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Comcast NBCUniversal Assistive Technology Grant

Thanks to the Comcast NBCUniversal Assistive Technology Grant, Easter Seals North Georgia will expand its early intervention program to reach an additional 473 children.

Funding from Comcast NBCUniversal allows ESNG to screen more children for autism spectrum disorder ASD. Research is clear on two things. First, the number of children diagnosed with ASD is higher than ever before. And, the earlier children are diagnosed with ASD and receive early intervention services, the more profound the benefits are.

Thanks to a partnership with Marcus Autism Center, our early intervention program uses a more sensitive and effective autism screening tool. Funding from Comcast NBCUniversal allows ESNG staff to conduct the Smart ESAC assessment in our rural locations remotely. Our specialists can be in one location and use telehealth (tablets, computers, webcams and videoconferencing software) to conduct the screenings with families.

Parents are their children’s first and most natural teacher and thus are in a unique position to influence their children’s earliest years of development. Helping parents become proficient and long-lasting agents of change necessitates specialized training and support of their skill use throughout their daily routines. Upon diagnosis of ASD, a team of therapists determine the most appropriate therapies for the child. Typically, the primary areas of concern are speech/language therapy and social-emotional behaviors. Most of the children require the PLAY Project (Play & Language for Autistic Youngsters) or Applied Behavior Analysis to address  the social and behavioral concerns. Our Autism Specialists will deliver the PLAY Project and/or ABA strategies to families utilizing telehealth. The goal of the telehealth program is to deliver parent-implemented intervention in families’ homes - hence supporting parent-child learning. Specialists will provide coaching and live feedback to the families inside real-life moments and interactions with children. If families do not have the necessary technology, ESNG will provide the technology for their use.

For more information about Easter Seals North Georgia's early intervention program, please contact Laura Kahn, lkahn@esng.org.

 

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