Language and communication taught inside a positive, affect-based relationship
Who can benefit from the Early Start Denver Model? What Has Research Shown?
The Early Start Denver Model has been validated in a randomized clinical trial for use with children with autism as young as 18 months of age. It has been found to be effective for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) across a wide range of learning styles and abilities. Children with more significant learning challenges were found to benefit from the program as much as children without such learning challenges. A randomized clinical trial
published in the journal of Pediatrics
showed that children who received ESDM therapy for 20 hours a week (15 hours by trained therapists, 5 hours by parents) over a 2-year span showed greater improvement in cognitive and language abilities and adaptive behavior and fewer autism symptoms than did children referred for interventions commonly available in their communities.
Certification to be an ESDM therapist requires the therapist have at Master’s Degree or higher, complete a 5-day training series, and then demonstrate fidelity to implement ESDM techniques reliably and according to high standards set by leading ESDM therapists. This ensures that a certified professional has the knowledge and skills to successfully use the teaching strategies with children with autism.
Kelly McKinnon-Bermingham, MA, BCBA, our Behavior Intervention Director and is an ESDM certified therapist, one of only 2 in Orange County. She and her ABA team use the Early Start Denver Model Curriculum to develop a treatment plan that may be covered by insurance. Our team offers 1:1 and small group intervention using the ESDM model that includes parent participation and training.
The Center has been piloting the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), a developmental, behavioral and relationship-based intervention program for infants and toddlers with ASD, over the past year. Read more about this innovative early intervention therapy here.
Social Skills Groups:
Our ABA team offers social skills classes that utilize the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), under the supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). A specific treatment program is designed looking at all of the important social skill areas including social referencing, play skills, imitation, joint attention, behavior skills, social awareness, eye contact, as well as conversation and language skills and school readiness skills.
Social skills groups run from 1 hour to 1 ½ hours in duration, depending on the needs of the student and size of the group. Our goal is to match a child’s needs and skill level to similar-matched peers. Siblings, friends and peer models are included in our group sessions. Individual treatment plans are developed for each child, and parent homework is incorporated into sessions. Children ages 4-15.
The National Autism Center, in their Findings and Conclusions National Standards Project 2017 designed to address the need for evidence-based practice guidelines for autism spectrum disorder, recommended the book, Social Skills Solutions: A Hands-on Manual for teaching social skills to children with Autism, authored by Kelly McKinnon & Janis Krempa on the top of their list for evidenced-based social skills programs/packages.
In addition to social skills groups, our ABA team has developed several teen and classes including the Advantage Social Communication Program. The Program is a 12-week series that focuses on young adults ages 14-22. This unique program is designed to teach communication skills including understanding how to make positive impressions through appearance, actions, and words. A primary caregiver is required to attend all 12 weeks to learn strategies to help practice, model and create situations for their children to use the social skills they are taught in class. Both students and their parents’ complete pre and post information, and work together to develop individual social skills in addition to the curriculum.
The Behavior Intervention team has also created a puberty curriculum and class series for boys and girls on the autism spectrum that also requires parental involvement. This course series was featured on Autism Speaks website. See upcoming flyers. https://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/2017/07/30/helping-tweens-and-teens-autism-master-puberty-health-and-hygiene
Our Behavior Intervention team feels it is vital to include parents in all aspects of treatment and support. In addition to our direct intervention services, we have created a parent training series that includes specific topic areas that can be challenging for a family with a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This training includes a potty training class, managing tantrums and challenging behaviors, sleeping and night time routines, and picky eating and staying safe. Look for upcoming classes.
Click here for our Family Emergency and Disaster Planning Preparedness Kit
Additionally, 1:1 parent/child consultation around specific behavioral challenges for focused ABA intervention program are available.
Our Behavior Intervention team is here for your training needs. Our team is experienced and available to train on many topics including:
Understanding Autism & ABAHow to successfully engage parents in ABA assessment & treatment
Managing challenging behaviors of autism in your setting
Helping families and organizations with children with autism in an emergency or disaster
Register Behavior Technician Training