The Act Early State Team was created in 2007 as an activity under the federal Combating Autism Act. State teams in our region gathered at regional summits in 2007 and again in 2010 to develop an “Act Early State Plan.” The State Plan, which was developed by a group of key stakeholders across several sectors, identifies five goals that will help Wisconsin make progress in identifying and supporting children with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities. The five goals are included at the end of this letter.
The State Plan was last updated in 2010. Since then, many stakeholders have been busy with objectives intended to help the team reach its goals. It is time to revisit the State Plan and make certain the goals reflect where we are today, and where we need to go. In the past, the State Team has been comprised of approximately a dozen stakeholders, and membership has changed over time. We want to both continue to represent the groups we’ve had at the table in the past, and extend the representation as well.
In February 2014, WIAAP and numerous other stakeholders provided letters of support for an application for CDC funding: "WI-IN Partnership to Evaluate Use of “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” in Developmental Monitoring in Childcare Settings". The application was successful, and the grant project officially began on September 30, 2014, and continues for a duration of two years. WIAAP now serves on the Stakeholder Advisory Team.
The outcome of this project will be a model for use of Learn the Signs, Act Early (LTSAE) to support developmental monitoring in early childhood settings and systems that can be used across the country. Having the opportunity to develop, evaluate, and share this model in Wisconsin is an exciting opportunity for our state.
- Convene an expanded Act Early State Team of key stakeholders
- Provide an update on how national Act Early efforts affect our state
- Develop common understanding of the state-of-the-state regarding each goal
- Review and update the State Plans goals to reflect current state-of-the-state
- Identify action steps for groups focusing on one of each of the five goals