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



Mailman Early Autism Intervention Program

The Mailman Early Autism Intervention program uses the evidence-based, manualized Project Impact model, to provide telehealth-based parent coaching to families of children ages 18 months to 4 years with social communication challenges. This project was developed in response to COVID-19 to replace in-person services. This program includes 6 pre-recorded webinars for parents and 6 live coaching sessions. If needed, there is an optional 7th webinar and related coaching session focused on managing challenging behavior.



AUCD-NCBDDD/CDC "Learn the Signs. Act Early." Funding Opportunities

In response to emerging needs resulting in part from COVID-19, a nationwide Act Early State and Territorial Team initiative focused on building resilience among families with young children served by early childhood state systems is under development. These teams will focus on parent-engaged developmental monitoring, screening, and referral initiatives to ensure that children with developmental delays are identified early and connected with services that can help children and families. A competitive Act Early Ambassador RFA is also available in conjunction with this funding opportunity. This work will be funded through an existing cooperative agreement between AUCD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD).



Funding Opportunity: Children's Mental Health Champions

Deadline: July 24, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. ET

Through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) will support an additional cohort of Children's Mental Health Champions. This funding opportunity is limited to AUCD network members in any state or territory. These Champions will: serve as state/territorial liaisons to the CDC's Children's Mental Health program and positive parenting resources; act as community champion change agents to increase awareness activities and improvement of positive parenting practices; develop and test strategies for building partnerships to promote identification, screening, referral, and intervention; and implement effective strategies for mental health promotion, prevention supports, and creation of networks (e.g., school, healthcare, and community) and better connections between these systems.



MMI to Open Autism Clinic in Underserved North Omaha

After months of planning and community feedback, the Munroe-Meyer Institute's Autism Clinic for Toddlers in Omaha North (ACTION) now has an anticipated opening date -- January 2021.



Act Early Network News



EC SIG Webinar Series: COVID and Early Childhood

AUCD's Early Childhood Special Interest Group held a four-part webinar series to explore opportunities for UCEDD/LEND programs to build resilience in families and in early childhood state systems during the COVID19 pandemic.



Opioid Epidemic: MN LEND will Create Statewide Telehealth Hub

The Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND is the WY LEND) has tapped the MN LEND program at the University of Minnesota's Institute on Community Integration (ICI is the MN UCEDD/LEND) to create a network of partner organizations across Minnesota that will enhance developmental screening, monitoring and education for families dealing with the effects of opioid exposure.



Early Intervention Focused Telehealth Support Series

Please join the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center's Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (VKC TRIAD) for a series of web-based training opportunities on the remote delivery of early intervention services to young children with ASD and related developmental delays and disabilities. While many home and clinic based services are currently suspended do to the COVID-19 pandemic, our goal is to equip early intervention providers with information and resources to continue serving families from a distance.



Vanderbilt TRIAD Families First Online Education Series

Please join the VKC TRIAD's Families First team for a series of web-based educational opportunities for caregivers of young children with autism. These will include information on topics such as how to schedule your day at home during this time, how to structure specific activities within your day, and how to continue to work on goal areas while services may be paused.



Bethany House, a Local Homeless Shelter, Partners with the Cincinnati LEND Program to Improve Trauma-Informed Care for Shelter Staff and Resident Families

LEND trainees have partnered with researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital as part of an ongoing project to provide trauma-informed care training to homeless shelter staff. The team has partnered with Bethany House, a local homeless shelter, to implement the training curriculum for staff members to connect better with the families they serve.

David Orlich, LEND Trainee


Indiana Pilot Program Combatting Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Shows Early Promise

Every 15 minutes a baby in the United States is born diagnoses with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). However, a new Indiana program targeted at improving outcomes for mothers struggling with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and their newborns is showing strong, early results. The program, named CHOICES, which assists mothers and is attempting to combat (NAS) has been showing promise since its inception in 2016.



Ohio State LEND Leadership Project Aims to Build Relationships Between New Mothers and Healthcare Providers

Ohio State LEND faculty Lori Grisez (Physical Therapy) and Dr. Andrea Witwer (Psychology) initiated a program called Next Steps that aims to promote healthy development in infants and young children living in poverty in Central Ohio. The Next Steps program is an extension of the Moms2B program that was created in 2010 by pediatrician Dr. Patricia Gabbe and infant mental health specialist Twinkle French Schottke to address the alarmingly high infant mortality rate in Central Ohio.


Past Events

Creating Effective Partnerships to Improve Early Identification:  IDEA Early Intervention and Early Childhood Programs and LTSAE Ambassadors

Creating Effective Partnerships to Improve Early Identification: IDEA Early Intervention and Early Childhood Programs and LTSAE Ambassadors  Copy to Calendar

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - Tuesday, November 17, 2020
3:00 p.m. ET - 4:00 p.m. ET
Location: webinar

Attend this interactive Act Early Network Quarterly webinar to learn more about Rhode Island's Early Intervention partnership with their Act Early Ambassador to educate and train professionals in home visiting programs including Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home visiting (MECHV) Program professionals and early care and education professionals (such as Parents as Teachers) on the use of "Learn The Signs. Act Early."(LTSAE) developmental milestone resources to support earlier identification.

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 Early Childhood Personnel Center Annual Workshop: Assuring a Quality Workforce Through Personnel Standards

Early Childhood Personnel Center Annual Workshop: Assuring a Quality Workforce Through Personnel Standards  Copy to Calendar

Thursday, November 12, 2020
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET
Location: Zoom

The purpose of this meeting is to update early childhood intervention (ECI) stakeholders from across the AUCD network to learn about: The NEW national personnel standards: Initial Practice-Based Professional Preparation Standards Early Interventionists/Early Childhood Special Educators (EI/ECSE). Learn new ECPC resources and tools that have been developed to support the use of the NEW standards

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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.