Early Advantage Project

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The Early Advantage Project is a campaign created to educate families about signs of developmental disabilities and delays in children from birth to age three.

The campaign focus is raising awareness and disseminating key messages to increase early intervention. Social marketing techniques are used to identify and segment target audiences, develop communications strategies, and convey messages. Establishing and maintaining partnerships is a key ingredient in success of the Early Advantage project. Partner organizations help assures that the campaign messages continue to have the support of the therapist/specialists who are the all important conduit to the target audiences.

The Eaglet® is a powerful reminder that inspires parents to learn more about their child’s risk for autism and to take action.

The Early Advantage is a science-based health education program built on a strong foundation of formative research. Informed by health behavior and health communications theory, the program’s underlying strategy is to implement a brand-driven social marketing mix of national programming and community interventions to raise awareness of Autism and drive behavior change among the primary target audience—parents ages 21 to 38. The program’s objectives recognize the critical need to eliminate health inequities by placing an emphasis on reaching African American and Hispanic parents with autism awareness messages and science-based public education information.

The Early Advantage’s strategic framework is built on three pillars: national-level awareness-raising activities, community activation, and partnerships. From this framework, multiple tactics are developed, implemented, and evaluated to achieve The Early Advantage’s objectives. National-level activities, such as National Kiss A Therapist Day®, are designed to broadly raise awareness of autism. Community activation, including The Early Advantage’s Community Action and Champions programs, provides community-level education to parents of color and low income. Using multicultural, science-based resources, these programs help motivate parents to make healthy lifestyle behavior changes. Partnerships with a wide variety of organizations—community, media, corporate, Government, nonprofit, and health professional—leverage The Early Advantage’s outreach to its target audience, amplify the program’s key public health messages, and support national activities and community programming.

The Early Advantage is a groundbreaking public health education initiative. The Eaglet symbol has achieved broad recognition and engaged the support of a significant portfolio of national- and local-level partners that contribute to achieving The Early Advantage’s goal. The AAA research and resulting science-based public health messaging and materials are helping parents across the country learn to recognize signs of Autism and take action to give their children an early advantage.