CDC Act Early Autism Initiative: An Example of State Level

* David
A. Rotholz, Ph.D.
Center for Disability Resources
University of South Carolina School of Medicine
* Representing
the work of the SC Act Early Team
 Program of the Prevention Research Branch,
Division of Birth Defects and
Developmental Disabilities, National Center
on Birth Defects and Developmental
 Goal: To improve early identification of
children with autism and other
developmental disabilities
(Thank you to Cheryl Rhodes, MS, LMFT, AUCD-CDC Fellow)
 2007-2010 Act Early Regional Summits in all 10
HHS regions
 Collaborative effort among CDC, AUCD, and
 Key stakeholders met to improve awareness and
early identification
 55 Act Early teams representing 49 states and
6 territories
 2010 - Present Act Early teams
 51 teams active or planning
Team Leader Survey by CDC and AUCD (N=31)
 Impact of summit participation
 Post summit team activities
 Use of LTSAE materials
 TA needs
 Strengthening existing partnerships
 Improving early identification
 Establishing new partnerships
Post Summit Activities
 Education and Training
 Public Awareness
 Policy Change
 Part of a national effort initiated by the CDC with
technical assistance/facilitation by AUCD in initial
team development
 SC Act Early team developed with no existing
infrastructure, organization, or funding from the
state of South Carolina.
 Volunteer participation with all funding (small)
from external sources (AUCD, AMCHP).
 UCEDD Director*, chair
 Family Connection, Exec.
 Autism Society, co-chair
 Speech Pathologist (with
 MUSC, Dev. Peds
 SC AAP Rep.
 GHS, Dev/Beh Peds
 DDSN, Assoc Dir. Policy
 Part C Coordinator
 DD Council Exec. Dir
 Winston’s Wish, Exec. Dir
CDC LTSAE grant)
 Special Ed. Faculty
 Grad Student (MPH/SW)
 Dept. Ed (vacant)
Focused collaboration among leaders
representing professionals, state agencies,
universities, healthcare systems, private
organizations, and families to improve
the quality of life for children, youth, and
adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders
and their families.
The vision of the SC Act Early Team is for a South Carolina
where children, youth, and adults with Autism Spectrum
Disorders lead productive lives, in a community of their choice,
are valued citizens of South Carolina and where:
 Information is provided to increase awareness on prevalence
and the importance of screening and referral for Autism
Spectrum Disorders;
 Early identification, diagnostic, and intervention efforts are
implemented effectively in a timely manner consistent with
appropriate professional and evidence-based practices;
 Information about services is easily available to families;
 Services, reflecting evidence-based practices, are provided by
competent personnel at a high level of quality; and
 Cross system collaboration is seamless and there is ongoing
evaluation of effectiveness of services
 Established a new network of key
stakeholders and policymakers focused on
 Key group representing most areas related
to ASD screening, diagnosis, intervention,
policy, family issues, and professional
 Nothing “for show”, all for impact
 National Professional Development Center
on Autism
 Roadmap to Services
 Master Clinician Training for Pediatricians
 Minigrant (AUCD)
 AMCHP Grant
 Policy Changes
 Policy Recommendations
 Outline for potential use by lawmakers in
SC . . .
South Carolina
Act Early Team

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