lande.

La Red director Ruth Evangelista, agrees: "I believe this training is a good for La Red. The greatest contributions are to break the language barriers; help the Friend, Family and Neighbor [FFN] community understand what autism is; and how to go hand-in-hand with FFN providers."