KYLEND Trainee Spotlight: Nicholas Hoffman

KYLEND Trainee Spotlight: Nicholas Hoffman

Meet Nicholas Hoffman! Nicholas is a fourth-year student at Eastern Kentucky University’s Doctor of Psychology program and is currently enrolled in classes and accruing hours to sit for the Board-Certified Behavior Analyst exam as he works toward becoming a Licensed Psychologist and Behavior Analyst.

Nicholas currently provides services through the EKU Psychology clinic as well as a local private practice. Nicholas has previously worked in a community mental health clinic, as well as a  state psychiatric hospital. All of this work has focused on neurodevelopmental disabilities, particularly with autism. 

Nicholas is currently enrolled as a trainee in the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute’s (HDI) Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program. LEND is a five-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal and Child Health Bureau in partnership with the University of Louisville and Eastern Kentucky University. 

These programs share the overall mission of improving the health of infants, children, and adolescents with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. LEND aims to increase the number of professionals with the knowledge and skills to provide evidence-based screening and diagnosis, as well as support to individuals and families.

Through the LEND Program, Nicholas hopes to learn more about interdisciplinary consultation, and looks forward to incorporating the perspectives of self-advocates in his work.

Visit www.hdi.uky.edu/kylend to learn more. Contact the Kentucky LEND Project Director caroline.gooden@uky.edu with any questions or to schedule an informational session for your department and interested students!

LEND Trainee Spotlight: Meet Hope Leet Dittmeier

KYLEND Trainee Spotlight: Hope Leet Dittmeier

Meet Hope Leet Dittmeier! Hope has worked in the field of developmental disabilities for over forty years. Hope has a master’s degree in Rehabilitation from the University of Kentucky, and her work is guided by Social Role Valorization (SRV) theory.

Hope’s interest in the LEND program stems from her three-year-old grandson, Axl, who was recently diagnosed with Autism. Hope is determined to be the best grandmother, YaYa, to him. She achieves this by providing him with assistance to be fully integrated into his home, school, and community and by doing whatever it takes to provide him joy, belonging, and pride.

Within the past fifteen years of her forty year career, Hope has served as a trainer and consultant in Ireland, India, Australia, and Canada. 

She currently serves as the Executive Director at Mattingly Edge,  a non-profit organization that serves the Louisville community. Mattingly Edge cultivates partnerships which enable people with disabilities to thrive in environments such as at work, at home, and in their relationships. Hope was instrumental in transforming Mattingly Center’s previous large-congregated and segregated adult day health care program into Mattingly Edge which provides 100% customized, individualized, and community-based support. 

Hope is currently enrolled as a trainee in the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute’s (HDI) Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program. LEND is a five-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal and Child Health Bureau in partnership with the University of Louisville and Eastern Kentucky University. 

These programs share the overall mission of improving the health of infants, children, and adolescents with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. LEND aims to increase the number of professionals with the knowledge and skills to provide evidence-based screening and diagnosis, as well as support to individuals and families.Visit www.hdi.uky.edu/kylend to learn more. Contact the Kentucky LEND Project Director caroline.gooden@uky.edu with any questions or to schedule an informational session for your department and interested students!

KYLEND Trainee: Meet Abby Wrightson. Abby has long, curly brown hair and is wearing an orange blouse, smiling for the camera.

KYLEND Trainee Spotlight: Abby Wrightson

Meet one of the LEND Trainees, Abby Wrightson!

Abby is currently a third-year student in the University of Kentucky’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Living alongside an aunt with Down Syndrome, she was able to witness some challenges of life with a disability and life as a caregiver. This led her to an interest in working with children and adults with neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Since middle school, it has been a goal of Abby’s to help people with disabilities function to their fullest capacity as children and through their transition into adulthood. She is also very passionate about providing better support to family members and caregivers of people with disabilities.

As a LEND Trainee, she hopes to grow the knowledge and skills to allow her to act as a provider and advocate for people with neurodevelopmental disabilities. 

Abby is currently enrolled as a trainee in the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute’s (HDI) Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program. LEND is a five-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal and Child Health Bureau in partnership with the University of Louisville and Eastern Kentucky University. 

These programs share the overall mission of improving the health of infants, children, and adolescents with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. LEND aims to increase the number of professionals with the knowledge and skills to provide evidence-based screening and diagnosis, as well as support to individuals and families.Visit www.hdi.uky.edu/kylend to learn more. Contact the Kentucky LEND Project Director caroline.gooden@uky.edu with any questions or to schedule an informational session for your department and interested students!

Meet Cameron Tyrrell: He has short blonde hair and is wearing a black t-shirt looking to the side

KYLEND Trainee Spotlight: Cameron Tyrrell

Cameron Tyrell is a second-year doctoral student in the Special Education program at the University of Kentucky with an emphasis in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education (IECE). He obtained his Master of Education in IECE from the University of Kentucky, a Rank II certification in IECE, and a master’s degree in Gender and Women’s Studies. 

Cameron’s experience includes serving as a lead preschool teacher and a paraprofessional of children with and without disabilities through Fayette County Public Schools, Head Start, and other early care and educational settings. 

His research interests include family experiences and measuring the quality of early intervention services of young children at home and in preschool. Through being a part of the LEND program, he hopes to gain more clinical experience and understanding of service delivery for young children with disabilities outside of the classroom setting.

Cameron is currently enrolled as a trainee in the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute’s (HDI) Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program. LEND is a five-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal and Child Health Bureau in partnership with the University of Louisville and Eastern Kentucky University. 

These programs share the overall mission of improving the health of infants, children, and adolescents with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. LEND aims to increase the number of professionals with the knowledge and skills to provide evidence-based screening and diagnosis, as well as support to individuals and families.

Visit www.hdi.uky.edu/kylend to learn more. Contact the Kentucky LEND Project Director caroline.gooden@uky.edu with any questions or to schedule an informational session for your department and interested students!

LEND Trainee Spotlight: Julie Caudill-Clark. She has long, ginger hair tied back and bright, green eyes. She is wearing a navy floral top and headphones, smiling for the photograph.

KYLEND Trainee Spotlight: Julie Caudill-Clark

Julie Caudill-Clark, a doctoral student in Eastern Kentucky University’s Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Program, is a current LEND Trainee. Her current studies focus on Special Education and she is completing requirements to become a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). She also holds a master’s degree from Roosevelt University in Teacher Leadership and Special Education. 

In her teaching positions, she has taught children with Autism at the middle and high school levels, earning her an Illinois Highly Qualified Certification in Secondary Education for grades 6-12 in English, Math, Social Sciences, and Special Education. She also holds a Kentucky Teaching Certification for these areas and is certified in ages 3-21 as a Special Education Teacher. 

Currently serving as Director of Disability Services and Testing for Hazard Community and Technical College, she supports all students with disabilities at all campuses. She determines accommodations students can use in classrooms. 

Also serving as Chair for the Disability Services Workgroup for Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), she works with other Disability Service Providers to develop the Disability Services Handbook. Additionally, her and her team facilitate training and materials for Faculty and Staff guiding support provided to all students.

Julie serves on the Board for Kentucky AHEAD as the Chair for Membership. This organization provides training, networking and support to other Disability Service Professionals at the college level and allows us to improve services provided at Kentucky colleges and universities. 

Julie hopes to expand her knowledge and abilities while continuing work in Kentucky!

Julie is currently enrolled as a trainee in the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute’s (HDI) Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program. LEND is a five-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal and Child Health Bureau in partnership with the University of Louisville and Eastern Kentucky University. 

These programs share the overall mission of improving the health of infants, children, and adolescents with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. LEND aims to increase the number of professionals with the knowledge and skills to provide evidence-based screening and diagnosis, as well as support to individuals and families.

Visit www.hdi.uky.edu/kylend to learn more. Contact the Kentucky LEND Project Director caroline.gooden@uky.edu with any questions or to schedule an informational session for your department and interested students!