To promote early identification of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children

Intervention has proven to make a difference for children and their families

We Know that early Intervention is the key to successful outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Photo of Jennifer Hall-Lande Jennifer Hall-Lande

Research Associate

ASD is a growing public health concern. Similar to other states, Minnesota has seen large increases in the number of school-aged children with ASD. While this young population continues to grow, the age of initial ASD diagnosis in Minnesota remains around age five, meaning that a valuable window for early intervention has been missed. Early intervention is the key to successful like outcomes for children with ASD – outcomes like success in school, strong social connections and feeling part of a community. Later age diagnosis is in contrast to research indicating that ASD can be reliably diagnosed by the age of two and that red flags indicating developmental delays may be present as early as 12 months of age. While Minnesota has made some recent, promising gains in early diagnosis, it is estimated that thousands of children in our state remain unscreened.

Photo of Jenn Hall-Lande at CDC in Atlanta
Photo of Jennifer Hall-Lande in front of the sign at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia
“It is important to determine how to best promote awareness and access to early development screening services that are targeted to each community’s culture and values. We recognize that to improve these health outcomes we must engage the community in meaningful ways.”

Increased outreach and education with families around early developmental milestones, regular screening, and early identification of ASD/developmental disabilities is key to equipping more families with the information they need to care for society’s youngest population living with ASD.

Minnesota Act Early

The Minnesota Act Early Team works to educate parents and families about development, early signs of ASD and neurodevelopmental disabilities, as well as the importance of developmental screening and intervention when there is a concern. We engage a statewide network of agencies to utilize the Centers for Disease Control’s materials and messages teaching about developmental milestones to promote screening, identification, and to provide earlier services for children with a developmental delay, autism, or a related neurodevelopmental disability.

Contact Information

Institute on Community Integration

102 Pattee Hall, 150 Pillsbury Dr SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-624-6300 | F: 612-624-9344

ici@umn.edu

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