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Early Intervention and Education

  • Increase statewide capacity for inclusive early intervention, including raising awareness of empirically-supported early intervention approaches
  • Increase access to early intervention services for autism
  • Increase availability of post-secondary supports and opportunities

Our Programs

Act Early Ambassador
This project, which is sponsored by the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, is designed to develop a network of state-level experts to improve early identification of autism and other developmental disabilities. Act Early Ambassadors serve as state liaisons to the national Act Early Initiative and act as a community champion or change agent to increase awareness activities and improvement of early identification practices.

Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic
The Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic is an interdisciplinary clinic that provides diagnosis and clinical care for children with a developmental disability including: autism spectrum disorders (ASD), intellectual disability, fragile X, and genetic disorders associated with developmental delay.

Autism Treatment Programs
The Waisman Center Autism Treatment Programs are provided through a partnership with the University of Wisconsin (UW) Medical Foundation. Starting Together (comprehensive and focused treatment based on Applied Behavior Analysis and the Early Start Denver Model, ages 2-6 at Waisman Early Childhood Program (WECP)); Growing Together (focused treatment for parent and child to learn positive behavior, ages 6-14); Transitioning Together (focused treatment for parent and teen to support skill, resources and strategies for a successful transition to adult life).

Evaluation of Developmental Monitoring using LTSAE in Early Head Start Settings
This study addresses the need to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of developmental monitoring using the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” (LTSAE) resources in Early Head Start settings. The goals of the study are to determine the feasibility of integrating LTSAE into Early Head Start operations, and to determine the impact of developmental monitoring using LTSAE on provider and parent knowledge and practice related to early identification of developmental delay.

Nourishing Special Needs Nutrition Network (WIC)
Established to support the work of Wisconsin Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutritionists providing services to children and youth with special healthcare needs (CYSHCN).

Waisman Early Childhood Program (WECP)
The Waisman Early Childhood Program offers unique learning opportunities in a creative and supportive environment for children ages 1 through 5 year-round, as well as for children who have completed 4K and 5K in our summer Meteor Program.

Wisconsin Care Integration Initiative
The Wisconsin Care Integration Initiative (WiCII) project aims to increase family-centered, integrated systems of care for children with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities.

Wisconsin Sound Beginnings
A program is to assure that all families have equal access to a seamless system of early and continuous hearing screening, skilled and timely diagnostics and quality interventions to enable children who are deaf or hard of hearing to thrive.

Wisconsin Study to Explore Early Development in Autism (SEED)
The overall goals of the SEED are to: characterize phenotypic variability and identify relatively homogenous subgroups of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); and investigate risk factors for ASD by comparing the early exposures and development of well-characterized ASD cases and controls selected to represent diverse population subgroups.

Wisconsin Surveillance of Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities (WISADDS)
WISADDS is an investigation to monitor the number of 8-year-old children in the population with an ASD, or cerebral palsy (CP), or both. This surveillance system will help establish an accurate count of the number of children and families residing in Wisconsin affected by these disorders.

  • Act Early State Systems Grant
    The goal of the Wisconsin Act Early State Systems grant is to develop and implement a sustainable training and technical assistance model for public health departments to use national resources from “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” and “Birth to Five. Watch me Thrive.” to support developmental monitoring in public health programs.
  • National Medical Home Autism Initiative
    Founded as a cooperative agreement by the federal Maternal Child Health Bureau and was a national technical assistance, resource and advocacy project designed to promote methods that improved the capacity of the medical home and early intervention community to identify, appropriately serve and integrate children with autism into their communities.
  • National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders
    The Waisman Center participated in a multi-university center that included collaborators at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the University of California, Davis. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, this project promoted the use of evidence-based practices for intervention and education for infants, children, and youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families. Services provided included family support services and professional development activities for 12 states over a period of five years to focus on state-of-the-science early screening, identification and diagnosis of ASD.
  • WI-IN Partnership to Evaluate Use of LTSAE in Childcare Settings
    The Wisconsin-Indiana (WI-IN) Partnership addresses the need to evaluate the use of the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” (LTSAE) resources to support developmental monitoring in childcare systems. The WI-IN Partnership will solicit input from cross-sector stakeholders, and conduct and evaluate LTSAE integration in state professional development infrastructure, a learning cohort with Head Start/Early Head Start sites to develop a train-the-trainer model; and use in daily childcare operations in a diverse set of public and private childcare sites.