This project will provide knowledge and experiences to post-doctoral fellows that result in competencies to provide State and national leadership needed to address pressing policy and systems issues in the field of early intervention (EI) and early childhood special education (ECSE). Two post-doctoral fellows per year will study a core program of national ECSE policy, advocacy, systems, and collaborative leadership related to young children with disabilities (birth to five) and their families. Fellows will apply these competencies to specialized content areas that represent national areas of need: young children with autism; paraeducators and other non-degreed personnel; and social and emotional development and challenging behavior. The project will provide: (a) access to past research and training programs; (b) model programs and other initiatives; (c) the opportunity to work with and learn from accomplished EI/ECSE experts nationwide; hands-on experience working in the EI/ECSE field in schools, early childhood programs, and State offices; (d) the opportunity to conduct research studies, literature reviews, policy analyses, training and technical assistance, conference presentations, and grant and manuscript preparation; and (e) the opportunity to collaborate with State and national organizations such as the Colorado State Department of Education and Health and Human Services, CEC, DEC, the National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health, and various commissions and committees. At least 65% of the annual project budget is designated for student support, including resources for necessary accommodations and individualized support.