DHDD Newsletter – April 2022

Newsletter-Human Development and Disability: Improving Health, Helping Children

A Note from the Acting DHDD Director

Blythe Ryerson

Dear DHDD Partners,

I hope you are all doing well and staying healthy. We have had a great deal of activity this month with Autism Acceptance Month. We highlighted the past, present, and future work of the SEED program in a feature earlier this month, available both in English and Spanish. We also have new Learn the Signs. Act Early. content about the importance of acting early if you are concerned about your child’s development. Please share this information broadly through your own networks.

I know many of you are gearing up for May activities around Mental Health Awareness Month, and for Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on May 5th. DHDD will have a feature on the work of our Children’s Mental Health Champions, and how these Champions work to identify concerns, provide support, and promote children’s mental health. We will send out more information about this feature through our NCBDDD partner alert and through NCBDDD’s social media handles. Please cross-promote our social media posts if you have the chance!



In the Spotlight

Autism Acceptance Month!

Autism Acceptance Month

April is Autism Acceptance Month! CDC is highlighting the research we’ve done through CDC’s Study to Explore Early Development (SEED) to understand more about autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Learn more about the past, present, and future impact of SEED research; also available in Spanish. Join the nationwide effort to raise awareness and promote acceptance of ASD and its impact on children and families.

New Resources

New Spanish-language COVID-19 Resources Available!

thumbnails of Spanish resources

DHDD has collaborated with RTI International to create a new series of COVID-19 materials on getting a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot for Spanish-speaking audiences with low literacy, including individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This new suite of resources follows Lucas, a Hispanic male with a disability as he navigates the process of getting a COVID-19 booster shot with his mother. These materials have been added to our growing list of existing English and Spanish COVID-19 materials for people with disabilities. Please share with your networks!

New Web Content on COVID-19 Vaccinations for Children and Teens with Disabilities

A mom and her son

Many children and teens with disabilities have underlying medical conditions such as lung, heart, or kidney disease, a weakened immune system, cancer, obesity, diabetes, some blood diseases, or conditions of the muscular or central nervous system. Children and teens with one or more underlying medical condition are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. CDC has created new COVID-19 web content for parents and caregivers, as well as for providers and partners who serve children and teens with disabilities and their families. Please see more details below and share these new links with your networks!

Getting Children and Teens with Disabilities Vaccinated against COVID-19

1 in 6 children ages 3 through 17 years of age has one or more developmental disabilities. A new CDC resource outlines the importance of getting children and youth with special healthcare needs vaccinated against COVID-19. Learn how you can prepare and support all children and teens with disabilities before, during, and after vaccination here.

Vaccinating Children with Disabilities Against COVID-19: Information for Vaccine Providers and Partners Planning Vaccination

Many children with disabilities have underlying medical conditions that put them at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. A new CDC resource provides helpful strategies for vaccine providers and partners on how to make getting a COVID-19 vaccine at vaccination sites more accessible for children with disabilities. Learn how to implement physical, sensory, and cognitive strategies to ensure all children with disabilities have access to the COVID-19 vaccine here.

Building Capacity for Inclusion of People with Disabilities in Preparedness Planning and Response

A group of three women, one of whom is in a wheelchair.

CDC has launched a web page highlighting a collaboration with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the National Association of County and City Health Officials to build capacity for inclusion of people with disabilities in state, territorial, and local health department preparedness and response efforts. Subject matter experts hired through this project and embedded in health agencies across the United States have made significant progress in advancing disability inclusion. Stories from the field will be added to this web page in coming months to highlight these successes. The Association of University Centers on Disabilities also supported the project through its National Technical Assistance and Training Center on Disability Inclusion and Emergency Preparedness.

Direct Service Providers for Children and Families: How home visitors can protect themselves and their clients from COVID-19 and other diseases that can be spread from person to person.

A home visitor with a child

NCBDDD has a new page describing how home visitors can protect themselves and their clients during home visits. Home-visiting professionals, such as teachers, therapist, maternal, infant, early childhood, and early intervention specialists, provide many needed services directly to children and families in their home. When in-person services are delivered, they are often done in close and consistent contact with the clients. This means that it is important to use prevention strategies to protect the home visitor and the family from diseases that can be spread from person to person, such as COVID-19, but also flu, colds, and other respiratory or gastrointestinal illnesses. The new page uses the existing guidance for direct service providers as well as the guidance for early care and education professionals and tailors the information for home visitors. Learn about the new information

New Funding Opportunity from CDC’s Injury Center: Expansion of Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Across the United States (CDC-RFA-CE22-2204)

CDC’s Injury Center is announcing a new funding opportunity for Expansion of Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Across the United States (CDC-RFA-CE22-2204). This new notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) builds on and expands the Injury Center’s current Comprehensive Suicide Prevention program. The purpose of this NOFO is to implement and evaluate a comprehensive approach, with attention to one or more disproportionately affected populations (such as veterans, rural communities, tribal populations, LGBTQ, homeless, or others). These populations account for a significant proportion of the suicide burden and/or have suicide rates greater than the general population in a jurisdiction(s) (such as state, county, or tribe). CDC’s Injury Center intends to commit approximately $5.4 million per year for five years to support up to 6 cooperative agreement recipients. More information is available at: GRANTS.GOV ; For questions about this announcement, please email: CSP20-2001@cdc.gov

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Virtual Workshop: Responding to the Current Youth Mental Health Crisis and Preventing the Next One; Including a conversation with U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy on a paradigm shift towards promotion and prevention in mental health.

A diverse group of four children

This Mental Health Awareness Month, the Forum for Children’s Well-Being will host a virtual workshop focused on the promotion of positive mental health in children and youth. Over the course of three days—May 2, 4, and 9—the Forum will bring together expert presentations, lived experience perspectives, and community-level strategies for responding to the current youth mental health crisis and preventing the next one. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy will join the discussion on May 4th at 2 PM ET. Register here. The full agenda can be found on the Forum’s website. CDC is supporting the work of the Forum for Children’s Well-Being. Learn more about the Forum.


Research study: Having ADHD is associated with bullying involvement.

A boy that is distressed after being bullied

A recent study published in the Journal of Attention Disorders examined bullying involvement among children with ADHD. Parents reported that almost half of children with ADHD were victims of bullying, and about 1 in 6 bullied other children. Factors such as family financial strain, having a developmental disability, poor emotional regulation, difficulty with peer relationships, and problems in school were associated with increased likelihood of bullying involvement. Among children with ADHD, those with additional risk may benefit from anti-bullying interventions.

Use of a Paid Digital Marketing Campaign to Promote a Mobile Health App to Encourage Parent-Engaged Developmental Monitoring: Implementation Study

A cute African-American baby

A recent study by CDC authors and Porter Novelli co-authors and published in JMIR Pediatrics and Parenting explores the outcomes of a paid digital marketing campaign. The campaign, which occurred from 2018 to 2020, promoted messages about parent-engaged developmental monitoring and directed parents to the Milestone Tracker app, a mobile health (mHealth) app developed by the CDC.

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults (MIS-A): case finding through systematic review of electronic medical records

Attractive young afro female doctor talking working with her computer in the consultation.

In a new article published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, researchers studied 5,775 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and found that for every 523 patients, one patient was identified as a MIS-A case, based on CDC’s case definition of MIS-A. MIS-A is a severe but likely underrecognized complication of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Improved recognition of MIS-A in clinical settings is needed to better understand its prevalence and identify populations at highest risk.

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DHDD’S mission is to lead inclusive programs to optimize the health and development of children and adults with, or at risk for, disabilities.

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