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Health

Learn the Signs. Act Early

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) has developed a public awareness campaign called "Learn the Signs. Act Early." The purpose of this campaign is to educate people about childhood development, including early warning signs of autism and other developmental disorders, as well as to encourage developmental screenings and intervention. 

Materials, all of which are free and are written in both English and Spanish, have been specifically designed for families, healthcare providers, and early childhood educators. The CDC’s website has information about the "Learn the Signs. Act Early" campaign, including how to order the materials.

The New Jersey Act Early State Team works to enhance the state’s system for identifying and serving young children with ASD and related developmental disabilities. New Jersey’s team has focused its efforts on disseminating Act Early materials and information to families, healthcare providers, and early childhood educators throughout the state.

New Jersey’s team includes representatives from early intervention, preschool special education, child care, Head Start, pediatrics, child welfare, autism, family advocacy, and the state legislature.

 

Act Early State Systems Grant Projects


Learn the Signs. Act Early - Head Start

 

In 2014, The Boggs Center, in partnership with the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN), was awarded a two-year grant from the Association Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) to provide parent-led training sessions and informational materials to early childhood educators and staff at up to 20 Head Start centers across the state. The goals of this initiative are to increase Head Start staff members’ developmental screening, monitoring, and referral practices, as well as to connect at-risk underserved children and their families to local, community, and state organizations.

 

Materials created by for this project include county-specific flow charts and magnets depicting next steps and resources when developmental concerns are identified.

 

County Flow chart image



The Next Steps When Developmental Concerns are Identified

View County Specific Flow Charts

 

 

 

 

 

 



Act Early magnet image

The Next Steps When Developmental Concerns are Identified


View English magnet

View Spanish magnet

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Act Early Webinar: Resources for Connecting Families When Developmental Concerns are Detected

 

This archived webinar provides an introduction and overview of New Jersey’s Act Early State Systems Grant Projects, a collaboration between The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities and the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN) to increase awareness of developmental screening and connection to community resources. Information on the resources used or developed as part of these projects, as well as resources that may be useful for children with special health care needs or disabilities and their families is shared.   

 

 

 


Including Children with Challenging Behavior in the Preschool Classroom

 

This webinar provides an introduction and overview of Positive Behavior Supports as a potential intervention strategy to facilitate fuller inclusion of young children with challenging behaviors in the preschool classroom.  Examples of Positive Behavior Support strategies in practice will be presented, along with general tips for teachers who may not have support to implement a full behavior plan.  Local resources and sources of additional information and support for early education and child care professionals will be shared with webinar participants. 
Including Children with Challenging Behavior in the Preschool Classroom Webinar Slides (pdf)

 

Parent-led Training about Developmental Screening to Healthcare Providers at Federally Qualified Health Centers

 

In 2013, The Boggs Center, in partnership with the SPAN, and on behalf of New Jersey’s Act Early State Team, was awarded a grant from the Association Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) to provide parent-led training about the importance of developmental screening and referral to community resources to providers at Federally Qualified Health Centers across New Jersey. The goal of this project is to increase awareness of screening guidelines and tools, as well as the referral process and existing community services and supports, so that children from these communities can be screened, evaluated, and connected with services as early as possible.

 

Materials created by for this project include a state-wide flow chart depicting next steps and resources when developmental concerns are identified.


Statewide Flow chart image

 

 


View What to Do When a Child Screens Positive for Developmental Concerns in New Jersey: Autism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources

 

Quick Resource Guide for Childcare Centers

 

Early Evaluation & Continuous Screening in New Jersey: Websites & Resources

Tips for Talking with Parents

 

Project Director: Deborah M. Spitalnik, PhD
Project Coordinator: Carrie Coffield, PhD

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