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.


Recent Events

Act Early Network Quarterly Webinar: Act Early Ambassador Spotlight on Ohio, Nevada, and Oregon

Act Early Network Quarterly Webinar: Act Early Ambassador Spotlight on Ohio, Nevada, and Oregon  Copy to Calendar

Wednesday, September 26, 2018
3:00p.m. - 4:00p.m. ET
Location: Webinar

Please join us on Wednesday, September 26 from 3-4p ET for our Act Early Network Quarterly Webinar, an Act Early Ambassador Spotlight on Ohio, Nevada, and Oregon. The Act Early Program is a collaborative initiative of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) to further advance the CDC's "Learn the Signs. Act Early." Program.

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How Does Infant Mental Health Support the Work of Part C/Early Intervention?

How Does Infant Mental Health Support the Work of Part C/Early Intervention?  Copy to Calendar

Tuesday, September 18, 2018
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET
Location: Webinar

The Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Competency Guidelines, created in Michigan, grew from competencies developed for Part C by that state's Department of Education. They have evolved to capture a broad range of knowledge and skill areas and the opportunity to earn a credential (Endorsement) for professionals who serve pregnant women, infants, young children, and families across all disciplines and service sectors, including early intervention. Presentation will include the usefulness of these competencies in supporting social-emotional development and relational health for families where the infant or young child is experiencing a delay or disability.

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News and Resources



WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities Develops Collaborative to Address Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Service Challenges (WV UCEDD)

Over the next five years, a West Virginia University partnership with three divisions of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources will target the prevalence of neonatal abstinence syndrome and the effect it has on children's developmental outcomes.



AUCD'S UCEDD Resource Center Request for Proposals: Training Initiative Addressing Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome for the National Network of UCEDDs

Deadline: October 26, 2018

The Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) is seeking a lead UCEDD to build the capacity of the National Network of UCEDDs to address the impact of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) through collaborative implementation of best and promising practices across federally-funded networks to support child, caregiver, and family outcomes in the local communities.



Registration Open for AUCD Pre-Conference Summit on Early Childhood

Developing Leadership Competencies for Early Childhood Workforce Development

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and the Early Childhood/Intervention Special Interest Group (EC SIG) of AUCD have joined with The National Early Childhood Personnel Technical Assistance Center (ECPC), funded by the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education (OSEP), to host the Third Annual Summit on Early Childhood Personnel at AUCD's 2018 Annual Meeting.



Georgetown University Certificate in Early Intervention Celebrates the Accomplishments of the Sixth Cohort of Participants! (Georgetown UCEDD)

The Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development honored the students who completed the 2017-2018 program with a celebration on June 15, 2018. The event was part of a day-long conference hosted by the Georgetown University Center for Excellance in Developmental Disabilities, the DC Developmental Disability Council, University Legal Services, the P & A for the District of Columbia, and the Quality Trust. Participants included alumni, faculty, and service providers from the DC area.

LEND Trainees and Faculty pose with Senator Shenna Bellows (third from left) and Kim Humphrey (far right.


Grassroots Advocacy Strategies in the State of Maine (ME LEND)

The Maine LEND Program hosted an Advocacy and Strategy Forum on April 27, 2018, in Lewiston, Maine. LEND Trainee, Kim Humphrey, a public health advocate, founder of Community Connect ME, and mother of a child with autism, led the charge with key decision makers who work with and/or have children with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) in the state. State Senator Shenna Bellows and former Maine State Legislator Peter Stuckey led one key aspect of the Strategy Forum. Speakers and presenters also included University of Maine professor and Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies Director, Alan Cobo-Lewis; LEND trainee and occupational therapist, Taylor Cahill;LEND trainee and family member, Sanaa Abduljabbar; Coordinator of Education and Autism for the Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies, Alan Kurtz. There were approximately 40 leaders and advocates in attendance.



TIPS 4 Kids (Missouri LEND) Hosts Successful Leadership Project Poster Session

TIPS 4 Kids, Missouri's LEND, hosted a poster session of trainee's yearlong leadership projects. Approximately 100 students, faculty, community stakeholders, and practitioners attended. Rep. Sara Walsh, of the Missouri House of Representatives, was also in attendance, and we look forward to future collaboration with her and other members of the Missouri House of Representatives.



CMS Guidance: Addressing Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Medicaid services can play a critical role in helping ensure access to treatment for these vulnerable infants who have Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is a postnatal drug withdrawal syndrome that occurs primarily among opioid-exposed infants shortly after birth. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services CMS released guidance aimed at building on our commitment to partner with states to ensure that they have flexibilities and the tools necessary to combat the opioid crisis.



Community-Based Interventions: Access to Assistive Technology for Latinos with Disabilities: Success Comes from Collaboration (IL UCEDD/LEND)

Although Hispanics are the largest minority in the U.S., research indicates that there is a significant gap in knowledge about assistive technology (AT). Over the course of three years, I have been collaborating with the Assistive Technology Unit (ATU) located at the University of Illinois at Chicago and The Autism Program of Illinois in order to provide Latinos with disabilities (LWDs) and their families with culturally and linguistically relevant resources about AT.



Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, IDDRC, LEND) Investigators Publish Book on Key Principles of Observational Measurement of Behavior

The systematic observation of behavior is one of the most basic methods of acquiring data and is especially valuable in early childhood assessment and research. Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, IDDRC, LEND) Investigators Paul Yoder and Blair Lloyd have co-authored, with University of Minnesota colleague Frank Symons, Observational Measurement of Behavior, Second Edition (Brookes Publishing, 2018).



Changes in Intrinsic Local Connectivity After Reading Intervention in Children with Autism

Most of the existing behavioral and cognitive intervention programs in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have not been tested at the neurobiological level, thus falling short of finding quantifiable neurobiological changes underlying behavioral improvement.



Changes in Intrinsic Local Connectivity After Reading Intervention in Children with Autism

Most of the existing behavioral and cognitive intervention programs in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have not been tested at the neurobiological level, thus falling short of finding quantifiable neurobiological changes underlying behavioral improvement.



AIR-B Network Activities

The Autism Intervention Research Network for Behavioral Health (AIR-B) provides a free annual community conference to increase awareness of autism services, current research, and evidence-based interventions in the local regions of each of its network partners: University of Pennsylvania, UC Davis MIND Institute, University of Rochester, and University of California, Los Angeles. Experts in the network share their expertise and invite other prominent autism advocates to discuss topics ranging from non-clinical based autism interventions, to parent advocacy, to school-based transition supports for students with autism.



Better Together: Developmental Screening and Monitoring Best Identify Children who Need Early Intervention

Children at risk of developmental disabilities or delays who receive both monitoring and screening are more likely to receive the early interventions they need than their peers who receive either monitoring or screening, according to a study led by Dr. Brian Barger-a researcher at the Georgia State University and Policy Fellow with the "Learn the Signs. Act Early." team at NCBDD.



Updates from the State Public Health Autism Resource Center

This cohort has continued participating in monthly technical assistance calls, and through these calls, there has been a lot of discussion around grantee needs for more support and guidance around the Telehealth/education piece of their work. The 2018 Peer-to-Peer Exchange will be held in mid-April in Spokane, WA with a focus on creating connections for children and their families, self-advocates, and providers through Telehealth services. The meeting will feature the Washington State Department of Health team and their partners. During this meeting, participants will learn how the WA team (and others) have collaborated with different partners, addressed challenges around serving culturally and linguistically diverse families, and establishing buy-in to effectively provide Telehealth services in their communities. Stay tuned for the December 2018 Developments issue for our lessons learned from the meeting!



Language Barriers Impact Access to Services for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Racial and ethnic disparities in accessing health care have been described in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In a retrospective chart review of 152 children with ASD, children of parents whose primary language was English were significantly more likely to have both social skills and communication goals within their individualized education plan (IEP) compared to children of parents whose primary language was not English.



CT LEND Students Present at the EHDI Meeting in Denver Colorado

In its 17th year the EHDI Meeting has built a strong reputation for bringing together a wide variety of attendees including those who: work in state Early Hearing Detection and Intervention programs; assist in EHDI efforts on the federal level; provide screening, diagnostic and early intervention support at the state/ local level to young children with hearing loss and their families; champion Medical Home activities within each state; are parents of children with hearing loss; or are deaf or hard-of-hearing adults who are helping to expand opportunities for young children with hearing loss.



Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, LEND, IDDRC) TRIAD Study Affirms Effectiveness, Promise of Telemedicine for Autism Evaluations

Researchers at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, LEND, IDDRC) Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD) have found that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be accurately diagnosed in young children via remote, telemedicine assessments, a method that could significantly increase access and reduce wait times for autism services.



Dr. Nordness named Scottish Rite Professor (NE UCEDD/LEND)

by John Keenan and Micah Evans

One of the Munroe-Meyer Institute's most important collaborations got even stronger on March 19, when the Scottish Rite Foundation of Nebraska announced that MMI's Amy Nordness, Ph.D., director of speech-language pathology, is the holder of the endowed UNMC Scottish Rite of Nebraska Professorship in Speech-Language Therapy.



Minnesota LTSAE, MNLEND & MN Latino Childcare Providers Collaboration

MNLEND Fellow, Alice Kraiza, housed in the ICI at the University of Minnesota, is collaborating with leaders of the Latino Childcare Providers Network (La Red), a Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN)provider group based out of Richfield and Bloomington, Minnesota. La Red/The Network's Director, Ruth Evangelista, and Alice are developing a new training program on early developmental milestones and signs of Autism using "Learn the signs. Act Early." materials and resources for the wider Latinx FFN network. Per Evangelista, "I believe this training is a good for la Red.



The Center for Leadership in Disability Co-Hosts 10th Annual Georgia Positive Behavior Support Conference (GA UCEDD/LEND)

The Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD) in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University (GSU), co-hosted the 10th-annual Georgia Association of Positive Behavior Support (Georgia APBS) conference on November 28-29, 2017. The 2017 Georgia APBS Conference had over 100 presentations and 1,400 registrants. Georgia APBS is a network state under the national Association for Positive Behavior Support (www.apbs.org). According to the Association for Positive Behavior Support, positive behavior support is defined as "a set of research-based strategies used to increase quality of life and decrease problem behavior by teaching new skills and making changes in a person's environment.

Photo: Joanna Onorato, Outreach Coordinator for the MVMC, and Audrey Graham, Developmental Specialist for the South East Early Intervention Program.


South East Early Intervention Program Receives Award (UT UCEDD)

The South East Early Intervention Program at the Center for Persons with Disabilities was recently honored as the Community Partner of the Year by the Moab Valley Multicultural Center (MVMCC) for its efforts in "building bridges across language and culture through family support, community collaboration, and education." The program, which began in 2011, is a home-based program serving children from birth to 3 who are at risk of having developmental delays, or are diagnosed with a disability.



"Learn the Signs. Act Early." Project Updates

The Act Early Ambassadors project is designed to develop a network of state-level experts who promote developmental monitoring and screening and improve early identification of DD/ASD practices. It is a collaborative effort on behalf of CDC's 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 and Child Health Programs (AMCHP).


EIEC 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.