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Good News For Future Children On The Autism Spectrum

A new study focusing on early childhood intervention shows hope for children within the autism spectrum and their interaction with the community. This study shows the long term effects of intensive intervention for autistic toddlers. The therapy used is called the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM).

The ESDM relationship development with applied behaviour analysis. According to the autism speaks website, the model involved many components including:


  • “Naturalistic applied behavioural analytic strategies

  • Sensitive to normal developmental sequence

  • Deep parental involvement

  • Focus on interpersonal exchange and positive affect

  • Shared engagement with joint activities

  • Language and communication taught inside a positive, affect-based relationship”


The study shows that toddlers who undergo ESDM for 15 hours a week for two years show great improvement in intellectual ability and language. The toddlers even showed a reduction in autistic symptoms. A group of toddlers being treated with the ESDM were compared to other autistic toddlers but who instead received general community intervention. The results were profound. The ESDM group showed a significant difference to the comparison group. “These findings indicate that children who had received the ESDM earlier in their lives continued to progress well with significantly less treatment than the comparison children received,” said co-author Sally J. Rogers, a University of California, Davis professor of psychiatry and co-creator of the Early Start Denver Model intervention.

This has a huge impact on the autism community because if there are more people within the autism spectrum who grow up with better adaptive functioning and communication skills, that means they can better take care of themselves and interact have the ability to better interact with society.



About Lauren De Wilde

Lauren De Wilde
Eccentric and quirky, Lauren is currently studying psychology, neuroscience and disabilities. In addition to learning the inner workings of people, she also enjoys writing, playing the harp and watching Netflix. Contact Lauren: