Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Act Early Ambassadors: Partners for Action: The Act Early Ambassadors Project Is Designed to Develop a Network of State-Level Experts to Improve Early Identification Practices. AUCD Serves as a Collaborator on the Act Early Ambassadors Project, a National Community Change Agent Program

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Act Early Ambassadors: Partners for Action: The Act Early Ambassadors Project Is Designed to Develop a Network of State-Level Experts to Improve Early Identification Practices. AUCD Serves as a Collaborator on the Act Early Ambassadors Project, a National Community Change Agent Program

Article excerpt

As the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders has A increased, with numbers reaching about one in 88 children affected, and many children with a developmental delay not being identified until after entering school, it becomes even more important to identify potential developmental delays in children as early as possible. The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) aims to improve early identification through the Learn the Signs. Act Early. (LTSAE) program, which works to increase awareness of the importance of tracking development in every young child and acting early on a developmental concern. LTSAE's free resources and materials, available at www.cdc.gov/ActEarly, are designed for parents of young children and professionals who serve young children and their families--early education providers, health care providers, and others. One particular project of the LTSAE program is the Act Early Ambassadors, a leadership and training opportunity for professionals to serve as state liaisons to CDC's Act Early Initiative.

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In 2011 the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) began collaborating with CDC and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) on the Act Early Ambassador project. Ambassadors promote the goals of LTSAE and the work of their Act Early state team to increase awareness activities and improvement of early identification practices within their state. The Act Early Ambassadors project is designed to develop a network of state-level experts to improve early identification practices. AUCD serves as a collaborator on the Act Early Ambassadors project, a national community change agent program. The pilot project is now in its second year with two cohorts |of Act Early Ambassadors, with 25 Ambassadors across the country, half of whom are parents of a child with a developmental disability as well as a professional in the field. …

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