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For Immediate Release

Easter Seals Celebrates Week of the Young Child™ with Infographic Release

Infographic, Online Developmental Screening Tool to Help Make the Early Years Count

Chicago, April 23, 2012

Media Contact:
Kristen Barnfield, Easter Seals
P: 312.551.7147

Rachel Talen, Easter Seals
P: 312.551.7246

Today, Easter Seals released an infographic on a crisis we as a nation are facing: every year, more than one million kids enter school with an undiagnosed disability. 

The Week of the Young Child, sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), aims to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize organizations like Easter Seals that help to meet those needs. In addition to providing services for kids with disabilities, developmental delays and autism, Easter Seals is raising awareness and advocating for funding around early intervention through its Make the First Five Count® initiative.

The infographic’s visual data tells the story of babies who are born with a developmental delay or disability, but do not receive the help they need early, when they can benefit the most. Many enter kindergarten with learning and health issues that put them far behind their peers and have a lasting, negative effect on their ability to meet their full potential. The infographic, available via Easter Seals’ Facebook page, brings more of this startling data to life:

Screenings Offer a Solution 
Earlier detection gives children that critical window of opportunity and access to early intervention and treatment. Easter Seals, through the generous support of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, is now making it possible for parents and caregivers to easily track their children’s development through age 5 by means of a free online screening tool.

Traditionally used by clinicians, therapists, professionals, and educators, Brookes Publishing’s Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ)® is now available to parents and caregivers on Easter Seals’ Make the First Five Count website to monitor child development and identify potential issues so that any concerns can be readily addressed to make sure they are on track and ready to enter school.

“The online tools are an effective first step toward identifying if a child could benefit from early intervention services,” says Patricia Wright, Ph.D., MPH, national director of autism services, Easter Seals.  “We’re encouraging everyone to spread this message by sharing the screening tool link with friends and parents, liking our infographic on Facebook and flash tweeting with us on Twitter.”

Making a Difference is Trendy 
There are a couple of ways you can share the important message of early intervention with the parents in your life:

About Easter Seals

Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs.  For more than 90 years, we have been offering help and hope to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play. Easter Seals’ Make the First Five Count is designed to give children at risk of developmental delays, disabilities or autism the right support they need to be school-ready and build a foundation for a lifetime of learning. Learn more at http://www.makethefirstfivecount.org

*“Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders – Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 13 Sites, United States, 2008.” March 30, 2012 / 61(SSo3); 1-19. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
* *National Survey of Children’s Health, 2007

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