Massachusetts Act Early State Team: Spring 2012 Autism Summit

Wednesday, March 21, 2012- Wednesday, March 21, 2012
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: Special Olympics of Mass, Marlborough, MA

You are invited to join us on Wednesday, March 21 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. for our Spring 2012 MA Act Early State Autism Summit.

The registration deadline is Friday, March 9, 2012

After registering, you will receive a confirming email.  One week before the Summit, you will receive an email reminder with the full agenda and directions to the Special Olympics Massachusetts headquarters at the Yawkey Sports Training Center in Marlborough, MA. 

About the Spring Summit

Come to our March meeting ready to celebrate, since there is much progress to report across our state team!

  • The MA Act Early State Team has made some nice progress due to our three task forces diligently meeting on outreach, training and early identification on a regular, almost monthly, basis.
  • We have a new Web site at that will serve to keep families and professionals informed, and our state team connected.
  • And last, but not least, our project to develop a "culturally competent" autism screening kit is complete.  The entire screening kit can be downloaded and shared free of charge at  Spread the word!

As a result, in addition to our regular updates and break out groups on task force activities we will dedicate this meeting's theme to the topic "Considering Culture in Autism Screening and Identification."  We'll listen to some presentations on this topic (speakers TBA) and think together as a state team about how we can build on our momentum in promoting timely autism and developmental screening and surveillance of children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

The tentative schedule* for the day's events is:
9:00        Arrival & check in
9:15        Introduction to the Day's Events
9:20        Updates on state team activities
10:00      Considering Culture Presentation #1, Jason Travers, PhD
10:45      Break
11:00      Considering Culture Presentation #2, TBA
12:00      Lunch, Updates & Networking
1:00        Task Force Working Sessions
3:00        Next Steps
4:00        Adjourn

Lunch and morning/afternoon refreshments will be served.

*The schedule is subject to change pending further Summit planning.  Registrants will be informed of final changes one week before the Summit by email.

About our Venue
Special Olympics Massachusetts provides year-round sports training, athletic competition and other health-related programming for more than 11,600 athletes with intellectual disabilities. Through the power of sport and an increased focus on healthy living and access to quality healthcare, the movement has transformed the lives of countless individuals with intellectual disabilities. With a central Massachusetts location, state of the art facility, and a beautiful Marlborough setting, the Yawkey Sports Training Center is an exciting location for our State Summit. The facility is conveniently located at the intersection of Route 495 and Route 20 in Marlborough, and just minutes from the Mass Pike. 


About the National "Learn the Signs. Act Early." Campaign
"Learn the Signs. Act Early." Is a national public awareness campaign of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD), in collaboration with the Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD), and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB).  The campaign aims to educate parents and practitioners about childhood development, including early warning signs of autism and other developmental disorders, and encourages developmental screening and intervention. 

About the Massachusetts Act Early State Team Summit

The Massachusetts Act Early state plan is designed to strengthen state and community systems for the early identification and intervention for children with signs of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other Developmental Disabilities (DD).  The Act Early Team envisions a future that uses a family-centered model that overcomes geographic, socio-economic, cultural, and linguistic barriers to assure equal access and adequate funding for all children in the Commonwealth.


The current goals of the MA Act Early state team are:

1.     Develop an outreach plan to increase public awareness

2.     Increase training for health care, early childhood and educational professionals

3.     Shorten the wait times between screening and diagnosis and diagnosis and intervention 

4.     Develop a culturally and linguistically sensitive autism screening model protocol to share with community health centers and pediatric practices across MA


For more information about the Summit or about the MA Act Early State Autism Plan, please contact Elaine Gabovitch, MA Act Early Ambassador and State Team Leader at