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Early Start Denver Model Training and Workshops

Empowering children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Please note: These workshops have been transferred to an online environment as a result of restrictions during the COVID-19 crisis.  

What is the Early Start Denver Model?

The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) is a play-based intervention, specifically designed for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It has a strong and growing evidence base around the world. Focusing on play and routines, it integrates both behavioural and developmental principles to empower children with ASD to become active participants in the world around them. 

ESDM aims to increase the development of play skills, cognition, imitation, joint attention, social skills, and communication, while also decreasing the symptoms of Autism. Research has found that ESDM can significantly improve cognitive skills and both maladaptive and adaptive behaviours of children with ASD.

Following training, the ESDM can be implemented at home by parents and trained therapists, in clinics by healthcare professionals, and in early childhood education settings by qualified staff. It can also be implemented remotely by a Certified ESDM Therapist. 

The ESDM is a naturalistic intervention, which fits well with mainstream early childhood education centres as it is underpinned by play-based learning, the development of secure and reciprocal relationships, the promotion of communication, and by following  child interests and choices, it also optimises motivation.

Training and workshops

Given the increasing evidence around ESDM’s effectiveness and the increasing need for effective treatments for early ASD, more and more practitioners in the community are seeking to implement ESDM practices within their settings. Early Start at the University of Wollongong is responding to these needs. Here is your opportunity to learn about the Early Start Denver Model through our highly specialised professional development program. 

The courses and workshops will be run by Certified ESDM trainer, Elizabeth Aylward. One of only four certified trainers in Australia, Elizabeth is a Community Engagement Coordinator at UOW Early Start. She has been certified in the ESDM since 2010 and has trained more than 200 professionals and given guidance to many parents over the past 10 years. Elizabeth has also completed her Doctor of Philosophy in Autism Intervention at the University of Wollongong. 

In order to respond to the needs of the community, UOW Early Start, will be providing a number of training and professional development workshops at different levels for professional, including educators, teachers, allied health and parents. 

The ESDM for Therapists is an advanced workshop for professionals who work with children with ASD. It is the standardised Therapist workshop developed by Sally Rogers and Geraldine Dawson (MIND Institute UC Davis). These workshops are for degree-qualified professionals (including speech therapists, occupational therapists, teachers, behaviour therapists and psychologists), who would like to learn how to carry out ongoing therapy using the Early Start Denver Model. In a group of 3 to 5 professionals you will receive hands-on practice with children with ASD. These workshops are also delivered remotely via a live zoom stream to facilitate access for all interested professionals throughout these restricted times and for those who are located remotely and unable to travel. The remote delivery Advanced Workshops is delivered as a series of 6 half day sessions, each a week apart. This has the added advantage of allowing flexibility for work professionals, and time between each session for reflection and practice back in your own workplace.

You will also receive live or online supervision to assess a child with ASD and then develop and implement your ESDM intervention program. Coaching and feedback will be provided by your certified trainer across the three days or the 6 half day sessions for remote delivery participants, to build your skills and confidence.

For those professionals wishing to continue through a certification process, to achieve fidelity in delivering this model of intervention and become a Certified ESDM Therapist, follow up supervision and mentoring are also provided, including monthly booster coaching sessions to help keep participants on track. This certification process is strongly encouraged to deliver the model at fidelity and its most authentic level. See below for further details.

Prerequisites: Completion of the online EARLY START DENVER MODEL INTRODUCTORY WORKSHOP

Please visit this link to access and complete this 8 hour online workshop before participating in the ESDM Advanced workshop. This is a compulsory pre-requisite. 

Workshops include a half-day session over 6 weeks.

Cost: $1500 plus GST per participant. Payment plan options are available.

Contact the ESDM training coordinator to book on esdm-professionaldevelopment@uow.edu.au

2021 workshops are now full. If you would like to put your name on a waiting for 2021 or 2022 workshop, please email us esdm-professionaldevelopment@uow.edu.au  

The ESDM certification mentoring and supervision process is an additional step which follows the Advanced Workshop and takes professionals through a 6 to 12 month process of achieving a high level of fidelity in the delivery of the ESDM. You will be mentored, supported and supervised by your Certified ESDM Trainer over the entire period of your Certification. You will also receive monthly booster coaching sessions from your Certified Trainer to keep you on track and expedite your journey to Certification. Achieving Certification is the only way of ensuring that this therapy model is delivered with integrity and as intended. Successful completion of the Certification course will see you become a Certified ESDM Therapist. 

Prerequisites: Completion of the Advanced ESDM workshop – Early Start for Therapists.

Cost: $1,800 plus GST per participant. This fee includes mentoring, supervision and the review of 5 submissions as well as monthly booster coaching sessions from your Certified ESDM Trainer.

To enquire, email us at esdm-professionaldevelopment@uow.edu.au

  • Understanding ASD and its Impact on a young child’s development
  • How to become a play partner with a child with ASD and scaffold peer interactions
  • How to use the ESDM teaching principles to engage a child with ASD in a mainstream/group setting
  • How to understand and manage unwanted behaviours
  • How to look after yourselves and each other and build a confident team

Cost: $750 plus GST 
6 weekly sessions: 4.00pm – 6.00pm
Sessions will be online via Zoom

Wednesday, 26 May, 2021 – Wednesday, 30 June, 2021 | BOOK NOW

Wednesday, 6 October, 2021– Wednesday, 10 November, 2021 | BOOK NOW 

If you have any questions, please email us esdm-professionaldevelopment@uow.edu.au

Our parent and carer ESDM workshops are for parents and carers of children with ASD and other developmental disorders.

Workshops are designed specifically for the home setting, so that parents learn how to embed the ESDM teaching principles in everyday routines. 

Each week we will learn the strategies to turn everyday activities and routines into opportunities to promote your child’s communication, behaviour and learning.

  • Session 1: Understanding ASD and its Impact on Your Child’s Development
  • Session 2:  Becoming a Play Partner with Your Child in Everyday Routines and Activities
  • Session 3: Using the ESDM Principles to Guide all of Your Interactions with your Child at Home
  • Session 4: Activities and Materials that will Support the Interactions you have with Your Child
  • Session 5: Understanding and Managing and Unwanted Behaviours you may be experiencing with your child

Cost: $780 plus GST per family, (fully funded by NDIS)

Wednesday, 10 February, 2021 – Wednesday, 10 March, 2021 – SOLD OUT
Thursday, 27 May, 2021 – Thursday, 24 June, 2021 | BOOK NOW
Thursday, 7 October, 2021 – Thursday, 4 November, 2021 | BOOK NOW

Time: 5 weekly sessions: 10.30am - midday

Families may use NDIS funding for the full cost of the workshop (Parent Capacity Building).

Contact the ESDM training coordinator to book on esdm-professionaldevelopment@uow.edu.au

This 12 week program is designed to support parents to incorporate the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) techniques into their everyday routines at home with their young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). 

Parent coaching founded on clinical knowledge and coaching practices uses the same values and techniques that are at the heart of the ESDM. This approach sees parents as experts and partners in the intervention process. The majority of activities in the session focus on parents interacting with their children in their own routines. The ESDM therapist serves as a coach, a supportive person whose goal is to assist the parents to achieve their goals for their child and for themselves. 

Coaching is scheduled for an hour each week and can be done in person, in the clinic setting at Early Start University of Wollongong or delivered via zoom into your home. 

This program is an appropriate starting point for your child after diagnosis. Following the completion of this program, you and your child will be referred to the ESDM Early Intervention Service for direct child therapy. 

Cost: $1800.00 plus GST for 12 sessions

This cost is covered by NDIS Parent Capacity Building 

To schedule your sessions or to have an initial conversation email us at esdm-professionaldevelopment@uow.edu.au