Parents can play a significant role in helping babies and children with ASD (or showing possible signs of ASD) engage, communicate, and learn to be their best. Research clearly indicates that it is most effective for parents to begin intervening as soon as they suspect their baby is not developing in a typical manner, regardless if they have a diagnosis of ASD or not. Dr. Sally Rogers co-authored a small pilot study with Dr. Laurie Vismara in collaboration with Dr. Sally Ozonof where they examined the effects of parent coaching on babies showing unusual development without a diagnosis of any kind. Results were positive and demonstrated the powerful role that parents were able to play in altering their children's developmental trajectories. Dr. Sally Rogers conducted a brief video-based interview about this small pilot study. Although we are not able to draw wide-reaching conclusions due to the small sample size of this pilot study, results are certainly promising. CTV News also completed a video and written report of the use of ESDM with babies.
An Early Start for Your Child with Autism: Using Everyday Activities to Help Kids Connect, Communicate, and Learn is a parent guide written by Dr. Sally J. Rogers, Dr. Geraldine Dawson, and Dr. Laurie A. Vismara that provides parents with comprehensive tools and strategies they can use in every day activities and routines to help children "move on to a positive developmental path as soon as possible" (page 1). The strategies described in this book help parents develop learning opportunities that they can use with their child everyday.
In addition to reviewing general information about ASD in early life, An Early Start for Your Child with Autism: Using Everyday Activities to Help Kids Connect, Communicate, and Learn details supports and strategies that fall into 10 broad categories. The strategies in these 10 chapters are intended to help parents best engage and communicate with their child and support their child's learning through daily routines and activities. These 10 chapter headings are:
Each chapter is full of strategies that parents may be already using, or new strategies that they can begin to use immediately with their child. The chapters are written to help support families and caregivers work at their own pace. There are many checklists, lists suitable to photocopy and hang in prominent locations around the house, and summary tables intended to meet the needs of different parent learning styles.
Being supported by a parent coach who has gone through ESDM parent coaching training can further augment and support family learning. For more information about ESDM parent coaching and the role ESDM Canada is able to play for families wanting to access this direct 1-1 coaching support, please contact us.