IND Fellowship Training & Experience :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

IND Fellowship Training and Experience

The IND Postdoctoral Fellowship trains in accordance with the scientist-practitioner model. The fellowship is viewed as a process of leadership specialization, whereby fellows are provided with the opportunity to demonstrate increasingly independent practice over the course of the program. Provision of necessary knowledge and skill base is undertaken in the context of modeling, mentoring, teaching and supervision. Training occurs across the following areas of core competence, which are essential to all activities of professional psychologists and are directly related to the quality of psychological services: 
  1. Assessment
  2. Intervention
  3. Consultation and Interdisciplinary Relationships
  4. Scientific Foundations and Research
  5. Leadership and Advocacy
  6. Professional Development


At the CDC, Fellows work as part of an Interdisciplinary Diagnostic Assessment (IDA) team. Team members include Developmental Behavioral Pediatricians; Pediatric Neurologists, Psychiatrists or Advanced Practice Nurses; Speech Therapists; Psychometricians; and Nurses/Medical Assistants. During IDAs, children suspected of autism or developmental delay are evaluated by the full team. Fellows then complete a full psychological assessment to further document the child’s functioning and generate recommendations for services. 
Fellows also complete independent psychological evaluations of children with other intellectual and developmental disabilities at the CDC. 
Assessment activities also occur within several hospital-based, medical sub-specialty clinics as well as an ICF/IID (Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities). Typical responsibilities in these clinics include brief psychological testing and/or behavioral consultation. Current clinics with IND Fellowship involvement are:
  • Heinzerling Foundation (ICF/IDD facility)
  • Neurodevelopmental Clinic (Department of Neurology)
  • Post-Injury Clinic (Department of Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics)
  • Fellows Clinic (Department of Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics)
Participation in occasional hospital inpatient consultations will occur throughout the year. Consultations typically involve diagnostic/development assessment, decisions about the appropriateness of placement in an ICF/IDD, as well as appropriate behavioral recommendations related to medical complications occurring among children with developmental disabilities.


Special training opportunities focused on behavioral therapy for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities is an integral part of training, and Applied Behavior Analytic (ABA) approaches are most commonly used. Treatment experiences will cover a wide range of presenting problems, including diagnoses such as Intellectual Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, Down Syndrome, Anxiety Disorders and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Treatment referrals commonly seen are those typical to children with intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities, including feeding problems, noncompliance, aggression, self-injury, sleep problems, toileting delays and other gastrointestinal issues. There may be complicating family/psychosocial issues to address. Treatment cases may also involve habilitative interventions for adaptive behavior, language development, school and academic interventions, and early intensive behavioral intervention for autism or other developmental disorders. 
Fellows will provide outpatient treatment services throughout the year as well as participate in a bimonthly Behavior Intervention Clinic in which a team of trainees and psychology faculty assess behavioral problems and develop a treatment plan for ongoing management. Additionally, Fellows participate in the program’s outpatient feeding treatment services, which include an intensive model (child and family attend three feeding appointments per week). 
Treatment services are also interdisciplinary, emphasizing collaboration with physicians on medical management, clinical social workers on family therapy, and possibly Board Certified Behavior Analysts on behavioral interventions. 


IND Fellows take part in advocacy activities during the fellowship. Past opportunities have included school observation visits, assistance with IEP planning, interaction with legislators  and developing presentations for community organizations or schools.

Professional Development Project and Research 

Fellows will complete a research or program development project over the course of their fellowship. The goal of this project is to give Fellows valuable experience in taking a leadership role in developing and carrying out a project to improve practice or increase knowledge in the area of neurodevelopmental disabilities. This project will increase the Fellow’s competitiveness for future employment in their chosen job setting. This project will be developed and carried out under the guidance of the postdoctoral co-directors, taking into account Fellow’s interests and career goals. At the culmination of this project, Fellows will prepare a presentation to share with CDC faculty that can serve as a job talk for future employment opportunities.
To facilitate these projects, Fellows participate in a biweekly research group to discuss study design and review relevant scholarly literature. There are additional opportunities to participate in research projects being run by other psychology faculty based on the Fellow’s interests. Fellows also can attend Autism Treatment Network (ATN) Webinars.  

Other Training Activities

Various educational opportunities occur throughout the week at the CDC:
  • Each week, fellows attend Treatment Rounds with faculty and other trainees, which will include discussion and presentation of empirically-based treatment programs as well as an opportunity to discuss the application of treatments to specific cases.
  • Clinical Case Problem Conference (also known as “Stump the Chump”) is a bi-weekly case conference that requires the fellows to present assessment cases to other trainees and CDC faculty. This is an opportunity to receive feedback about assessment procedures, interpretation of results, and ideas for recommendations.
  • Cutting Edge Seminar occurs monthly. Guest speakers from the community, various medical departments at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, or professionals at The Ohio State University share their research on topics relevant to IND concerns.
  • Journal Club occurs monthly and includes discussion of relevant scholarly literature.
  • Diagnostic Intake (DI) Rounds also occurs monthly and is led by CDC’s social work/family therapy team to problem-solve concerns that arise during CDC intake appointments. 


Fellows will be assigned a specific primary supervisor responsible for providing supervision for all assessment and therapy cases. Over the course of the training program, all Fellows receive supervision from a number of different faculty members in subspecialty clinics. Supervision includes both individual and group modalities. 
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