Act Early Network

Act Early Logo

Act Early Network, a collaborative initiative that supports state efforts to improve early identification of autism and other developmental disabilities, including the:

Act Early Forum, a national community of over 800 early identification professionals and family members across the country

Act Early Ambassadors, state community change agents serving as liaisons to the "Learn the Signs. Act Early." Program

Act Early State Systems Grants, state-level systems change projects for improving developmental monitoring.

AUCD collaborates with The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs to implement "Act Early" efforts supported by the Learn the Signs. Act Early. program.

For more information, please contact Abigail Alberico, MPH, Public Health Program Manager,

Stay connected: Subscribe to the
Act Early Network listserv.



Act Early Ambassadors Project

The Act Early Ambassadors project is designed to develop a network of state-level experts who promote developmental monitoring and screening and improve early identification practices. It is a collaborative effort on behalf of CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD), the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), and the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP). Act Early Ambassadors serve as state or territorial liaisons to the Act Early Initiative and act as a community champion or change agent to increase awareness activities and improvement of early identification practices.

Meet the Ambassadors >


Materials from Past Events

Early Childhood Inclusion: Peer Competence as a Core Element

Early Childhood Inclusion: Peer Competence as a Core Element  Copy to Calendar

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET
Location: Webinar

Major goals of preschool inclusion consist of access, accommodations, developmental progress, and social integration. Emphasized in this webinar is the significance of children's peer-related social competence to the latter two goals. The association between peer-related social competence and children's peer relationships and friendships is discussed along with current research designed to enhance the peer competence of young children with developmental delays. A broad array of family-peer linkages is considered.

Read More >

Infants with Congenital Zika Virus Infection and their Families

Infants with Congenital Zika Virus Infection and their Families  Copy to Calendar

Tuesday, February 21, 2017
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET
Location: Webinar

This webinar will provide an overview of the Zika virus infection, updated case numbers for infants with congenital Zika virus infection, and useful resources for families and EI professionals. Findings on the potential clinical manifestations of congenital Zika virus infections will be discussed as well as the still evolving clinical, policy, and research implications for early intervention professionals.

Read More >

Developmental Surveillance & Screening in Practices Initiatives at the American Academy of Pediatrics

Developmental Surveillance & Screening in Practices Initiatives at the American Academy of Pediatrics  Copy to Calendar

Thursday, February 16, 2017
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET
Location: Webinar

Christina Boothby, the Manager of Medical Homes Initiatives at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) will present the implementation and findings of the developmental surveillance and screening project that is support by the CDC. Attendees will learn about a messaging campaign and a quality improvement project focusing on improving developmental surveillance and screening among pediatricians. Laura Frankel DeStigter, Manager of Screening in Practices Initiative at the AAP will present the planning and early implementation of the Screening in Practices Initiative. e screening, referral, and follow-up for developmental milestones.

Read More >





Better Hearing and Speech Month Coffee Break Webinars

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month! In celebration, OSEP's Early Childhood Assistive Technology Model Demonstration grantees and Center on Technology and Disability is partnering with the Office of Head Start's Early Childhood Hearing Outreach (ECHO) Initiative to join the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in celebrating this year's theme "Communication: The Key to Connection." Throughout the month of May, ASHA partners with national and local stakeholders to engage in a multifaceted public education campaign to raise awareness about the critical need to intervene early when young children are identified with communication disorders. The Coffee Break Webinars will focus on raising awareness about the use of assistive technology and the importance of frequent hearing screenings. Please join the Coffee Break webinar series to learn more about assistive technology and hearing screening. There is no pre-registration to join the webinars.



Our Role in Early Identification (CO UCEDD/LEND)

By Act Early Ambassador, Nancy Lewis, MPA, MS, CCC-SLP

Communication difficulties are among the most widely reported developmental delays in young children. Here"s how we can get more involved in early identification.



"Learn the Signs. Act Early." Resources Now Available in Vietnamese

The "Learn the Signs. Act Early." Team is pleased to announce the completion of its project to translate and adapt the Milestone checklists, Milestones brochure, and tip sheets (How to Help Your Child & How to Talk to the Doctor) into Vietnamese. These materials were professionally translated and adapted in consultation with a small group of Vietnamese parents of young children and a group of Vietnamese subject matter experts.





New Dynamic Website Focuses on Total Child Health for Iowa's Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs, their Families, and Providers

The Iowa Regional Autism Assistance Program (RAP) collaborated with Iowa's Systems Integration Grant to create a new robust website, This dynamic website focuses on total child health for Iowa's children and youth with a special health care need, their families, and the providers who care for them.



Now Accepting Applications for CDC's "Learn the Signs. Act Early." 2016-2018 Ambassador Program

AUCD, the CDC, and HRSA are excited to announce the RFA for the 2016-2018 cohort for the Act Early Ambassadors: State, Territorial, and Tribal Liaisons to CDC's "Learn the Signs. Act Early." Program. Please see the Act Early Ambassador Program overview below and the request for applications (see attached .pdf document) for detailed information. Please feel free to share the RFA with your colleagues who may be interested and qualified.



"Learn the Signs. Act Early." Ambassadors Expand the Reach of the Campaign

Since May 2015, the Learn the Signs. Act Early. Ambassadors distributed a total of 69,841 materials, and this is a 99.4 percent increase compared to the overall total of 39,984 materials distributed from June 2014 to November 2014. From December 2014 to April 30, 2015, approximately 12,868 target audience members have been reached. The Act Early Ambassadors reached 1,097 family service providers, 1,855 health care professionals, 4,272 early care and education providers, 5,571 parents of young children, and 25 media outlets. Learn the Signs. Act Early. materials are available in the following languages: Arabic, Korean, Portuguese, and Somali. Visit the Learn the Signs. Act Early. website to view and download these materials.


Act Early Network News

Read the latest issue of the AEN News to learn about "Learn the Signs. Act Early." success stories, lessons learned, updates, announcements and more!

Read the Winter Issue, 2017

Subscribe to Act Early Network News by joining the Act Early Network listserv, To join the Act Early Network listserv, send an email to



Act Early Forum
Webinar Series

Learn the Signs Act Early

Act Early Forum
Webinar Series:
"Developmental Surveillance & Screening Practices Initiatives at the American Academy of Pediatrics"

Listen to the webinar here!



"Act Early" Resource Sharing Site

AUCD SharePoint Portals icon

Act Early Resource Sharing Site is password protected collaborative space.  Account required to access a portal.


"Learn the Signs. Act Early." Rubric


Click here to view and complete the Act Early Rubric for your state!


"Act Early" listserv mailing list

Listserv mailing list is an easy way to request or share information nationally.

Join Us!



MCHB Combating Autism Act


NCSL Autism Legislation Database