Early Childhood SIG


The Early Childhood Special Interest Group at AUCD provides information to Network members on critical issues related to early childhood.  The EC SIG Co-Chairs are Mary Beth Bruder and Corry Robinson.


News and Resources



Herron Named Interim Director of the Early Childhood Center at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community

Katie Herron, research scientist with the Institute's Early Childhood Center, has been appointed as interim director of the center. Herron is replacing Michael Conn-Powers, who has retired after serving as the center's director for 28 years. Herron has been with the institute for nearly a decade and brings her extensive background in psychology and belief in the center�s research-to-practice mission to the role.



Mentoring Autism Researchers to Advance Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

At 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.



Promoting Learn the Signs, Act Early in the Latinx communities of Minnesota

Andrea Castillo is a Family and Caregiver Empowerment Specialist at CLUES (Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio) and University of Minnesota LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) fellow mentored by Dr. Jennifer Hall-Lande, CDC Act Early Ambassador to Minnesota. Andrea's LEND project was to promote the public health campaign Learn the Signs, Act Early (LTSAE) to improve early identification of developmental delays and disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).



"On My Way to Kindergarten:" Assessing Visually Impaired Children's Kindergarten Readiness

The transition to kindergarten is a challenge for many children with visual impairment, their families, and teachers. Visual impairment includes those who have trouble seeing, even with eyeglass use or contact lenses, or people who are blind.



LTSAE Collaboration with Give Kids a Smile at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry

On February 26th, MN LEND fellow, Kalee Abu-Ghazaleh, participated in the Give Kids a Smile event at the University of Minnesota (UMN) School of Dentistry. Kalee organized an outreach table with "Learn the Signs, Act Early (LTSAE)" developmental resources. The event served 96 children and families from underserved communities and included interprofessional collaboration with other UMN health programs. Programs included: medical school, speech pathology, public health, veterinary, and dental hygiene.



Mailman Center Hosts Successful Conference on Early Childhood Development in a Pandemic

Over 250 childhood personnel and allied health professionals including speech language pathologists, psychologists, social workers, and physicians participated in the University of Miami Mailman Center for Child Development Innovation and Connection Conference on February 8th, 2022. The conference, "Promoting Early Childhood Development in the Era of COVID: Practice, Policy, and Future Opportunities," brought together experts in early childhood development to discuss challenges and opportunities for the care and wellness of young children as they grow up in a pandemic.



Partnering with UCEDDs and LENDs to Develop a Statewide Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems of Personnel Development (CSPD)

The Early Childhood Personnel Center (ECPC) provides Technical Assistance to facilitate the implementation of Comprehensive Systems of Personnel Development (CSPD) for all disciplines serving infants and young children with disabilities and their families. A CSPD is a framework used to improve the quantity, quality, and effectiveness of the early childhood intervention workforce who provide services and interventions to facilitate the development and learning of infants and young children with disabilities and their families.



Team for Infants Exposed to Substance Abuse: Supporting Families at Risk for Over 30 Years

The Team for Infants Expose to Substance abuse has been providing intensive home based services for pregnant and postpartum women affected by substance use and their families Kansas City.



Promising Practices from the Act Early Response to COVID-19 Project

AUCD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently developed two new Promising Practices for "Learn the Signs. Act Early." (LTSAE) as part of the Act Early Response to COVID-19 project. These promising practices represent the work of Act Early/COVID-19 Response Teams who found innovative solutions for integrating and expanding the reach of LTSAE and supporting early identification of young children with developmental delays and disabilities during the pandemic.

A headshot of A. Pablo Juarez, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA. He is a middle-aged man with a medium complexion, a short buzz cut, black glasses, and a dark blue button-down shirt and a pink and blue plaid bow tie.


A Commentary from Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist, TRIAD Co-director on ABA Controversies and the Need for Substantive Community Engagement

This opinion piece is shared by A. Pablo Juarez, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA, co-director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (VKC TRIAD). This commentary is not meant to be a definitive resource documenting numerous issues surrounding the use of applied behavior analysis, but to instead provide a surface-level overview of conversations currently being held among self-advocates and disability support professionals.



National Advisory Council Convened to Inform Coordinated and Integrated Data Systems for the Early Identification (CIDSEI) of Young Children with Developmental Delays or Disabilities Project

On January 25th, 2022, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and the Help Me Grow National Center (HMG National) convened its first national advisory council meeting to inform the Coordinated and Integrated Data Systems for the Early Identification (CIDSEI) of Young Children with Developmental Delays or Disabilities project. The advisory council is made up of the following members from national organizations and federal agencies.



Wisconsin UCEDD SaferKids Program

Benji is a bright-eyed and energetic six-year-old. He and his two brothers keep their mom, constantly on her toes. But Benji, who was recently diagnosed with autism, was exhibiting some behaviors that were leaving his mother fearful for his safety. While at the Waisman Center Benji's mother mentioned her concerns to one of the clinic's family navigators. That's when she was told about the Waisman Center's SafterKids program.


Past Events

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Conference

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Conference  Copy to Calendar

Monday, May 2, 2022 - Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Location: Virtual

The Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Initiative* is excited to offer a virtual training series about Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. The purpose of this month-long May Event is to raise awareness and offer educational opportunities for professionals working with children 0-6 and their families. This critical workforce includes, among others, early childhood mental health professionals, early interventionists, early childhood educators, home visiting professionals, families, and caregivers.

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EC efforts are funded by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities through technical assistance contract #Contract #HHSP23320110016YC. The contents of this page do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Administration for Community Living, US Department of Health and Human Services, or the US Government.