Act Early Network News, Summer Issue, 2014


Summer, Issue #3

News from Act Early Network Partners 

Act Early Network Steering Committee Seeks State Representatives

Act Early logoState representatives from the Act Early Network (AEN), including state teams, Ambassadors, and State Systems Grantees, are invited to apply to serve on the Act Early Network Steering Committee, which is comprised of AEN partners (CDC, HRSA, AMCHP, AUCD). State representatives will provide advice on an ongoing, as needed basis for various AEN Steering Committee planning issues. The AEN Steering Committee hopes that this representative will help increase Federal and state collaboration by sharing feedback on state level experiences on mutual topics of interest.

Multiple representatives are invited to join, depending on the topic of interest. The state representatives will be invited to join AEN Steering Committee conference calls (as needed) to share input on AEN planning. For example, the AEN Steering Committee is currently looking for state representatives to help plan the Act Early Networking event and10th LTSAE Anniversary celebration at the Act Early Network session,  scheduled for Monday, November 11, 7pm at the AUCD 2014 conference. Please contact Adriane Griffen at agriffen@aucd.org with your interest.

CDC's Amazing Me-It's Busy Being 3! Now Available in Spanish

Soy Maravilloso CoverThe little children’s book with the big mission of helping parents learn about developmental milestones, Amazing Me—It’s Busy Being 3!, has been translated and adapted for Spanish-speaking families through a partnership with Reckitt-Benckiser, makers of Lysol. Soy Maravilloso, soon available to the public, can be ordered now by Act Early Network partners (free, up to 50 copies each). Please email your request to ActEarly@cdc.gov; be sure to let us know how many you need and how you plan to use them.

Learn More About the 2014-2016 LTSAE State Systems Grantees

In March, seven states received the 2014-2016 "Learn the Signs. Act Early." State Systems Grants: Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. Over the next two years, these states will work on implementing innovative initiatives to strengthenMap of United States with Grantee States Highlighted their state and community systems for early identification and intervention for children with signs of autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. Grantee profiles for each state have been posted to the AMCHP website. The profiles provide a quick overview of each state’s objectives and main activities, and focus areas. This is an easy way to see what the states will be doing and also to connect with a state if you’d like to find out more information! Resources from past grantees have also been updated on the site.

Six by '15 Campaign

Six By Fifteen LogoAUCD invites you to join the discussion about our new Six by '15 Campaign, which celebrates 25 years of the ADA and 40 years of IDEA. We have developed six goals which we hope to achieve by the end of 2015 to directly improve the lives of people with disabilities across the country. We thought that the Act Early Network would be the most interested in the Early Childhood goals of the Sixby15 Campaign!  The early childhood goals are:

  • At least six states increase by 15 percent the proportion of children ages 0-3 who receive recommended developmental screening.
  • At least six states commit to improving cross-system information exchange that supports access to services for children identified by screening.
We invite you to contribute to the content of the Sixby15 Campaign website with updates on efforts you are making at the state and regional level toward these goals. We view the Six by '15 Campaign website as an open source website and everyone is invited to contribute! Please send your updates to Melody Imoh at mimoh@aucd.org.

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News from the Act Early Network

Rhode Island's "Learn the Signs. Act Early." Initiatives

Stacey Aguiar HeadshotAct Early Ambassador to RI, Stacey Aguiar, has been busy working with stakeholders to help bring awareness to developmental milestones, delays and disabilities. Current initiatives include:

The Health Equity Connections Newsletter is sent on a monthly basis to community partners and members of professional boards. "Learn the Signs. Act Early." (LTSAE) was incorporated into the July 2014 issue.

Women, Infant and Children (WIC) nutritionists meet on a quarterly basis to receive required trainings. At the August meeting, Stacey presented LTSAE. All nutritionists will now be using LTSAE resources. In addition, they were excited about completing the upcoming “Watch Me!” training.

A “Back to School” event took place on August 16th at seven sites throughout the state. Families learned more about available programs and resources. LTSAE sample materials were available and distributed at each site.

First Connections is a home visiting program that supports families and their children during the early years of childhood development by giving them the information and services they need to be as healthy and successful as possible. LTSAE milestones are currently being incorporated into the new First Connections brochure.

Contact Stacey with questions or for more information about RI's LTSAE initiatives.

Mississippi’s Autism Demonstration School: A Service Provision and Training Resource

The University of Southern Mississippi's Autism Project is a university-based program funded by the Mississippi Department of Education-Office of Special Education. Through the project, university personnel conduct various trainings that are designed to teach school personnel and parents how to design and implement appropriate MS Autism Project Classroom Pictureschool-based programs for students with autism. A noteworthy component of the project is its Autism Demonstration School. The school serves approximately 30 students with autism, ages 3-9, and is housed in the Long Beach School District - a public school district that is located near one of the university's coastal locations in Long Beach, Mississippi. The school is open to any student with autism in Mississippi. It serves a dual purpose as it affords students with autism an opportunity to receive direct services while providing various professionals opportunities to get hands-on experience regarding programming for these students. More information about the project can be found at www.usm.edu/gulfcoast/autism/.

Montana and Autism: Next Steps

MT State FlagMontana is fertile ground for growth of services and support for children with ASD and other developmental disabilities, and their families. Building on the foundation set by Montana’s Act Early Ambassador, Ann Garfinkle, Montana's Act Early State Systems Grant team is regularly convening key stakeholders from across the state to develop a state plan to meet the needs of one of the largest and least populated states in the nation. In May, more than 20 people gathered to identify current trends and establish key focus areas for the development of a state plan. Participants included representatives of families, physicians, related services, developmental disability providers, Title V, children’s mental health, special education, early childhood and universities. Together, they developed a plan framework and agreed to meet in September to share resources and engage in a constructive dialogue about next steps. The May 2014 event resulted in several subsequent meetings between state agencies, universities and medical providers. Cross-organization training and training to rural/frontier community providers is a positive initial outcome of this initiative. Within the next year, partners will have access to shared information resources and will be engaged in a statewide implementation of the M-CHAT.

Northeast Regional Conference

The Act Early Ambassadors from the Northeast states (Stacey Aguiar, RI;Northeast United States Jen Doris, NH; Elaine Gabovitch, MA; Ann Gionet, CT; Deepa Srinivasavardadan, NJ; Janet Kilburn, VT), along with Deborah Rooks, ME, are working to recreate the Act Early Regional Summit (Region 1) that took place in Rhode Island, 2010. The focus of the conference will be on developmental screening and referral/response to referral. The main goal of the conference is to learn about regional approaches to screening as models for consideration. The conference will be held in Connecticut in April or May, 2015.

The team has met twice to discuss conference logistics and will continue to meet on a monthly basis. Currently, the team is working on identifying funding opportunities, keynote speakers and participants to attend the conference.

One of the lessons learned by the team thus far is that identifying funding opportunities early on is imperative. Without a clear idea of how much funding is available, the team will not be able to identify a key note speaker, number of participants, venue and etc. If you have any suggestions for funding opportunities or would like more information, please contact any one of the members of the planning committee.

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News from Act Early Network Partners

Act Early Network Steering Committee Seeks State Representatives

CDC's Amazing Me-It's Busy Being 3! Now Available in Spanish

Learn More About the 2014-2016 LTSAE State Systems Grantees

Six by '15 Campaign

News from the Act Early Network

Rhode Island's "Learn the Signs. Act Early." Initiatives

Mississippi's Autism Demonstration School: A Service Provision and Training Resource

Montana and Autism: Next Steps

Northeast Regional Conference

Save the Date!
Act Early Networking Event
&
LTSAE 10 Year Anniversary Celebration

AUCD 2014 Conference Monday, November 11, 7pm ET
Rennaissance Hotel
999-9th St NW
Washington, DC

Now Live!
"Watch Me! Celebrating Milestones and Sharing Concerns," the new online training for early care and education providers

Would you like to share important Act Early updates or innovative practices from your state, program or organization?

  • Submit your updates for the next Act Early Network News (Fall 2014) by emailing Adriane Griffen (agriffen@aucd.org).