Announcement: UCEDD’s Bethanne Vergean Selected as Connecticut Act Early Ambassador

UCEDD's Bethanne Vergean

Photo: Bethanne Vergean

The University of Connecticut’s (UCONN) Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) is pleased to announce that Bethanne Vergean who is an Early Childhood Specialist at the UCEDD has been selected to be the Connecticut Act Early Ambassador for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Act Early is a national campaign aiming to improve early identification of children with autism and other developmental disabilities so children and families can get the services and support they need.

Created by the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities and other federal partners, the campaign aims to educate parents, caregivers, and providers about childhood development, including early warning signs of autism and other developmental disorders, while promoting developmental screening and intervention.

Autism and developmental disabilities are common in the United States. A recent study shows that 1 in 59 children were identified with Autism yearly and that about one in six children have been diagnosed with a developmental disability. An estimated 165,000 Connecticut children have, or are at increased risk for, a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral and/or emotional condition and require health and related services beyond routine requirements for children in general.

Ms. Vergean’s responsibilities will include serving as the Connecticut liaison to the national Act Early campaign, providing training and technical assistance to state agencies, local Early Childhood programs, Community Health Centers, and other Health Care agencies to increase the identification and service provision to infants and young children and their families.

As an Act Early Ambassador, Ms. Vergean will play an important role in educating and working with Connecticut’s parents, healthcare professionals, and early educators about the importance of acting early on concerns about a child’s development.

On behalf of the UConn Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Mary Beth Bruder, PhD, Director said, “We are delighted to be chosen as the site for the Connecticut Act Early Campaign as it will continue our center’s service to Connecticut’s youngest citizens. Bethanne is the perfect choice to be the Act Early Ambassador as she has been an early childhood advocate at the University of Connecticut’s UCEDD for many years.”

For more information, visit: www.cdc.gov/ActEarly