Center for Development and Disability

Latest News Items

Congratulations 2013 LEND Fellows!

On May 3, 2013, 17 graduate, post graduate and family member trainees successfully completed the New Mexico Leadership in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (NMLEND) curriculum. These outstanding individuals dedicated 300+ hours over 2 semesters developing their skills in leadership, partnering with families, team work, interdisciplinary practice and policy and advocacy. NM LEND is part of a national network of 42 LEND programs across the country focusing on enhancing the clinical expertise and leadership skills of professionals caring for children with neurodevelopmental and other related disabilities. It is funded by a federal grant under the Combating Autism Act.

2012 NM LEND Fellows The trainees were:
Jacinta Bailon, Social Work
Maureen Beery, Speech Therapy
Colleen Canfield, Social Work
Andrea Cantarero, Nutrition
Sandie Chapman, Family
Elizabeth Cuna, Public Administration
Nat Dean, Self-advocate
Marita Delaney, Psychology
Cleve Guy, Public Administration
Siri Khalsa, Nursing
Jess Lacy, Education
Nycole Montano, Speech Therapy
Shantelle Quintana, Rehab Counseling
Jessica Salazar, Occupational Therapy
Sam Starsiak, Special education
Jennifer Valdez, Rehab Counseling
Fletcher Wood, Social Work

Five additional trainees completed their LEND experience in December 2012. They were:
Annandhi Chandrasekaran, Occupational Therapy
Ellen Cousineau, Occupational Therapy
Sarah Dumas, Occupational Therapy
Casey Hinkley, Occupational Therapy
Vonnie Sachse, Family
Allison Weber, Occupational Therapy.


To learn more about the New Mexico LEND Program, visit their website at

Post-Secondary Education Peer Mentor Training Available

Peer Mentor Training Come participate in peer mentor training! The Post-Secondary Education Peer Mentor Training is designed for students and professionals seeking an understanding of the joys and challenges that exist for students with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities.

The peer mentor training describes the roles and responsibilities of the peer mentor, ways to support the student in a Post-Secondary Educational setting, and how to access the resources needed on campus to help ensure student success.

Instructions on how to access the Peer Mentor training are on the UNM website through Moodle.

Please go to:

Congratulations Jeanne Favret!

Jeanne Favret Award Winner Jeanne Favret, our Education Specialist at the Center for Development and Disability Information Network Library was recently honored as one of the recipients of the UNM Health Science Center Pug Burge Staff Award Program during the awards ceremony held August 7th. This award recognizes individuals and work groups for their extraordinary, meritorious and distinguished service to the UNM HSC; exemplified by their demonstration of the HSC Core Values and outstanding performance.

Jeanne was recognized for her significant contribution related to improving library operations by researching, evaluating and installing a new library catalog software system. The new library catalog allows users to set up their own accounts, access specialized resources and locate disability related books and videos quickly.

Congratulations Jeanne!

Medical Home & Health Literacy Online Training

Child being evaluated The Medical Home & Health Literacy training is online. This training session is designed for early childhood professionals who are seeking a basic understanding of the Medical Home model and Health Literacy. There will be two CEU's available for social work and counseling. You can access this training through the CDD Early Childhood Network website at:

Current research supports that a child’s health, safety and development improves when his or her family, medical home providers, home visitors, early interventionists and child care programs work together.

The training describes home visitor roles and responsibilities, how and where to access and locate services and resources and ways to increase Health Literacy.

April is Autism Awareness Month

April - Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month. On March 29th the Center for Disease Control released a new report that estimates the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders affecting 1 in 88 U.S. children, including 1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls. This April the CDD is "Recognizing the Spectrum of Autism".

The Autism Programs kicked off the beginning of April with Imagine.... a learning journey through Autism Spectrum Disorders, a three day conference with over 220 attendees from across the State and three keynote speakers. Attendees included families, educators and professionals that received up to 17.5 continuing education credits. Training opportunities will be offered across the state for families, educators, and professionals throughout the month of April.

Please check out available trainings HERE.

NEW FIT Training and Resource Portal

FIT Training and Resource Portal

A new training and resource portal has been developed that will be the hub for accessing a wide range of FIT related materials, information and training opportunities. The new portal contains a variety of resources for FIT Program managers and staff, organized in a simple, accessible way. Items accessible through the Portal include FIT Forms, Technical Assistance documents, manuals, online trainings and links to helpful web sites. The Portal was launched alongside the new FIT Web Calendar – – containing information and registration for FIT-related events. Both new sites are maintained by the Early Childhood Network, CDD.

March is Developmental Disability Awareness Month!

March - Disability Awareness Month

The CDD along with Governor Susana Martinez are "Celebrating Diversity" this March. March has been proclaimed Developmental Disability Awareness Month. The CDD will have 7 billboards around Albuquerque throughout all of March to help raise awareness and encourage all community members to Celebrate Diversity.

Dr. Piyadasa Kodituwakku Awarded Fulbright Specialist Grant

Dr. Piyadasa Kodituwakku

Dr. Piyadasa Kodituwakku has been awarded a Fulbright Specialist grant in Public/Global Health at the University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka. The main purpose of this grant is to assist Sri Lankan investigators in the development and validation of two neuropsychological test batteries: one for the assessment of dementia in the elderly and the other for the assessment of cognitive functions in children. Sri Lanka is an Island nation in the Indian Ocean with a population of over 21 million. While the country’s free health care system has focused on meeting people’s basic medical needs, minimal resources have been allocated for the assessment and treatment of neurocognitive problems. Therefore, the primary aim of this project is to develop and validate culturally sensitive measures to assess cognitive and emotional functioning in children and the elderly.

Another goal of the grant is to assist in the development of a course in clinical neuroscience for physicians at Ruhuna School of Medicine. Dr. Kodituawakku will be working with a clinical neurologist of Ruhuna School of Medicine on its development. Once the course has been developed, he will plan to teach it using distance education technologies available at CDD.

Introducing the 2012 ADD-UCEDD Fellow: Mette Pedersen, PhD

January 31, 2012

2012 ADD-UCEDD Fellow: Mette Pederson

ADD and AUCD are pleased to announce the inaugural ADD-UCEDD Fellow, Mette Pedersen, PhD

Dr. Pedersen has worked with children and adults with disabilities, their families, and communities throughout the United States in university, therapeutic, early intervention, and public school settings. She has worked to create systems of care and education through collaboration of community, family, and state efforts. She helped develop opportunities for inclusive childcare in New Mexico across state agencies and worked there to establish a system of home visiting, including Federal home visiting programs supported by the Affordable Care Act. Mette's recent research efforts have addressed preparation of middle and high school students with intellectual disability to assume adult roles, including those of partnering and parenting. She has a strong interest in supporting parents with intellectual disability and was a founding member of The Association for Successful Parenting, an international organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of families when parents have learning difficulties.

Mette holds master's degrees in early childhood special education and counseling and a doctorate in special education. She was the recipient of the Alexander M. Tymchuk Award of Excellence in 2010 for her research in supporting parents with intellectual disability. Dr. Pedersen currently directs the Division of Early Childhood and Specialized Personnel Development at the Center for Development and Disability at the University of New Mexico where she is also a Deputy Director.

Administration on Developmental Disabilities

The Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD), through its technical assistance contract with AUCD, has initiatied a fellowship program recruiting outstanding individuals in the UCEDD community for an intensive year-long experience at ADD in Washington, DC. The Fellow will gain experience in collaborating across the federal agencies to advance the goals embodied in the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 -- " assure that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of, and have access to, needed community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance that promote self-determination, independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion in all facets of community life ...". The Fellow will share first-hand knowledge and experience of his or her home UCEDD as well as the UCEDD network with ADD, and will use knowledge gained during the Fellowship year to impact future work in the field of developmental disabilities.