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Reading the Signs Early: CDHD to Receive Idaho Learn the Signs Act Early State Systems Grant

Thursday, December 9 2010

Written by Amanda Cairo

MOSCOW, Idaho – As new diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder rise, University of Idaho College of Education students are getting the education and awareness they will need to address ASD in the classroom. The university's Center on Disabilities and Human Development has received its third ASD grant this year.

“Early intervention is critical. It has been the single biggest predictor of success for children at school, at home and in the community,” Mary Bostick, CDHD education program director.

The latest $15,000 grant is designed to strengthen state and community systems for early identification and intervention for children with signs of ASD and other developmental disabilities. The grant will allow Idaho graduate students to assist in the delivery of training medical personnel to learn the signs of early ASD and screen at-risk toddlers and preschoolers. Bostick also teaches a class on ASD at the university and will be able to share education from the grant with her students.

“There’s a large gap between the ages of when signs can first be recognized and the average age of children being diagnosed,” said Bostick. “This grant will help narrow that gap, and children will be able to receive help more expediently.”

With nearly every state applying for this round of grants, Bostick was pleased the center was awarded one of 10 Learn the Signs Act Early State Systems Grants nationwide.

Previously this year, the CDHD was awarded the Act Early Mini-grant and National Professional Development Center in Autism State Partnership Grant. Bostick says these grants show a commitment of the major state agencies to supporting activities related to early identification and evidence-based treatment of children and youth with ASD. They also position the state to be able to show commitment and ongoing activities when submitting for larger grants, and help to build a research agenda for ASD in the state.

Collaborative partners for the grant include the State Children’s Special Health Program, Idaho Maternal and Child Health, Idaho Infant Toddler Program, Idaho State Department of Education, Idaho Medicaid, Northwest Neurobehavioral Health Clinic, St. Luke’s Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, Idaho Child Care Program and Child Care Health Consultant Network, Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities and family advocacy groups.

The grant will be funded through the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs.

For more information on the grant award, contact Mary Bostick, project director at (208) 885-6141,, or Barbara Broyles, project coordinator at (208) 885-6143,
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About the University of Idaho

Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s land-grant institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year. The University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation classification for high research activity. The student population of 12,302 includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars, who select from more than 130 degree options in the colleges of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Art and Architecture; Business and Economics; Education; Engineering; Law; Letters, Arts and Social Sciences; Natural Resources; and Science. The university also is charged with the statewide mission for medical education through the WWAMI program. The university combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities and focuses on helping students to succeed and become leaders. It is home to the Vandals, the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl champions. For more information, visit

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit