The Early Start Denver Model
Used in the Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Services which were funded under the Helping Children With Autism Program, The Denver Early Start Model is a play-based intensive program that targets the core deficits of autism (e.g. emotion sharing, attention, joint attention and imitation and play.)
The ESDM is provided intensively and can be carried out at home as well as at centres. It has some good quality research behind it and is likely to be more widely available in time.
LEAP is a comprehensive preschool service, designed for both children with autism and typically developing children.
LEAP has the components of an integrated preschool program and a behaviour skills training program for parents. The program contains aspects of behavioural analysis, but it is primarily a developmentally based approach.
Long term outcomes are currently being evaluated however independent evaluation is required to determine effectiveness.
The SCERTS Model
SCERTS is a comprehensive program which treats the core symptoms of autism in three main areas.
Transactional Support – that is supporting social interaction across all settings
TEACCH is a ‘whole life’ approach aimed at supporting children, adolescents, and adults with autism through the provision of visual information, structure, and predictability.
The results of a small number of studies have indicated positive outcomes for children who access the TEACCH program. However, there is a need for larger, systematic and controlled studies to be conducted by independent researchers in order to evaluate the immediate and long term outcomes of the program.
More Than Words
‘More than Words’ is an intensive training program for parents of pre-school children with autism.
The program derives its theoretical framework from a social-pragmatic developmental perspective and emphasises the blending of aspects of both behavioural and naturalistic child-centred programs; the breaking down of activities into structured, small steps found in an ABA program, and the provision of opportunities to use language for functional purposes built into more naturalistic approaches.
A preliminary evaluation of treatment outcomes has indicated that the program has some positive outcomes for children and families. Further research is required in order to evaluate this program more comprehensively.