IDS’ LaVergne Named Mississippi’s Act Early Ambassador

IDS’ LaVergne Named Mississippi’s Act Early Ambassador

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The following is a news release from The University of  Southern Mississippi

Identifying developmental delays early can make an important difference in the services a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or other developmental disabilities receives. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) established the Act Early Ambassador program, a network of state-level experts that works together to improve early identification practices.

Dr. Leslie LaVergne, a navigator and trainer at The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies, has been selected to serve as Mississippi's Act Early Ambassador to expand the reach of the "Learn the Signs. Act Early." program and promote messages and activities through collaboration within the state to improve screening, diagnostic, and referral services for young children with ASD and other developmental disabilities.

"Dr. LaVergne's expertise will be tremendously beneficial to children with Autism and other developmental disabilities and their families in Mississippi," said Dr. Beth Bryant-Claxton, director of IDS. "Her involvement with this program will assist young children in getting the services and supports they and their families need."

IDS is Mississippi's University Center for Excellence in Education, Research and Services (UCEDD). Celebrating its 40th year at The University of Southern Mississippi, IDS works to enhance the lives of Mississippi and with disabilities and their families.

For more information about IDS, visit