"Learn the Signs. Act Early." Ambassador Project

December 11, 2012

The "Learn the Signs. Act Early." Ambassador project is a collaborative effort between the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) 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 & Child Health Programs (AMCHP). It was launched in 2011 to establish a network of national, state, and local experts to support state awareness activities, improve early identification practices, and advance CDC's "Learn the Signs. Act Early."  program.

Throughout this project, Act Early Ambassadors have focused on conducting activities that aim to reduce disparities in early screening, diagnosis, and referrals to services, including screenings with at-risk English language learner groups, outreach to rural areas, trainings for culturally and economically diverse populations, translation of materials, and training native speakers to conduct developmental screening assessments. In addition, Ambassadors have partnered and collaborated with programs that serve young children and their parents, such as Head Start and Early Head Start, WIC, and home visiting; health care and child care professionals; and their Act Early state teams. Ambassadors have also promoted the Autism Case Training (ACT): A Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Curriculum, which is a case-based, facilitated curriculum designed to teach pediatric residents and other trainees about autism identification, diagnosis, and treatment.

Currently, there are 25 Ambassadors serving 24 states and the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. They will continue their assignment through December 2012. 

To learn more about becoming an Act Early Ambassador in your state, and to read the recently released funding announcement, click here!