All About Trainees

Welcome to All About Trainees!

On this page we feature noteworthy achievements of current and former Va-LEND Trainees as well as their impact on the community.    

Va-LEND Trainee presents at the July

2017 Autism CARES meeting.

Research Poster

YuYu Du









Va-LEND Trainee Receives 2017 OAR Research Grant


Heather Coleman

Heather Coleman, who received her certificate of completion from Virginia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (Va-LEND), Program this past May also received a $2000 Research Grant from The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) to support her dissertation research. Coleman’s was among 26 proposals submitted to OAR, a national non-profit organization formed and led by relatives of children and adults with autism and Asperger Syndrome. A doctorial student at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Coleman’s study is titled Parent Implemented Communication Intervention for Young Children with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities. She has 18 months to complete her research and will work directly with parents and their children with autism. Click on link to read entire article



Wendy Dorsey

Trainee’s Article Featured

Click on The NADD Bulletin which is the official publication of NADD an Association for persons with Developmental Disabilities and mental health needs to read article by Va-LEND Trainee.


Va-LEND’S Impact On Career Goals

To all the great leaders of Va-LEND!!!

I just received the great news!!! I got selected as a resident in Psychiatry in Duke School of Medicine!!!! I am over joyed, thrilled , excited, honored and soo sooo soo grateful to the entire team of Va-LEND and commonwealth Autism Clinic for being the greatest support system, guide, inspiration and hope for me!!

It would have never ever been possible without Va-LEND. My entire thirty minute interview with the Program Director of DUKE Psychiatry Program was all about the vision of Va-LEND, the power of interdisciplinary care, the strong need of training psychiatrists in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders. I urged on the importance of bridging special education and psychiatry. The program director was truly impressed by the vision of Va-LEND.

As a psychiatrist, I will continue to implement the principles of Va-LEND and Commonwealth Autism in my care. I will not hesitate to add recommendations for IEP meetings and eligibility meetings. I will never hesitate to ask school system for more speech or OT. Because I know it matters!! Our children matter, their dreams matter!!

Thank you to the strong leaders of Va-LEND!! You are my inspiration!! Best of luck to all of you in your scholarly pursuits and future endeavors!!

Best regards,

Hiba Zaidi