The ESDM was developed by Dr. Sally Rogers and Dr. Geraldine Dawson. ESDM is a relationship-based early intervention model created to work with very young children with, or showing signs of, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As described in the UC Davis Collaborative Start Lab, "ESDM uses a data based approach and empirically supported teaching practices that have been found effective from research in applied behaviour analysis (ABA). ESDM fuses behavioural, relationship-based, and a developmental, play-based approach into an integrated whole that is completely individualized and yet standardized".
At its best, ESDM creates learning opportunities within play-based routines that are fun! It is an early intervention, routine-based model in which trained therapists merge behavioural teaching strategies within child-led, relationship-based, activities and routines. The rigour involved in becoming an ESDM certified therapist helps ensure that those who have received adequate training in the model are practicing in an ethical and appropriate manner that is true to the evidence-based model. To ensure the model is being implemented as intended and as detailed in the training manual The Early Start Denver Model for Young Children with Autism: Promoting Language, Learning, and Engagement, it is important to be certain that those who state that they have skills in the ESDM have undergone all of the steps required in the ESDM certification process.
ESDM has an ever growing amount of research evidence supporting its effectiveness with very young children with ASD. Much of this information is documented at the Collaborative Start Lab at UC Davis MIND Institute and on a list of peer reviewed research publications.
You may have heard the term Naturalistic Developmental Behavioural Interventions or NDBI. This is a term which is used to describe interventions that have sound scientific evidence to support their effectiveness with young children with ASD. These types of scientifically validated early interventions use behaviourally-based strategies to teach developmental skills based on the typical developmental trajectories of young children. The Early Start Denver Model is one such NDBI.
For online video links related to the Early Start Denver Model, please see below. Please note, ESDM Canada did not create nor does it endorse any of the below video links or advertisements that may arise as a result of access to these videos or websites. These online videos are intended to strengthen the understanding of those wanting to learn more about ESDM and related NDBIs. Should these online links stop functioning, we would appreciate notification... please contact us!