To conduct a study evaluating the efficacy of the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), an evidence-based comprehensive developmental intervention, in Israel, for improving outcomes of toddlers diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
The ESDM is a manualized, evidence-based intervention model, specifically designed for toddlers with ASD. The intervention uses an interdisciplinary team to teach skills that are foundational to all areas of development within the context of joint activity routines. Principles of the ESDM are informed by developmental theory, within the emphasis of early social learning experiences on the developing brain. The current study presents perliminary results of a home-based ESDM intervention with three toddlers diagnosed with ASD. The study aims to evalute the efficacy of the ESDM in Israel and the needed cultural adjustments.
3 children aged 18-30 months diagnosed with ASD received 20 hours/week of ESDM intervention and parent training, in addition to 2 hours/week of Occupational therapy and Speech therapy, for a mean of 6 months. The intervention was delivered by psychologists, and a special education teacher, and weekly staff meetings included all the multi-disceplinary team members. ASD diagnosis was confimed using ADI-R toddler algorithms and ADOS-Toddler module. Outcome measures included the Mullen Scales of Early Learning (MSEL), and the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, 2nd version (VABS-II).
Data collection is currently ongoing and post-intervention measures will be collected prior to the conference dates. We hypothesis that the children who receive ESDM intervention will show improvements in IQ, adaptive behaviors, and autism symptoms' severity level.