The Early Access Project works with and within Oklahoma communities to meet the needs of young children with autism spectrum disorders, by improving access to early screening and connection to needed services.
In order to ensure optimal outcomes for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, early identification and early intervention are key. The first steps in this process are awareness and screening. Families should be aware of the developmental milestones that children typically reach around certain ages as well as warning signs that could possibly indicate risk for ASD or other developmental delays. Screening provides families who have concerns about their child's development to quickly and efficiently find out if their child is at risk for ASD and needs further assessment. Screening is not the same thing as diagnostic evaluation and cannot identify whether a child does or does not have autism. Instead, screening is tool, or stepping stone, that can determine what the next step should be.
Early Access works with Community Screening Partners throughout the state to provide screenings that address autism risk as well as general developmental health. Early Access community partners are trained in administering appropriate screening instruments as well as providing families with resource referrals and information to help them on their way.
Early Access is a part of the Oklahoma Autism Center and is funded in part through a contract with the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council and a grant from the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs. We collaborate with public and private agencies statewide to address current screening needs and strengthen long-term, community-based screening capacity.