Title: Evaluation of the Feasibility and Perceived Value of Integrating Learn the Signs. Act Early. Developmental Monitoring Resources in Early Head Start
Legend: After implementing developmental monitoring using Learn the Signs. Act Early. (LTSAE) resources, the majority of Early Head Start program managers and staff reported that use of LTSAE helped them feel more confidence talking to parents about developmental milestones or developmental concerns, increased the number of conversations they had with parents about their child’s development, and improved the process of making referrals when there was a concern. Managers and staff also perceived LTSAE to improve parents’ ability to complete developmental screening.
Citation: Abercrombie, J., Pann, J., Taylor, E., Brisendine, A., Biasini, F., Swanson-Holm, R., James, C., Viehweg, S., and Chödrön, G. (2022). “Evaluation of the Feasibility and Perceived Value of Integrating Learn the Signs. Act Early. Developmental Monitoring Resources in Early Head Start.” Early Childhood Education Journal, 50(1): 1169–1181. DOI: 10.1007/s10643-021-01247-5
Abstract: Many children with developmental disabilities are not identified before age 3 years of age, preventing them from being able to fully benefit from early intervention services. Early childhood educators, particularly those in Early Head Start (EHS) programs, are important partners in the early identification of children with developmental delays. Learn the Signs. Act Early. (LTSAE) is a program of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that provides free developmental monitoring resources to increase the early identification of children with developmental delays and disabilities. This paper presents findings from the first evaluation of the use of LTSAE resources in EHS, which was conducted across four states and 11 EHS programs from fall 2018 through spring 2019. Surveys (n = 448) and interviews (n = 39) with EHS management, staff, and parents indicated that LTSAE resources were valued and accepted, and their use in EHS considered feasible. Importantly, families and staff reported the LTSAE materials provided shared language to help them more effectively discuss development. These findings inform EHS and other early education programs that wish to enhance developmental monitoring, screening, and referral.
Investigator: Gail Chödrön, PhD
About the Lab: The UCEDD’s Act Early Initiatives aim to understand the factors that enable and hinder early identification of autism and other developmental disabilities among early childhood programs, and to test implementation of strategies to improve early identification and access to services.