University of Missouri
205 Portland Street
Columbia, MO 65211


Trainee Application Information

2023 Recruitment Information and Application Materials

TIPS for Kids Trainee Application

TIPS for Kids Informational Flyer

TIPS for Kids Trainee Recruitment Flyer

TIPS for Kids Self-Advocate Trainee Recruitment Flyer

TIPS for Kids Family Advocate Recruitment Flyer

2023 Important Dates

March 21, 7:00 PM CST: Informational Meeting via Zoom (contact Jaclyn Benigno to request an invitation or see the flyer)

March 24, 12:00 PM CST: Informational Meeting via Zoom (contact Jaclyn Benigno to request an invitation or see the flyer)

April 7: Application Deadline (all materials should be submitted to Jaclyn Benigno

April, dates to be determined: Interviews with selected candidates

Week of May 1: Applicants notified of final selection decision

About TIPS for Kids Training

Training in Interdisciplinary Partnerships and Services (TIPS) for Kids is the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) training program in Missouri.  The LEND program provides intensive training for advanced graduate student and post-doctoral fellows in the field of neurodevelopmental and related disabilities, such as autism.  The core training requires three hundred hours of various training activities over the course of an academic year (i.e., two semesters).  Trainees are required to participate in all training activities, which are held all day on Fridays at the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment in Columbia, MO.  Many students complete the program as a component of full-time fellowships. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funds the training program through a grant administered by the Bureau of Material and Children Health.  This grant funding includes stipend support for trainees.

TIPS for Kids is a partnership between the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the Institute for Human Development at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. The goals of the training program are two-fold.  Firstly, TIPS for Kids training aims to produce leaders in various healthcare professions that serve children with autism and other special healthcare needs.  Secondly, TIPS for Kids training also provides interdisciplinary, family-centered evaluation and assessment services to children with special healthcare needs and their families through a training clinic held every spring semester. The program is designed for graduate or post-graduate students or practicing professionals in the following disciplines:

Applied Behavior Analysis

Pediatric Medicine


Occupational Therapy

Physical Therapy


Social Work

Special Education

Speech-Language Pathology

Pediatric Dentistry

Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics

The program also includes a family member of a person with a developmental disability as well as a self-advocate.  These trainee team members gain valuable skills and knowledge in the areas of policy and advocacy as well as serve as a resource for the rest of the trainee team.

TIPS for Kids Clinic

The Tips for Kids Clinic provides a limited number of interdisciplinary evaluations for children with developmental, genetic, and/or neurological disabilities or concerns.  In addition, we provide the family with resources including information, community resources, and the opportunity to meet with other parents or family members of a child with a developmental disability.  These clinics provide our trainees with opportunities to gain clinical experiences in the evaluation process under the supervision of our faculty mentors.  The TIPS for Kids clinics are designed to assess a child’s current skills and abilities across a range of domains.  The team then uses this information to identify or enhance interventions and therapies as well as to promote coordinated care between all professionals involved in the child’s care.

Application Process

Applications are generally available in February and due in March or early April.  Application materials should be submitted directly to Jaclyn Benigno:

Via email

Via Mail

Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment

205 Portland Street

Columbia, MO 65211

ATTN: Jaclyn Benigno

In person

Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment

Leave your packet with the front desk staff

Include “ATTN: Jaclyn Benigno” on your materials

TIPS for Kids faculty members hold a general information session and later schedule interviews with select applicants. Applicants will receive notification of a decision in mid-May. Stipends are available, as well as a tuition and fee waiver for the required class each semester. If you would like more information, see the application materials below or contact Jaclyn Benigno or 573-882-2077.