The Learn the Signs Act Early (LTSAE) Summit was held November 8-9, 2012 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center and brought together appointed Act Early Delegates representing various geographic regions and cultural groups across the state of Minnesota. The goal of the Summit was to establish a statewide network of Act Early Delegates who will utilize the Centers for Disease Control’s Learn the Signs Act Early message and materials in combination with existing initiatives such as First Signs and Help Me Grow to promote early identification, screening, and intervention for ASD and related neurodevelopmental disabilities. Act Early Delegates will serve a two year term as facilitators within their communities to promote education and awareness of the LTSAE campaign and disseminate materials to professionals and advocates who work with parents of young children, as well as the parents themselves. Delegates will have the opportunity to attend post-Summit webinars and will periodically report on activities within their respective regions.

The LTSAE Summit is made possible by a grant from the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs and generous support from the Minnesota Department of Education and the MN LEND.


Minnesota has a history of involvement in addressing concerns about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and related neurodevelopmental disabilities. In 2009 the University of Minnesota received a LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disorders) grant that offers graduate-level interdisciplinary training to students involved in disability fields and specifically focuses on ASD and related neurodevelopmental disabilities. The Minnesota Autism Summit Committee evolved from participation in the September 2010 “Know the Signs Act Early Summit (funded by the Centers for Disease Control and organized by the Association of University Centers on Disability) in Indianapolis. This committee identified three broad Impacts related to ASD services, supports, and associated policies that would create systemic changes to:

  1. Early autism screening and access to early intervention services;
  2. Seamless transitions between culturally-effective support services across the lifespan;
  3. Equitable, diversified funding options for behavioral health care, social services, and educational supports.

These intended Impacts are detailed in our State Autism Plan along with specific activities to achieve short- and medium-term outcomes that underpin the Impacts. The LTSAE Summit addresses the first Impact, that of early ASD screening and access to early intervention services.

More Information

For more information about the LTSAE Summit please contact:

Jen Hall-Lande 

LTSAE Summit Presentations

LTSAE Summit Videos

Amy Hewitt, Welcome and Background to LTSAE (11.8.12)

David Roholtz, South Carolina Act Early Team (11.8.12)

Sherrie Kenny and Parent Panel (11.9.12)

Gail Chodron, Wisconsin Act Early Team (11.9.12)

Minnesota Department of Education (11.9.12)