Specific Disability Populations and Children At-Risk
On This Page
Autism Spectrum Disorders
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
NIMH's Topical page on ASD on includes Signs and Symptoms of ASD, Causes and Risk Factors, Diagnosing ASD, and Treatments and Therapies, along with other topics.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- CDC's Page on ASD provides information on early detection, screening and diagnosis of ASD.
- Learn the Signs. Act Early. supports earlier detection of developmental delays, including ASD, and provides Fact Sheets, videos, materials and links to developmental milestones for parents and professionals.
- Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network: Information on the prevalence of ASD in the United States.
- Community Report on Autism 2020
- Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years - Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2016
National Clearinghouse on Autism Evidence and Practices (NCAEP)
NCAEP has published Evidence-Based Practices for Children, Youth, and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (2020), a systematic review of the current intervention literature that targets individuals with autism. NCAEP’s review is a continuation of the evidence review that was completed by the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders (NPDC) which included research published as of 2011. The current review extends the literature review up until 2017 and updates the review published by Wong, et al in 2015. NCAEP identified five new evidence-based practices (EBPs) in this review, bringing the total number of evidence-based practices to 28. The review also classified a number of evidence-based practices as Manualized Interventions Meeting Criteria (MIMC)and provided a chart indicating which evidence-based practices the MIMCs were included.
The Autism Focused Intervention Resources and Modules (AFIRM)
The Autism Focused Intervention Resources and Modules (AFIRM) are available for free and are designed to help professionals and parents learn, step-by-step, the process for planning, using and monitoring EBPs with learners with ASD from birth to 22 years of age. For more information, see Learn with AFIRM. Supplemental materials and resources associated with the modules are available for download. In addition, the COVID-19 Toolkit: Supporting Individuals with Autism through Uncertain Times highlights 7 support strategies for times of uncertainty and stress to meet the needs of individuals with autism. They are designed for use by caretakers. These materials have been translated or adapted into a number of languages.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
The Identify the Signs campaign provides materials to support earlier identification of speech/language, hearing loss and communication disorders. These materials include:
- Signs of Speech-Language Disorders
- Signs of Hearing Loss
- Communicating with Baby: Tips and Milestones From Birth to Age Five: This article and companion toolkit for parents shares ways to support communication development based on the developmental age of the child.
Deaf-Blindness/Combined Vision and Hearing Loss
The National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)
The National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) is a technical assistance center funded by the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. NCDB works to improve the quality of life for children who are Deaf-Blind and their families. National initiatives include:
- Early Identification and Intervention
- National Child Count of children and youth birth to age 22 with Deaf-Blindness.
- The Sooner the Better: A Framework for Training EI Practitioners on Deaf-Blindness includes a section on Recognizing and Understanding Sensory Loss (e.g. an overview of Deaf-Blindness, the impact on development, incidental learning, prematurity, ongoing medical issues and multiple disabilities, and risk factors for sensory loss), along with other training topics relevant to improving outcomes for infants and toddlers with deaf-blindness and their families.
Deaf/Hard of Hearing
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
HRSA administers the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program and provides grants to states, territories, families, and providers In order to develop coordinated systems of care. The goal is early identification of newborns, infants and young children who are deaf or hard of hearing in order to get needed services.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
- Hearing Loss in Children
- Organizational Recommendations and Screening Guidelines
- Mild and Unilateral Hearing Loss: Implications for Early Intervention
- Educational Materials for Families and Professionals
- Database of State EHDI Programs
- Questions You May Want to Ask Your Child's Early Intervention Team (2012)
Office of Special Education Programs
- Dear Colleague Letter on Meeting the Communication Needs of Students with Hearing, Vision, or Speech Disabilities (2014)
- Meeting the Communication Needs of Students with Hearing, Vision, or Speech Disabilities
- Frequently Asked Questions on Effective Communication for Students with Hearing, Vision, or Speech Disabilities in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools
National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM)
NCHAM provides extensive resources for families of young children who are deaf or hard of hearing and for those who provide their services.
- Journal of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (JEHDI): This bi-annual peer-reviewed online journal provides free access to articles on evidence-based practice, standards of care, and current research related to all aspects of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI), for example, Progress in Documented Early Identification and Intervention for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants: CDC’s Hearing Screening and Follow-up Survey, United States, 2006–2016.
- The Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH) published Year 2019 Position Statement: Principles and Guidelines for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Programs. This position statement builds upon previous publications from JCIH0 and provides an update on best practices on screening, identification, and audiological, medical and educational management of infants and young children and their families.
- Aspects of Eligibility for Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing under IDEA Part B Section 619 Preschool: A Survey Report, 2015 (2016), 619 Consortium, NCHAM, and ECTA
- Eligibility and Service Delivery Policies: Differences Between IDEA Part C and IDEA Part B: A Comparison Chart, 2016: Compares Part C and Part B policies in the following areas: Eligibility Criteria, Eligibility Determination, Types of Services, Service Settings, Service Recipients, Parental Rights, and System of Payments. It is intended as a resource to support transition between these programs for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Archived Webinars Related to Early Childhood Hearing Screening and Follow-up
- Early Hearing and Screening Follow-up (ECHO) initiative promotes the benefits of periodic screening of young children across a variety of settings that serve or touch young children’s lives, such as health and early care and education.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
- Identify the Signs is a campaign that provides materials to support earlier identification of speech/language, hearing loss and communication disorders, including Know the Signs of Hearing Loss.
Hands & Voices
Hands & Voices(H&V) is a non-profit, parent-driven organization that supports families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Non-biased about communication methodologies, H&V believes that families can make the best choices for their children through access to good information and support. H&V provides thought leadership in health, education and parenting arenas, and works with families and supporting systems such as hearing screening, identification, early intervention, school-age, and transition from high school. See all the work that H&V is involved in.
- The Family Leadership in Language and Learning Center (FL3) at H&V is a technical resource center for parents and caregivers of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Its goal is to increase family engagement and leadership, and strengthen family support in Early Hearing Detection & Intervention (EHDI) systems of care to enable families to optimize language, literacy, and social-emotional development. Work of the FL3 includes technical assistance, training and education, resource development, quality improvement methodology and evaluation, and policy initiatives.
- 8 Reasons to say YES to Early Intervention for your child who is Deaf/Hard of Hearing(D/HH) ...What are you waiting for?: The Hands & Voices Family Leadership in Language and Learning (FL3) Center's new infographic 8 Reasons to Say Yes to Early Intervention for your Child who is Deaf/Hard of Hearing(D/HH) ...What are you waiting for? illustrates to families the positive aspects of early intervention. It provides information to help all families, regardless of the degree of their child's hearing loss/level or communication/language, understand and advocate for early intervention services when needed for their child. Providers can also share the resource when discussing early intervention and its importance. A companion webinar discussing the infographic is also available.
- US National Library of Health, Genetics Home Reference: Fragile X: Descriptive information on Fragile X Syndrome including prevalence, causes, diagnosis and management.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Fragile X: Information for families about the causes and treatments of Fragile X.
- The FRAXA Research Foundation has general information about the common symptoms of Fragile X and how a diagnosis is made.
- The National Fragile X Foundation provides information for families who have recently received a diagnosis of Fragile X.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Development
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Development has an informational page on Learning Disabilities that describes Learning Disabilities and the signs, diagnosis, treatment options, studies and resources for parents and professionals.
Mental Health and Challenging Behaviors
Office of Special Education Programs
- Fostering Healthy Social & Emotional Development in Young Children: Tips for Early Childhood Teachers and Providers (2015). Provides ideas for working with infants, toddlers and preschoolers and strategies for supporting social and emotional development including use of positive discipline practices, encouraging positive behaviors, and teaching young children how to recognize and talk about emotions.
- National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations assists states and programs to implement the Pyramid Model for Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children (Pyramid Model) within early intervention and early education programs. The focus in on promoting the social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes of young children birth to five, reducing the use of inappropriate discipline practices, promoting family engagement, using data for decision-making, integrating early childhood and infant mental health consultation and fostering inclusion.
National Head Start Technical Assistance Centers
- Head Start Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center: Mental Health: Information on a variety of topics related to social emotional development, for example: mental health in young children, stress and resilience, and promoting social and emotional well being in children.
- Zero to Three: Social and Emotional Development
Prenatal Exposure to Substances
Office of Special Education Programs
- Eligibility Determinations for Children with a visual impairment (2017): This memorandum policy letter from OSEP provides additional guidance to assist states with supporting their local education agencies in reaching appropriate eligibility determinations for children with a visual impairment disability, including blindness. Links to resources are included to help states examine their procedures that relate to the identification and evaluation of children with this disability.
Prevent Blindness: Your Baby's Developing Sight: Vision problems affect one in 20 preschoolers and one in four school-age children. Untreated eye problems can worsen and lead to other serious problems as well as affect learning ability, personality and adjustment in school.
- Small Steps for Big Vision: An Eye Health Information Tool Kit for Parents and Caregivers: The tool kit was co-developed by the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness in partnership with the National Head Start Association. The tool kit, available in English and Spanish, provides parents and caregivers with information, action strategies and assistance in order to care for their children and their own vision and eye health.
- Children's Vision and Eye Health: A Snapshot of Current National Issues: This booklet provides information on Common Vision Disorders in Children, Early Detection of Vision Disorders, Screening Rates, Equity, Vision Screenings in Preschool and Education Settings, Treatment and Follow-up, National Guidance and Recommendations and State Highlights.
- A Guide to Vision Health for your Newborn, Infant, and Toddler
- 5 Tips for working with Your Local Head Start and Early Childhood Programs and 12 Components of a Strong Vision Health System of Care
- Vision Screening and Eye Exams
Centers for Disease Control
The Centers for Disease Control maintains information on Zika and Pregnancy:
- If Your Family has been Infected by Zika: Information on the research related to Zika infection in pregnancy.
- Care for Babies with Congenital Zika Syndrome
- Talking with Your Baby’s Doctor about Zika and Pregnancy
See also: eNotes on Zika Virus