Early Autism Evaluation Hub (EAE Hub) Update

Indiana University School of Medicine’s Early Autism Evaluation Hub system (EAE Hub) is a statewide network of primary care practices committed to the early evaluation of children ages 18-42 months at risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Currently directed by Mary Ciccarelli, MD, 14 practices from 10 health systems across Indiana work together on fidelity to a standard clinical evaluation pathway, quality improvement of key clinical indicators and successful referrals to evidence-based interventions and local community supports. Between 700-900 children are evaluated annually, from more than half of the state’s counties. Department of Pediatrics’ researcher Becca McNally Keehn, PhD, published project outcomes from the first six years of system implementation in Pediatrics (doi: 10.1542/peds.2019-3876). Findings included reduced age of diagnosis (mean: 30.5 months) and evaluation wait time in the EAE Hubs. In a follow-up Journal of Pediatrics article (doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2021.02.063), with a secondary editorial highlight (doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2021.04.024), McNally Keehn et al. analyzed the referral concerns of caregivers and referring primary care providers (PCP). Of note, caregivers and PCPs showed different patterns of association between referral concerns and screening outcomes. The hubs are now participating in an NIH-funded study of diagnostic accuracy and validation of biomarkers that may serve to improve diagnostic sensitivity of future EAE Hub evaluations. The EAE Hub system is an innovative community-based evaluation model that not only holds promise for reducing ASD diagnostic delays and disparities, but also serves as a critical infrastructure supporting the needs of families within local communities across Indiana and for scientific advances in ASD research.

Comprehensive State Plan on Community-Based Services for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)

Task Force for Assessment of Services and Supports for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities published a report on existing services, identifies gaps in services and proposes services that will help make people with disabilities more independent. Read