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ACT Early Idaho Project makes early identification a Priority
Estimates are that one in six children, ages 3 to 17, have a developmental disability or delay. Positive outcomes happen with early intervention services.
ACT Early Idaho has worked to examine and expand early identification efforts across multiple programs serving families with very young children in Idaho. During the pandemic, early childhood programs have seen decreases in all early identification activities including referrals to early intervention programs and receipt of intervention services.
Many early childhood programs including Head Start, continued to support families with activities utilizing technology when in-person services were not permitted. But disparities in access to technology were noted across Idaho, especially in rural location. j With increased stressors among families, early identification became one more thing for families to worry about.
ACT Early Idaho took initial steps to support these families with young children through the
development of a resiliency toolkit. This kit outlines resources for families as they navigate through a pandemic, including information on monitoring children’s development and responding to developmental concerns.
Act Early Idaho has provided targeted technical assistance to programs to assist in expanding early identification efforts. They have sent out materials, “Learn the Signs. Act Early” across the state, including development milestone checklists, information on the Milestone Tracker App, information addressing developmental concerns, and children’s books that introduce developmental milestones in engaging ways for children and families.
For more information about their work, visit the Act Early Idaho webpage.
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