Developments Newsletter: June 2022

June 9, 2022

Developments, a project of AUCD and ITAC, in partnership with SPHARC.
  June 2022   |  Vol. VII, Issue 2
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Developments is a newsletter for Autism CARES legislation grantees, published by AUCD's Interdisciplinary Technical Assistance Center on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (ITAC) in partnership with AMCHP's State Public Health Autism Resource Center (SPHARC). Its purpose is to share news, activities, events, research, and accomplishments across grantee areas - research, training, and state implementation.


CARES Network Announcements


2022 Autism CARES Meeting Update

After careful consideration of a variety of factors, including survey feedback from grantees addressing health, accessibility, and inclusion, AUCD has made the difficult decision to shift the Autism CARES grantee meeting and the AIR-P Research Day from in-person to virtual.

The 2022 Autism CARES Meeting will be held virtually on Tuesday, August 9th from 2 PM – 5 PM Eastern Time. More details, including registration information, will be available soon. While we will miss seeing you in person this August, we hope to see you in Washington, DC at the AUCD Conference in November!

For questions or concerns related Autism CARES grantee meeting, please contact Jackie Czyzia directly at [email protected]. For questions or concerns related to the AIR-P Research Day, please contact Dana Kim directly at [email protected].


Research Roundup


AIR-B Network's Conference on Inclusion for Students with ASD

AIR-B Network Conference PosterThe academic and community partners of the Autism Intervention Research Network on Behavioral Health (AIR-B Network; PI: Kasari) gathered virtually in March and April for their 8th annual community conference on autism. Titled Optimizing School & Community Inclusion for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the annual event has switched from an in-person gathering at a church in South Los Angeles to online, which has greatly increased attendance from regions outside Los Angeles. Read More...


The Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P)

AIR-P LogoThe Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P) is a multi-disciplinary, multi-site network that supports innovative life course intervention research and promotes optimal health and well-being of autistic individuals across the lifespanIn September 2020, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) was awarded funding by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau in the Health Resources and Services Administration to lead and develop the network with the primary goal of increasing the life expectancy and quality of life for autistic individualsRead More...


Diagnostic Stabiliity and Phenotypic Differences among School-age Children Diagnosed with ASD before Age 2

Diagnostic Stability and Phenotypic Differences Among School-Age Children Diagnosed With ASD Before Age 2

Drs. Rebecca Landa, Rachel Reetzke, Calliope Holingue, Christine Hess, and Ms. Dana Herman published a manuscript in Frontiers in Psychiatry, March 2022, examining diagnostic stability and behavioral characteristics in school-age children diagnosed with ASD before age 2 years. We examined non-linearity in the manifestation of ASD beginning before 24 age months, when ASD symptoms are beginning to consolidate, through the age of 36 months when stability of ASD diagnosis is reportedly high into school-age when increased demands may challenge previously successful compensatory processes and permit first ASD detection. Read More...


Health Care Transition Publication Supported by Autism Cares Act Funding

Journal of Pediatric NursingThe Health Resources and Service Administration, and Maternal and Child Health Bureau have measured HCT service provision since 2001 but the longitudinal use of this measure has never been examined. This manuscript highlights the consistent and inconsistent uses of HCT constructs in two prominent national surveys (the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NS-CSHCN) and the National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH)) between 2001 and 2019. Read More... 


Teacher Implementation of the Early Achievements Intervention Improves Preschoolers' Social and Communication Outcomes

Early Achievements Intervention

At the International Society for Autism Research annual meeting in Austin Texas on May 12, 2022, Dr. Rebecca Landa, Ms. Anne-Michelle Engelstad, and Dr. Calliope Holingue presented the results of an Institute of Education Sciences-funded randomized control trial focused on teacher-implemented intervention with autistic preschoolers in public school settings. Read More...


 An Ecological Approach to Understanding Obesity Risk Among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

University of South Florida College of Public HealthLed by Dr. Russell S. Kirby, investigators at the University of South Florida College of Public Health conducted a secondary analysis to better understand the social-ecological context for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and obesity to address disparities in adolescents with ASD as they transition to adult health care. The study was funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant numbers R41MC39340 and R40 Maternal and Child Health Field-initiated Innovative Research Studies Program. Read More... 


Understanding Social Behavior in Autism: A Diverse World of Unique People

Girl holding red heart with puzzle pieces over her eyePeople use language to tell others what they want and need. In autism, some kinds of social communication (like language, eye contact, and hand movements) can be challenging. The goal of my lab at the Center for Autism Research is to understand and support social success for autistic people, especially in the areas of speech and language. Read More...  


Training Topics


Increasing Public Awareness of Autism Early Signs, Diagnosis, and Intervention

Interprofessional group of NJLEND Faculty and Nutrition Fellow write article for Exceptional Parent MagazineIn March of 2022, Drs. Rebecca Landa, Paul Lipkin, and Mary Leppert shared the latest news about the early signs of autism spectrum disorder, how it is diagnosed, and what to expect in early intervention. The podcast appears in archives of National Public Radio, Your Child's Brain. Read More...

Mentoring Autism Researchers to Advance Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Group of people standing together outsideAt the Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention in San Diego, February 2022, Dr. Landa brought together current and past mentees to support their career development and foster exchanges between early investigators from diverse cultural, racial, and geographic backgrounds. Each of the mentees had the honor of presenting cutting-edge research at this very prestigious scientific meeting. Read More...


Training Teachers to Utilize Developmentally Appropriate Play to Improve Social and Communication Learning

Creating Opportunities for Children Through PlayIn the spring of 2022, Dr. Rebecca Landa provided virtual training to nearly 200 early childhood educators in Prince Georges County, Maryland. The focus was on young children with autism and other neurodevelopment disabilities. Dr. Landa explained stages of play development, how language and social development is intricately linked to play development, and how to integrate play-based activities into existing daily instruction to improve children's engagement and accelerate their play, language, and social development. Read More... 


Supporting Children with Disabilities: Lessons from the Pandemic

Amy HoutrowDescription: MCHB is funding this virtual workshop hosted by the Board on Children, Youth and Families of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Dr. Houtrow chaired the planning committee with Emily Hotez from the UCLA LEND and Marc Taste from the OSU UCEDD serving as committee members. Read More... 


Texas LEND Programs Join Together at the Capitol in Austin

Picture includes members of ACT LEND and LoneStar LEND, and Scott Daigle from Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities. Hearing Room at the Texas Capitol Building, April 8, 2022.Developing leadership skills through policy education and advocacy is integral to LEND training. In recognition of Autism Acceptance Month, the Autism Consortium of Texas LEND (ACT LEND) invited LoneStar LEND to join them at the Capitol in downtown Austin on Friday, April 8, 2022. Scott Daigle, Public Policy Director at the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities, provided a full day of policy training to the LEND trainees. Read More...


State Stories


Munroe-Meyer Institute Names New Director of Autism Center

AliceSeeing a perfect fit with her professional expertise and interests, Alice Shillingsburg, PhD, will join the UNMC Munroe-Meyer Institute as its new director of the integrated Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders (iCASD). Dr. Shillingsburg’s hiring fulfills MMI’s goal to recruit a nationally recognized expert in autism to iCASD and its redesigned home in the new Munroe-Meyer Institute building. Slated to start at MMI in July, Dr. Shillingsburg is currently senior vice president of children’s clinical services and training at the May Institute, a Massachusetts nonprofit that serves individuals with autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities, brain injury, neurobehavioral disorders, and other special needs. Read more...


Collaborators Corner


The Power of Partnerships to Enhance Impact: MN LEND and MN Act Early

MN LEND Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, Minnesota Act EarlyPartnerships have the power to transform our work. In Minnesota, we are fortunate to have a robust partnership between our MN LEND and MN Act Early projects. MN LEND and MN Act Early share a common mission to connect young children (birth to 5) to early developmental screening and critical early intervention services. These two programs have developed a strong and lasting partnership by identifying and supporting shared goals and seeking opportunities to advance a strategic vision for the field of early intervention. Read More...


Collaboration Between Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND), Meharry Medical College Addresses Disparities in Autism Diagnosis for Black Families, Increases Understanding of Providing Equitable Care

Mother, father, and son with teddy bearResearchers from the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (VKC TRIAD) and Meharry Medical College (MMC) are collaborating to better understand the diagnostic experiences of Black or African American families with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Read More...


Ignite Inclusion with SPARK for Autism 

AAFABIn 2016 the Simons Foundation launched a nationwide genetic longitudinal autism study with the goal of recruiting 250,000 persons with autism to better understand its causes and how the diagnosis impacts families and individuals. The Center for Autism (CARD) at Kennedy Krieger Institute is one of thirty-one clinical sites across the nation participating in this unprecedented research opportunity. Read More... 


ITAC Items


Now Archived! 2022 Autism Acceptance Month Webinar Series

AUCD logo with headphonesAUCD, our members, and partners have used this as an opportunity to share information relating to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The month has traditionally been framed as Autism Awareness Month and April 2nd as World or International Autism Awareness Day. AUCD has shifted from "Awareness" to "Acceptance" in our April messaging. Read more...


In This Issue
CARES Network Announcements
Research Roundup
Training Topics
State Stories
Collaborators' Corner
ITAC Items
New from HHS
Upcoming Activities
Stay Connected
Submit an Article

News HHS


HHS Issues Recommendations to Improve Care for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), released The Blueprint for Change: A National Framework for a System of Services for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs through a special supplement in the journal, Pediatrics. The Blueprint for Change is a national framework to improve care for nearly 1 in 5 children in the U.S. who currently has a special health care need. Read More...




AIR-P Presents: Autism in Girls and Women

AIR-P Logo

Tuesday, June 21, 2022


AUCD Conference 2022 will be in person!

AUCD 2022 Conference Health Equity Serving the Whole Person

November 13-16, 2022
Washington, DC


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The next edition of Developments will be published in December 2022.
Developments is a newsletter for Autism CARES programs funded under MCHB. The content of this newsletter has been generated by program staff and trainees, and does not necessarily reflect the views and policies of HRSA-MCHB. No official support or endorsement by HRSA-MCHB is intended or should be inferred. This publication is funded in part by cooperative agreement #UA5MC11068.
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