Host Family Mentoring Experience

Fellow with their Host Family

Understanding and utilizing family-centered practices is a key part of the LEND program. In addition to discussion and didactic learning in seminar, Fellows build a relationship with at least one family to understand the challenges families of children and youth with ASD/DD face in such areas as shopping, transportation, housing, education, and recreation. Family faculty matches Fellows to a mentoring host family. Fellows spend 25–30 hours during the year with their host family.

Objectives of the Host Family Mentoring Experience:

  • To understand the impact of raising a child with a disability may have on the entire family.
  • To increase appreciation of the capabilities and contributions of children with disabilities.
  • To learn about the emotions and stages of adjustment experienced by parents, when a child is diagnosed with a disability. 
  • To appreciate the value of good collaboration between parents and professionals. 
  • To learn about community resources available for children with disabilities and their families. 
  • To consider obstacles, challenges, opportunities and outcomes of school and community inclusion, for children with disabilities. 
  • To understand the importance of family-centered practices.

If you are a parent of a child who experiences a developmental or related disability and are interested in being a mentoring family for a LEND Fellow, please contact Rain at