To provide focused collaboration among leaders representing professionals, state agencies, universities, healthcare systems, private organizations, and families to improve the quality of life for children, youth, and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families and to create and maintain a repository of information on evidence-based autism practices for use in South Carolina.
The vision of the SC Act Early Team is for a South Carolina where children, youth, and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder lead productive lives, in a community of their choice, are valued citizens of South Carolina and where:
• Information is provided to increase awareness on prevalence and the importance of screening and referral for Autism Spectrum Disorder;
• Early identification, diagnostic, and intervention efforts are implemented effectively in a timely manner consistent with appropriate professional and evidence-based practices;
• Information about services is easily available to families;
• Services, reflecting evidence-based practices, are provided by competent personnel at a high level of quality; and
• Cross system collaboration is seamless and there is ongoing evaluation of effectiveness of services.
• Develop and disseminate a “roadmap to services” throughout South Carolina.
• Seek funding for master clinician training to enhance screening competencies among pediatricians.
• Provide recommendations for appropriate professional practices in South Carolina for identification, screening, evaluation, and intervention with young children with ASD. This would include recommendations for required qualifications, training and experience to conduct this work and standards of practice specific to the area of ASD.
• Developed and distributed South Carolina Roadmap to Developmental Screening for Children Birth to 36+ Months (English and Spanish, printed and web-based).
• Provided three sessions of training on advanced screening tool to identify children at risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder (STAT; Screening Tool for Autism in Toddlers and Young Children). Courses were in Charleston, Greenville and Columbia.
• Developed new policy on presumptive eligibility by which young children who screen positive for ASD on two screening tools including the Screening Tool for Autism in Toddlers and Young Children, can receive early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) through BabyNet. This policy also provides for seamless transition of these children and their EIBI services to the DDSN system.
• Developed policy recommendations for improvement of services for children, youth and adults with ASD while increasing efficiency and making the process more family friendly.
In November 2008 the Center for Disability Resources at the University of South Carolina joined a national effort organized by the Association for University Centers on Disabilities which was facilitating an effort for the National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities of the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau at the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. The purpose of the collaboration was to create a team in South Carolina focused on the many issues facing children with autism and their families. The Center for Disability Resources director collaborated with the South Carolina Autism Society executive director in formation of the SC Act Early Team.
Since the early organizational efforts, the South Carolina Act Early Team has been fortunate to have a dedicated group of key stakeholders and experts in autism voluntarily contributing time and effort to improve early identification and intervention for children with autism in South Carolina.
The SC Act Early Team has professionals (including family member representative) contributing effort without compensation. We have been fortunate to receive a few grants for specific efforts as listed below:
• $3,000 (2009) from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities for initial team support efforts
• $15,000 (2011) from the Association of Maternal Child Health Programs for the first session of STAT training and for the initial printing of the South Carolina Roadmap to Developmental Screening for Children Birth to 36+ months
• Chair, Center for Disability Resources USC –Director and Board Certified Behavior Analyst
• Co-chair, Greenville Hospital, Developmental Pediatrics – Licensed Psychologist
• Medical University of South Carolina – Developmental Pediatrician
• South Carolina Autism Society – Executive Director
• Winston’s Wish – President and Founder • South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs –Autism Division Director
• South Carolina Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities – Executive Director
• BabyNet - Part C Coordinator for South Carolina
• Family Connection – Executive Director
• South Carolina Department of Education – Education Associate
• University of South Carolina – Program Associate
• University of South Carolina – College of Education/Special Education – Professor (now on hiatus and available for return if needed)
David A. Rotholz, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Executive Director, Center for Disability Resources