Dr. Fleming is also director of instructional design for the Shriver University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), one of just 38 such federally funded centers nationwide, where he works with a team of UCEDD faculty focused on health promotion for individuals with disabilities. Members include James Gleason, MS, PT, associate director of UCEDD; Linda Bandini, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics and director of nutrition for Shriver’s Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program; Heidi Stanish, PhD, adjunct assistant professor of family medicine & community health; Susan Wolf-Fordham, JD, senior project manager; Helen Hendrickson, project manager; Elaine Gabovitch, MPA, director of family and community partnerships for the Shriver Center; Carol Curtin, MSW, research assistant professor of family medicine & community health and associate director of LEND; Renee Scampini, MS, research coordinator; Elise Stokes, MS, board certified behavior analyst; and Mary Beth Kadlec, ScD, occupational therapist for YouthCare at Massachusetts General Hospital.
SPARC is just one of several projects the team has developed to improve health status for children with developmental disabilities. In fact, with significant and consistent funding from the National Institutes of Health, they have developed a well-rounded program of observational and translational intervention studies that complement and inform each other. Teens Recreation and Activity Choices (TRAC) is an observational study surveying three groups of adolescents—typically developing kids as well as those on the autism spectrum and with intellectual disabilities —as well as their parents. The soon-to-be-available distance learning project Discovering Behavioral Intervention: A Parent’s Interactive Guide to Applied Behavioral Analysis, will help families of children newly diagnosed with ASDs navigate their bewildering new landscape as they search for vital early intervention supports and services. And in a related effort focused on diet as well as physical activity levels, the Children’s Activity and Meal Plan Study (CHAMPS) strives to better understand the picky palates common among young children on the autism spectrum. To learn more about how the Shriver Center helps individuals with ASDs and other developmental disabilities have the opportunity to lead safe, healthy, independent and productive lives, visit http://www.umassmed.edu/shriver/index.aspx. The series continues on Wednesday, April 6, with a look at Shriver’s Autism Insurance Resource Center, a unique resource for information about medical insurance for autism treatment. Related links: Blue lights mark Autism Awareness Day