Act Early Network

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

Act Early Response to COVID-19, providing support for early childhood state systems through the Act Early Network to support recovery and strengthen resilience skills, behaviors, and resources of children, families, and communities during COVID-19 response, mitigation, and recovery efforts. 

Act Early Forum, a national community of over one thousand professionals with medical, child development, developmental disability, special education, and early intervention expertise.

Act Early Ambassadors Program, expand the reach of the “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program and support their respective state’s work toward improving early identification of developmental delays and disabilities, including autism.

Act Early State Systems Grants, 2011-2019, These grants were designed to strengthen state and community systems for early identification and coordination of services for children with developmental disabilities. To learn more about the specific strategies and implementation activities, click to view the interactive resource, “Learn the Signs. Act Early. AMCHP’s State Systems Grant: Eight Years in Review.”

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 Danielle Webber.

Stay connected: Subscribe to the Act Early Network listserv.



Materials from Past Events

Supporting Teachers' Use of Assistive Technology in Early Childhood: Lessons Learned in a Post-Pandemic World

Supporting Teachers' Use of Assistive Technology in Early Childhood: Lessons Learned in a Post-Pandemic World  Copy to Calendar

Tuesday, June 22, 2021
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET
Location: Zoom Meeting

In this webinar, presenters will discuss lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to modify a professional development program designed to support early childhood educators in using assistive technology with young children with disabilities. Following a brief overview of the core features of our coaching model, presenters will discuss responsiveness to the needs of both parents and educators as they pivoted to using AT for remote learning. The presentation will highlight unique challenges, unexpected benefits, key takeaways, and implications for the future of AT training in a virtual world.

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An Update from the Act Early Response to COVID-19

An Update from the Act Early Response to COVID-19  Copy to Calendar

Monday, May 24, 2021
3:00 - 4:00 p.m. ET
Location: Zoom Meeting

"Learn the Signs. Act Early." (LTSAE) is a CDC program that promotes collaboration among early childhood programs in states and territories so children with autism or other developmental delays and disabilities can be identified early and referred to appropriate services and supports. This past year the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded 43 states and territories to focus on early childhood state systems to support recovery and strengthen resilience skills, behaviors, and resources of children, families, and communities during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This webinar will provide an overview of LTSAE, the purpose and scope of the Act Early Response to COVID-19 and include a high-level overview of findings from the Act Early/COVID-19 Response Team needs assessment process.

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AIR-P Presents - Brain and Body in Motion: Understanding and supporting motor dysfunction in Autism

AIR-P Presents - Brain and Body in Motion: Understanding and supporting motor dysfunction in Autism  Copy to Calendar

Friday, May 21, 2021
4:00 p.m.
Location: Zoom Webinar

Motor dysfunction are prevalent and pervasive in autistic individuals. However, due to the heterogeneity of motor dysfunction and the categorization in DSM-5 as an associated deficit, this condition often goes undetected and undertreated. Improving our understanding of motor dysfunction in autism is important so that we can adequately screen for these difficulties and ultimately provide the best interventions.

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Act Early Network News, Spring 2021 Issue



Building Resilience in Families with Young Children

The Act Early COVID-19 Response Teams are working to bolster the 4 steps of early identification of developmental delays and disabilities and to improve resiliency among families with young children during COVID-19 response and mitigation efforts. As one strategy to achieve these goals, the New Jersey team leads, Deepa Srinivasavaradan (Act Early Ambassador) and Caroline Coffield (NJLEND/UCEDD) along with Stephanie Michael (NJLEND Trainee), authored an article, Building Resilience: Resources to Help Families Grow from Challenging Times, featured in the 2021 Guide of Exceptional Parent magazine.



Act Early Network News, Winter 2021 Issue





Public Health Surveillance of Prenatal Opioid Exposure in Mothers and Infants

The US opioid crisis is the public health emergency of our time and requires urgent public health action to monitor and protect the most vulnerable Americans. We have witnessed a startling death toll in 2017 with 70 237 drug overdose deaths in the United States, of which two-thirds involved opioids. The devastating consequences of this epidemic for mothers and infants have received less attention. Increases in opioid use and misuse in pregnancy have paralleled the increases in the general population; at delivery hospitalization, there were 4 times as many women with an opioid use disorder in 2014 compared with 1999. One of the most immediate and visible impacts of the opioid crisis on infants is the drug withdrawal in the newborn period, termed neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). On the basis of 2014 data, 1 newborn was diagnosed with NAS every 15 minutes in the United States, totaling about 32 000 infants annually with associated hospital costs estimated at $563 million.

pdf File PrenatalOpioidExposure.pdf [download]


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.


Act Early Network News

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

Fall 2020

Subscribe to the Act Early Network listserv.


Act Early Forum
Webinar Series

Learn the Signs Act Early

Winter 2021 Webinar

"Learn the Signs. Act Early." as a Tool to Strengthen Early Childhood Systems

Archive now available!