Increasing early childhood screening and timely interventions

Research shows that early screening and timely intervention can improve a child’s overall development and future outcomes. We continue to work on closing the diagnosis gap, with a special focus on high need, underserved area populations by empowering parents, educating physicians and increasing access to interventions and supports. 

Here are a few of our FY23 accomplishments: 

  • Successfully lobbied for the historic expansion of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network from 11 to 16 sites. The increased data and knowledge will inform and assist us in identifying gaps in diagnosis, improving screening tools and developing programs to reach underserved communities. 
  • Nearly 342,000 parents concerned about their child’s development accessed the Autism Speaks website and took the M-CHAT-R, autism screening questionnaire. This is the first step to help parents learn the signs of autism and take action.  Over the past three years alone, a total of more than 1 million families have completed the survey from our website to ensure the best outcomes for their children. 
  • In continued collaboration, Autism Speaks and the World Health Organization (WHO), implemented five new Caregiver Skills Training sites in the U.S. and globally, enabling parents to build their autistic child’s developmental skills at home. Viewed more than 15,600 times, underserved communities are gaining greater access to quality care and interventions around the world. 
  • Hosted our first online Spanish-speaking educational event around early intervention. Attended by more than 450 parents, caregivers and service providers, the event provided critical resources and guidance on a child’s most critical stage of development.  

Spectrum Spotlight - Meet the Mullen Family
Callan and Brennan M. | 3 years old
Although receiving the news that their boys were on the spectrum was difficult to fully accept at first, the couple quickly took action to get their boys access to the services and supports they needed.
Read Callan and Brennan M. 's Story
Spectrum Spotlight: Meet Alivia and Sophia
Alivia, 13, and Sophia, 7
As parents we learned to celebrate the little achievements that others might overlook. We actively engage our daughters in programs and community events that are tailored for all abilities.
Read Alivia, 13, and Sophia, 7's Story
Azeem K. Autism Speaks Spectrum Spotlights
Azeem K. | 7 years old
He still struggles with expressing himself with words, but Azeem’s big personality will never cease to shine.
Read Azeem K.'s Story