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Center on Human Development and Disability


Adults and Elders

Autism Center

Barnard Center
for Infant
Mental Health
and Development

Center for
Technology and
Disability Studies

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Haring Center/

Genetics Program

Families as Mentors

Contact: Kathleen Washington

Core Function: Professional Training

The Families as Mentors (FAM) Program enhances the fellows' understanding of the family experience of raising a child with a neurodevelopmental disability. Fellows learn directly from families through extended interactions and experiences that take place in the family's home and community. Fellows are matched with a family for a minimum of three visits, which may include events like a family outing, a therapy appointment, or a birthday party. Trainee learning objectives for this experience include:

1) To view families as teachers;

2) To appreciate the realities of raising a child with a disability;

3) To develop leadership skills in promoting systems change among professional peers regarding family-centered care;

(4) To recognize that services or recommendations that may appear to be critically important from a professional perspective may decrease in importance when viewed within the context of the family's daily routines; and

5) To recognize and acknowledge biases, beliefs, and attitudes and how these may affect the client/family-clinician relationship.

Discussion sessions are also held with fellows and faculty mentors to share and reflect on the FAM Program experiences and discuss readings.

University of Washington • Center on Human Development and Disability Box 357920 • Seattle WA 98195-7920 USA • 206-543-7701 •

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