Act Early Network

Act Early Logo

Act Early Network, a collaborative initiative that supports state efforts to improve early identification of autism and other developmental disabilities, including the:

Act Early Forum, a national community of over 800 early identification professionals and family members across the country

Act Early Ambassadors Project, state community change agents serving as liaisons to the "Learn the Signs. Act Early." Program

Act Early State Systems Grants, state-level systems change projects for improving developmental monitoring.

AUCD collaborates with The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs to implement "Act Early" efforts supported by the Learn the Signs. Act Early. program.

For more information, please contact Abigail Alberico, MPH, Public Health Program Manager,

Stay connected: Subscribe to the
Act Early Network listserv.



Act Early Ambassadors Project

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 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). Act Early Ambassadors serve as state or territorial liaisons to the Act Early Initiative and act as a community champion or change agent to increase awareness activities and improvement of early identification practices.

Learn more about the Act Early Ambassador project >

Meet the Ambassadors >


Upcoming Events

Newborn Screening for Fragile X Syndrome and Other Developmental Disabilities

Newborn Screening for Fragile X Syndrome and Other Developmental Disabilities  Copy to Calendar

Tuesday, October 22, 2019
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET
Location: Webinar

Most professional believe that early intervention (EI) is essential to improving outcomes for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families. But how early is "early?" Should screening identify newborns with IDD, even before symptoms appear? Is there value in "pre-symptomatic" EI for children or families? Are pre-symptomatic treatments powerful enough to alter developmental trajectories in meaningful ways? Using fragile X syndrome to exemplify these issues, this presentation describes Early Check, a research program in which screening newborns for several disorders is offered to 120,000 families per year.

View Schedule    Read More >


Materials from Past Events

NEW EI/ECSE Standards- Why? When? Next Steps

NEW EI/ECSE Standards- Why? When? Next Steps  Copy to Calendar

Tuesday, September 24, 2019
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET
Location: Webinar

The Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children is in the process of developing the first ever, stand alone, Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education Personnel Preparation Standards. Learn more about the standards,what led to this important step forward for the EI/ECSE workforce and what it means to the Early Childhood Field/Systems. We will share opportunities to provide feedback to the DEC Standards Development Task Force.

View Schedule    Read More >

Power to the Profession

Power to the Profession  Copy to Calendar

Tuesday, May 14, 2019
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET
Location: Webinars

There are more than 40 million children birth through age 8 in America. One of the best things our country can do to support and improve outcomes for these children and their families is to make significant, substantial, and sustained investments in high-quality early childhood education. And because positive relationships are at the core of quality, investing specifically in early childhood educators is the best thing we can do to improve early childhood education. That is why Power to the Profession is focused on equitably advancing an effective, diverse, and well-compensated early childhood education profession across states and settings. Power to the Profession is a national collaboration to define the early childhood profession by establishing a unifying framework for career pathways, knowledge and competencies, qualifications, standards and compensation. Learn more about this powerful initiative and how you can be involved!

View Schedule    Read More >

A Woman's Voice: Understanding Autistic Needs

A Woman's Voice: Understanding Autistic Needs  Copy to Calendar

Tuesday, April 23, 2019
2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET
Location: Bethesday, MD

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) is pleased to invite you to attend our annual special event to recognize National Autism Awareness Month, A Woman's Voice: Understanding Autistic Needs.

View Schedule    Read More >





Mailman Center Implements Early Start Denver Model (FL UCEDD/LEND)

Therapists at the University of Miami Mailman Center for Child Development (MCCD) have embarked on an ambitious project to bring Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) services in English and Spanish to Miami. ESDM is an evidence-based intervention specifically developed for very young children with autism that fuses behavioral and developmental principles for an integrated approach. ESDM can be implemented in a clinic as well as different natural settings such as the home or the daycare/preschool by trained therapists and by parents within play and daily routines.



Act Early Network News, Fall 2019

Picture of NCDPH's poster presentation with Sara Lyons from NACCHO, at NACCHO's annual conference in July 2019 in Orlando, FL


AUCD's National Center on Disability in Public Health Working for You

AUCD's National Center on Disability in Public Health (NCDPH) builds capacity by encouraging collaboration between public health partners and AUCD's Network Centers. Key areas of health disparity serve as the focus areas for this National Center and include: Access to Healthcare, Developmental Monitoring and Screening, Emergency Preparedness, Nutrition and Healthy Weight, Wellness and Mental Health, and Sexual and Reproductive Health.





Public Health Surveillance of Prenatal Opioid Exposure in Mothers and Infants

The US opioid crisis is the public health emergency of our time and requires urgent public health action to monitor and protect the most vulnerable Americans. We have witnessed a startling death toll in 2017 with 70 237 drug overdose deaths in the United States, of which two-thirds involved opioids. The devastating consequences of this epidemic for mothers and infants have received less attention. Increases in opioid use and misuse in pregnancy have paralleled the increases in the general population; at delivery hospitalization, there were 4 times as many women with an opioid use disorder in 2014 compared with 1999. One of the most immediate and visible impacts of the opioid crisis on infants is the drug withdrawal in the newborn period, termed neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). On the basis of 2014 data, 1 newborn was diagnosed with NAS every 15 minutes in the United States, totaling about 32 000 infants annually with associated hospital costs estimated at $563 million.

pdf File PrenatalOpioidExposure.pdf [download]


New Dynamic Website Focuses on Total Child Health for Iowa's Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs, their Families, and Providers

The Iowa Regional Autism Assistance Program (RAP) collaborated with Iowa's Systems Integration Grant to create a new robust website, This dynamic website focuses on total child health for Iowa's children and youth with a special health care need, their families, and the providers who care for them.



Now Accepting Applications for CDC's "Learn the Signs. Act Early." 2016-2018 Ambassador Program

AUCD, the CDC, and HRSA are excited to announce the RFA for the 2016-2018 cohort for the Act Early Ambassadors: State, Territorial, and Tribal Liaisons to CDC's "Learn the Signs. Act Early." Program. Please see the Act Early Ambassador Program overview below and the request for applications (see attached .pdf document) for detailed information. Please feel free to share the RFA with your colleagues who may be interested and qualified.


Act Early Network News

Read the latest issue of the AEN News to learn about "Learn the Signs. Act Early." success stories, lessons learned, updates, announcements and more!

Summer 2019

Subscribe to Act Early Network News by joining the Act Early Network listserv, To join the Act Early Network listserv, send an email to 


Act Early Forum
Webinar Series

Learn the Signs Act Early

Summer 2019 Webinar
Information & Registration Coming Soon!



"Learn the Signs. Act Early." Rubric


Click here to view and complete the Act Early Rubric for your state!