“As a new resident of Georgia, I am wholly impressed with the collaborative work that’s being done to address the needs of our most vulnerable citizens. In particular, I’m inspired by the efforts, simultaneously grassroots and broad-based, of the Get Georgia Reading Campaign to bolster children’s reading proficiency. I’m thrilled to be part of an organization that’s moving quickly to translate intentions into successful outcomes.”

Dr. Lindee Morgan, Co-Director of Educational Science, Research

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The Marcus Autism Center’s clinical, training, and research endeavors are guided by a mission that directly serves the community. Their guiding principles of being oriented to children, driven by science, and inspired by innovation and excellence are consistent with Get Georgia Reading’s four-pillar agenda. Aspects of each pillar can be observed across the various clinical and research programs at Marcus. Their research program has many projects that focus on early identification of risk factors in infancy and toddlerhood to promote optimal outcomes for all children. Families seen clinically are guided so that access to care, at both Marcus and in community settings, is maximized. Outreach programs emphasize Language Nutrition, social emotional learning, and teacher preparation and effectiveness.

With funding from the NIH Autism Center of Excellence grant, Marcus Autism Center has developed a treatment protocol called “Early Social Interaction” that promotes Language Nutrition through a parent-coaching model that helps keep children at risk of autism actively engaged in social interactions throughout the course of their daily lives. The clinical care of every research family is of the utmost importance. Families are provided with access to verbal and often written feedback of the test results and diagnostic impressions, and recommendations and referrals for treatment and intervention are made. Many of the research and clinical faculty conduct workshops, in-services, focus groups, and seminars for the community that promote best practices in treatment and intervention addressing positive learning climate as well as teacher preparation and effectiveness.

The Talk With Me Baby team, with Marcus serving as the backbone, works to promote Language Nutrition throughout Georgia and beyond. By training medical professionals and other valued workforces, Language Nutrition messaging has the potential to reach nearly all children in Georgia. Additionally, through telehealth technology, remote coaching, and a “coach-the-coach” model, Marcus is improving access to those previously considered out of reach. As a stakeholder in the Autism Plan of Georgia, the Center works closely with colleagues to promote standards of best practice throughout the lifespan to ensure the needs of every individual and family are met in all Georgia communities. Marcus collaborates on SEE-KS and projects coaching early childhood providers, early intervention providers, and educators on the skills needed to best meet the needs of children with and at risk for autism spectrum disorder.

To learn more about the Marcus Autism Center, visit their website.