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How does the Early Start Denver Model work?

The Early Start Denver Model, ESDM, is a therapy for young children with autism. It reduces features of autism for children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. OneOnOne Children’s Therapy  provides this cutting-edge intervention in New South Wales.

The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) uses a play-based approach. It has four levels that follow general development for children. However, it focuses on the areas that challenge young children with autism. Despite being play based, it involves intensive teaching. Every session in the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) aims to engage the child and teach every 20-30 seconds. This seems like a lot of teaching, but most children engage at this rate. The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) delivers intervention using the following techniques.

It uses these techniques:

  • The child’s choice of activity or toy frames each learning opportunity
  • Positive Affect keeps the child focussed on the play partner, not just the toys
  • Play is the basis for ever activity
  • Teaching occurs at a rapid rate
  • Challenging behaviours improve with a positive behaviour approach
  • Family help select the goals
  • Parents learn to deliver the ESDM at home
  • Importantly, the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) is available for day care and preschool staff so that intensity of learning increases. This means that the child uses their new skills in a variety of settings.

The Certified ESDM Therapist uses the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) Curriculum Checklist to assess. They create a lost of goals and objectives:

The ESDM targets these areas:

  • Receptive Communication
  • Expressive Communication
  • Imitation
  • Play
  • Joint Attention
  • Social Skills with Adults
  • Social Skills with Peers
  • Cognition
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Gross Motor Skills
  • Personal Independence

The  review of the cost of intensive ESDM shows that cost is offset because it reduces the need for intervention as the child gets older. You can read about the evidence base behind the ESDM evidence behind the ESDM model.

OneOnOne Children’s Therapy has certified Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) Therapists. In addition, they are also Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Psychologists. We are very happy to answer any of your questions about the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM). We can be contacted in our Bondi Junction clinic in Sydney on (02) 80657837 or email us.

 

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