Intensive Therapy for Autism
What is ESDM?
The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) was created by Sally Rogers and Geraldine Dawson in 2000 as an extension of the Denver model that they had already developed (1981).
The Early Start Denver Model is a comprehensive early care strategy for young children with autism, ages 12 months to 5 years.
ESDM is based on scientific evidence about how young children develop and learn. Works to reduce the impact autism has on early development and learning. Importantly, ESDM uses the most proven ways to teach young children with autism.
ESDM is a play-based approach that fuses the best of all evidence-based programs for young children with autism. Our goal is to integrate ESDM into every play activity and family routine throughout the day. When we do this, children learn through their daily activities.
The first years of life are a period of great plasticity and changes at the brain level. This serves as a framework for early care for children with autism spectrum disorders, since it takes advantage of the enormous plasticity that occurs in these first years of life.
How do we use it?
We assess each child using the ESDM Curriculum Checklist.
A comprehensive list of objectives to be met and the steps used to teach these objectives are written.
The objectives are met within a period of 10 - 12 weeks.
The therapist carefully selects activities and play materials, and then arranges the room in a way that engages the child's attention and eases the transition from one activity to the next. Variations are made on each toy or activity the child selects.
All ESDM sessions alternate between social activities on the floor and activities at the table. This allows the therapist to regulate the child's alertness and ability to learn.
In each session the progress and details are saved. Much of the work applying ESDM is counseling parents and close caregivers in the development and continued use of child-interaction techniques.
Parents are actively involved in choosing their children's goals. We work with you to make sure you see progress at home and in childcare, not just in the clinic. Each child's program is administered by a certified ESDM therapist.
Sessions of 2-4 hours per week are arranged, depending on the other therapies the child is receiving.