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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide

ASERT has put together some resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current Coronavirus outbreak.

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Early Childhood Resource Collection

A close-up of a young girl is shown next to colored pencils.

Photo by Pixabay via Pexels

This collection of resources covers different topics related to early childhood including information on developmental milestones, signs of autism and resources for families of young children who were recently diagnosed with autism.

Developmental Milestones

Children learn, grow, and develop in unique ways. While some children may develop quicker than others, this may not necessarily be an indicator that something wrong. Each child develops at a different pace. Understanding normal child development can help parents be aware of their child’s progress and monitor for any possible delays. Identifying delays early can be essential in early identification and intervention for autism.

CDC: Learn the Signs, Act Early

From birth to 5 years, your child should reach milestones in how he plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves. Track your child’s development and act early if you have a concern.

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Recognizing Early Signs of Autism and Understanding the Evaluation Process

Being aware of the early indicators of autism is important. The earlier a diagnosis of autism is identified, the quicker treatments can begin. When early indicators of autism are present, it is important for parents to be proactive and know where to go for support. There are several steps parents can take to get their child screened and evaluated. The process of diagnosing autism can be stressful and overwhelming, but being aware of what this includes and how the process will go, can help parents feel more comfortable with the process. In addition, being aware of who can diagnosis autism is important to ensure that an accurate assessment takes place.

CDC: Concerned About Your Child’s Development

This resource from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides information and resources for parents who may be concerned about their child's development and how to talk to professionals about their concerns.

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Early Childhood Screening and Diagnosis

This resource, developed by ASERT, provides information on the process of screening and diagnosing an individual with autism.

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M-CHAT Autism Screening

This website provides information on the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT), which is a free screening tool for autism. This is the tool recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics to be used at well child visits, but can also be used by parents, and other professionals working with young children. The website also provides information on scoring the tool, answers frequently asked questions, offers additional resources and provides the tool in multiple languages.

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County Government Offices

This resource is a locator for each county's government resources including County Assistance Offices, Offices of Vocational Rehabilitation, Intermediate Units, Crisis Intervention, and County MH/ID/EI.

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Newly Diagnosed with Autism

When a child first gets diagnosed with autism, parents may have a number of questions or concerns. While the process of navigating diagnosis, treatment, and resources may seem overwhelming, knowing the right information can help. There are several recommendations for children newly diagnosed with autism. Being aware of these recommendations and how to go about following them can help parents find the best support for their child.

Autism Speaks: 100 Day Kit

This link will take you to a page where you can download a free toolkit explaining what parents need to begin learning about after their child's diagnosis of autism.

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PA Autism Insurance Act (Act 62)

This is a collection of resources from various sources on the topic of the PA Autism Insurance Act. Topics range from general informational resources for families to filing health insurance appeals and more.

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Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Resource Collection

This collection of resources provides information on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) including: an introduction to ABA, how you can tell if your child is receiving ABA services, what to consider when choosing a provider, information on insurance coverage for ABA services and more.

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Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS)

Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) was previously known as Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services (BHRS) or “wraparound” services. These services are individualized mental health services provided in the home, school, or community. The services are provided by trained staff working one‐on‐one with your child to help with emotional or behavioral problems.

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Getting Medical Assistance for a Child with a Disability Guide

Available publications (in pdf format) concerning Medicaid and Children are listed below. Also included are useful links to sites with content related to this topic.

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Early Childhood Learning Centers and the ADA

This resource helps with understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the ADA, in terms of Early Childhood Learning Centers.

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Finding and Choosing a Therapist Information Sheet

This information sheet from ASERT provides suggestions on how to find a therapist and other service providers as well as important questions to ask to ensure the provider will be the best one for your child.

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Occupational Therapy for Individuals with Autism

This information sheet answers questions about Occupational Therapy such as: what it is, what it does, how it can help individuals with autism, and how to find an occupational therapist.

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Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a form of treatment that is used when individuals experience difficulty moving around and completing everyday tasks. Physical therapy can help people move better and make daily tasks and activities easier. For example, it can help with walking, going up stairs or getting in and out of bed.

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Speech Language Therapy

This resource, developed by ASERT, provides information about Speech-Language therapy.

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Early Intervention Services

Early Intervention Services

While all children grow and develop in unique ways, some children experience delays in their development. Pennsylvania has an Early Intervention program for children from birth to age five who have developmental delays and disabilities.

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Importance of Early Intervention

The Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities Program (Part C) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was created in 1986 to enhance the development of infants and toddlers with disabilities, minimize potential developmental delay, and reduce educational costs to our society by minimizing the need for special education services as children with disabilities reach school age. Part C provides early intervention (EI) services to infants and toddlers aged birth to three with developmental delays or a medical condition likely to lead to a developmental delay. Part C is not intended to be a stand-alone program. The intent is to build inter-agency partnerships among state agencies and programs in health, education, human services and developmental disabilities.

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A Family Guide to Inclusive Early Learning in Pennsylvania

This guide is designed to be a quick and easy resource to inclusive early childhood learning programs in Pennsylvania for parents of children with developmental delays or disabilities.

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CONNECT Helpline

Through the Office of Child Development and Early Learning, Pennsylvania is helping our children, families, teachers, and communities reach their full potential.

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ChildLink

ChildLink seeks to educate, empower, and increase a family's capacity to support its children in reaching their highest potential.

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County Government Offices

This resource is a locator for each county's government resources including County Assistance Offices, Offices of Vocational Rehabilitation, Intermediate Units, Crisis Intervention, and County MH/ID/EI.

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