MA Act Early News & Updates
Welcome to Massachusetts Act Early
Massachusetts Act Early aims to educate parents and professionals about healthy childhood development, early warning signs of autism and other developmental disorders, the importance of routine developmental screening, and timely early intervention whenever there is a concern.
Whether you are a parent or a professional who works with young children and their families, our hope is that you will find helpful information at the MA Act Early website to promote healthy development in all children.
Go to our "Events & Webinars" page to access past event trainings and slides!
Massachusetts Act Early is the state campaign for the national "Learn the Signs. Act Early." program run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD), in collaboration with the Health Resources & Services Administration's (HRSA) Maternal & Child Health Bureau (MCHB).
Grand Round presentation given in honor of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd!
Recorded Video Link: https://echo360.org/media/934e8b23-ef57-4a24-b7d5-2a7e4408fef4/public
Presentation Slides: “Inshallah/Ojalá: God Willing” Perception of Autism in Immigrant Families: Implications for Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment
Upcoming Events 2021
All webinars can be found on the Events & Webinars tab listed as 2021 Webinars: Learn the Signs Act Early and by clicking the links below!
Jan. 28th & 29th: “Learn the Signs. Act Early”
Our January 28th webinar “Learn the Signs. Act Early” (LTSAE) is now available here!
This seminar covers material including:
Feb. 25th & 26th: Early Childhood Developmental Monitoring, Screening, Referral and Milestones
Our February 25th webinar "Early Childhood Developmental Monitoring, Screening, Referral, & Milestones" is now available here!
March 25th & 26th: Motor and Cognitive Milestones for Children
Our March 25th webinar "Motor and Cognitive Milestones for Children" is now available here!
April 29th & 30th: Social & Speech Milestones for Children
May 27th & 28th: Attachment and Complex Trauma
Thank you for attending our Fall 2020 Conference!
FREE virtual training opportunities currently available!
Please share this within your networks!
Click here to access videos and slides or select "2020 Virtual conference" from the drop-down menu at the top of our page.
Videos and slides from the November conference are now available under 'Events & Webinars'
"Support for Early Childhood State Systems Through the Act Early Network to Support Recovery and Strengthen Resilience Skills, Behaviors, and Resources of Children, Families, and Communities"
9:00 – 10:00 a.m. The Effective Use of Telepractice to Deliver Special Education Services to Children with Autism: Logistics, Evidence-Based Practices, and the Impact of COVID-19. Presented by: Mary Andrianopoulos, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, and Myranda Marotta, MA 2022, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Communication Disorders, Amherst, MA
10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Telepractice and Tele-AAC: Instruction, Training, and the Impact of COVID-19. Presented by: Nerissa Hall, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Co-founding partner, Commūnicāre, LLC., Easthampton, MA
1pm-2pm: Screening for Autism Spectrum Disorder in young children through Telepractice. Presented by: Roula Choueiri, MD Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Pediatrician, University of Massachusetts, Children’s Medical Center, Worcester, MA
2:15pm-3:30 pm: Impact of Racism on child development; how to develop resilience in young children and their families in current times and create a change. Presented by: Roula Choueiri, MD Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Pediatrician, University of Massachusetts, Children’s Medical Center, Worcester, MA
Evaluation Method: Pre and Post Surveys, MA Act Early & CDC Facebook downloads
New Research on Prevalence of Autism Identified 1 in 40 Affected
The study found that about 30% of these children were not receiving services at the time. 43% of the children with autism had received behavioral therapy, 7% of them were on medication, and 20% were receiving both methods of treatment.
Click here to read the full published article.
The CDC Developmental Milestone
is now translated in the
following languages(click to open):
English & Spanish
“1, 2, 3, GROW!” Opens Doors for Parents to Multicultural Information on Early Childhood Development
Each “1, 2, 3, Grow!” show includes a local pediatrician and program host who speak the language of their cultural audience: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Haitian Creole, Arabic, and Vietnamese, as well as a show that focuses on African-American needs. The shows present CDC Milestones in Action video examples of healthy development and signs of concerns, as well as original interviews with parents of children with developmental disorders from diverse cultures. At the end of each show, viewers will receive contact information to the local resource Family TIES of Massachusetts where a family specialist can help them obtain translated materials and referral information to local providers if needed.
The three new “1, 2, 3, Grow! Animated Caregiver Stories” use audio from parent interviews and animate the stories for educational use in classroom or office settings. The short videos address the topics of cultural stigma and folk remedies, religious concerns, and the role of fathers as they relate to having a child with a disability.
A 10-question companion discussion guide facilitates rich discussions when used with the caregiver stories or the full cable TV shows.
How to Watch?
We encourage early childhood professionals to use the Animated Caregiver Stories as a teaching tool as well as to ask their cable providers to request the free shows for local broadcast.
For more information about “1, 2, 3, Grow!” and to check back for show dates as more providers are added to the list, please visit https://shriver.umassmed.edu/community-resources/cultural-resources/1-2-3-grow.
For information and resources from the CDC “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” campaign, please visit www.cdc.org/actearly.
Improving Early Identification of Autism in Worcester
Over the last two years, we have set up training on a new level-2 autism screening test, the RITA-T ( Rapid Interactive screening Test for Autism in Toddlers) as well as training on the LTSAE material. We partnered with the THOM Early Intervention program in Worcester, the largest program in Worcester that is a heavily culturally diverse and underserved area. Our efforts coincided with the institution of universal screening in their program led by Chantal Roger-Haig, LMHC and Jeanine Mindrum, SLP. We created a two level screening system for ASD integrating the MCHAT-R, the RITA-T and the LTSAE.
The RITA-T Team's newest journal article is out: "Improving Early Identification and Access to Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Toddlers in a Culturally Diverse Community with the Rapid Interactive Screening Test for Autism in Toddlers"
Follow us on Facebook as well @ UMassMed Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Roula Choueiri, MD
Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Pediatrician
Chief, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Our State Ambassador
Kate Barlow, OTD
American International College
Learn more about her right here!
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- About Us
- How Can We Help?
Materials & Resources
Events & Webinars
- 2021 Webinars: Learn the Signs Act Early
- Free Virtual Conference
- 2020 Fall MA Act Early State Team Summit Meeting
- 2019 Spring MA Act Early State Team Summit Meeting
- 2018 MA Act Early State Team Summit Meeting
- 2017 MA Act Early State Team Summit Meeting
- 2016 MA Act Early State Team Summit Meeting
- Developmental Screening in MA Archived Webinar
- Contact Us