Developmental Monitoring and Language – Oregon

Katherine Zuckerman, MD, MPH, Oregon Health & Science University (Funded 2018)

We will design and pilot test a 3-part intervention to enhance the link between WIC and other early childhood resources. The intervention includes: (1) on-site WIC staff training using CDC Learn the Signs Act Early materials, with emphasis on early literacy and early identification of developmental delays, (2) a uniform, direct, closed-loop referral process from WIC to Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education (EI/ECSE) and each child’s primary care provider, and (3) public health identification of high-risk children that can be followed up in the WIC setting. We will pilot test the intervention in four Oregon WIC clinics, with four other clinics serving as a delayed intervention (control) group. Primary outcomes of interest include feasibility, acceptability, mechanism of action, protocol fidelity, and preliminary efficacy at increasing EI/ECSE referral and eligibility determination. Upon completion of this pilot intervention we will expand this effort into a statewide program to accelerate early identification of developmental delays and reduce disparities in early childhood development.