Early Start Lab Mission Statement

The mission of the Early Start lab is to design, study, and deliver effective interventions for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families. We value collaborative, reciprocal relationships with clients, families, trainees, community members and colleagues. We are committed to life-long learning: for persons with ASD, for University and community learners, and for ourselves as autism scientists and interventionists. The goal of our work is to improve the quality of life for each person with ASD, characterized by personal feelings of efficacy, meaningful inclusion in community, individual exploration of interests and use of talents, and satisfying relationships. This goal requires both access to high quality education and treatment for all persons with ASD and the public’s commitment to supporting each person with ASD.

What is the ESDM?

At the heart of the ESDM is the empirical knowledge-base of infant-toddler learning and development and the effects of early autism.  ESDM intervention is provided in the home by trained therapists and parents during natural play and daily routines.  ESDM is a relationship-based intervention, and involves the parents and families; An Early Start for your Child with Autism, is a parent's guide to using everyday activities to help kids connect, communicate, and learn.  The aim of ESDM is to increase the rates of the development in all domains for children with ASD as it simultaneously aims to decrease the symptoms of autism.  In particular, this intervention focuses on boosting children’s social-emotional, cognitive, and language, as development in these domains is particularly affected by autism.  ESDM also uses a data based approach and empirically supported teaching practices that have been found effective from research in applied behavior analysis. ESDM fuses behavioral, relationship-based, and a developmental, play-based approach into an integrated whole that is completely individualized and yet standardized.

Professionals interested in becoming ESDM certified or hosting a workshop?