What is the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)?

The field of applied behavior analysis (ABA) is continually growing, especially as we see higher rates of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other related disorders. While there is still much to learn about autism, there are methods of treatment with empirically proven success. One of these methods, which is highly sought after by parents, is the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM). ESDM is an early intervention approach to ABA that is used in children who are as young as 12 or 18 months old. There is extensive scientific evidence to support this method, and data collection is an important aspect of ESDM, so this method is a significant development in the field of ABA.

This method of ABA is also widely used, because it targets a wide range of developmental skills and can be used in most any setting. ESDM can help children build language skills (both expressive and receptive), motor skills (both fine and gross), social skills, play skills, adaptive skills, imitation skills, behavior, and cognition. ESDM can be incorporated into ABA therapy sessions, and parents can also use ESDM strategies at home with their child for additional practice. Family involvement is an important aspect of ESDM, which many parents of young children appreciate. An ESDM treatment plan can also be customized for every child, since every child has unique abilities and needs in ABA therapy. This is also a naturalistic method of ABA therapy.

At CST Academy, our therapeutic preschool program, we provide pediatric ABA services for children who are on the autism spectrum or experience a related disorder. We also incorporate ESDM methods into our program and have seen children make incredible strides, as a result of these strategies. In order to help parents learn about ESDM, we created an illustrated guide that explains the history of ESDM, how it is used in ABA therapy, why it is effective, and more. If you believe your child could benefit from ESDM techniques, this book may be a helpful start!

Contact us if you are interested in ordering a copy of our book! We can also provide you with more information about our services for children in Chicago, including ABA therapy, feeding therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Click the purple button below or call 773-620-7800.

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"After almost 2 years our son’s time at CST Academy has come to an end. The preschool program has done wonders for him. Ms Jaclyn is such a warm, kind and patient teacher. She and my son’s OT (Ms. Nikki) and ST (Ms. Erika) worked together to ensure he was meeting all of his goals. The level of collaboration between all therapies shows how dedicated they are to helping your child reach their full potential. They have all made such an impact on him, it’s amazing to see the changes since he started there. He has blossomed into a strong, confident boy who is more than prepared to start his new school in a few weeks. We will always fondly remember our time at CST Academy. Can’t recommend them enough!"
"I worked with CST Academy over a period of about 10 months. They are absolutely incredible! I also referred a friend to their program and the progress his child made just blew him away! Usually, I don’t write reviews unless I feel strongly compelled one way or the other, and in this case I do! You cannot go wrong here. I would not trust my children to anyone else. Call them and see for yourself. I have seen other programs and there is just no comparison."