ESDM Online

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Active Ingredients for Change
Young children learn best when having fun. Whether it is play, bath, meal time, or another routine, each moment can involve the ESDM to help children connect, communicate, and learn. See how you can get started with the ESDM with your child or the families whom you support in an early childhood learning environment.
Quick Tip 

Find out how to use tips from the ESDM for early social-communication skills important to life-long learning, behavior, and health with your child or with families whom you support in an early childhood learning environment.

Click the video icon (to the left) for the latest Quick Tip video. 
Want more of this week's Quick Tip? Click the video icon above!
Latest News

Read monthly research about intervention outcomes for children with or at risk of autism; coaching supports for their families; and/or family-centered, culturally inclusive coaching tools to help early childhood professionals support families. Each monthly article is publicly available for free access.
This month’s Latest News reviews 13 research articles on ESDM parent coaching published between 2012 to 2022 with results categorized into (1) child characteristics, (2) intervention intensity and duration, (3) child outcome measures, and (4) parent outcome measures including fidelity.
Main findings are:
1. The majority of studies recruited children between 12 to 59 months of age with a clinical diagnosis or higher likelihood of autism.

2. Intervention intensity and duration was approximately 1 to 2 hours-per-week over 12 weeks.

3. Children whose parents received coaching in the ESDM improved in cognition, language, imitation, attentiveness, and social initiations; although so did children in comparison groups who received other interventions. 

4. Parents highlighted benefits from their coaching experiences with the ESDM that included access to useful information and guidance for how to intervene and create natural moments with their child for learning, as well as feeling less parenting stress and greater confidence in their capacity to care for their child. 

5. Most interactive strategies taught to parents from the ESDM fidelity checklist appeared to contribute to children's progress; however, the amount of change varied across each parent-child dyad. 

The above impressions reinforce the power of parenting interactions for strengthening children's development and the ESDM as one parent coaching approach to support this relationship. Click the article (to the right) to read more.
Play of the Month
Play not only brings smiles to children's faces but also helps them learn, feel good about themselves, and enjoy the interaction that comes from doing something with someone. Join me each month for Play of the Month to try with your child or the families whom you support in early intervention or other early childhood learning environment.

Wait! Don’t throw away that empty toilet paper tube!  This month’s theme saves those tubes from the trash can and repurposes them into a great toy, no DIY crafting necessary. Extra bonus, Paper towel rolls work too! You can find a list of general play strategies here to help you discover what level of play your child enjoys or the children and families whom you support in an early learning environment. Included in italics are a variety of words and sentence ideas to use while playing.

Pay attention to what children like (or seem curious about) and follow their lead as long as you are a part of the action, too. Remember, the most important thing is for children to have fun doing this with you! Fun means engagement and that excites children's brains and bodies for meaningful learning to happen.

Simple play actions that encourage children to explore, use their senses, and movement:

  • Roll the tubes across the table, down a ramp (overturned books, puzzles, and baking sheets all make great ramps), or back-and-forth. (“It’s rolling. It went down. We’re pushing it.”)

  • Play a game of peek-a-boo while looking through the tube. (“You’re under the blanket. You’re hiding. I found you!”)

  • Stand a tube up on top of your head and let your child knock it down. (“It’s on my head. You got it! It fell down.”)

  • Small toys, food, or other items (pom-pom or cotton balls, cheerios, balls of playdoh) can drop through the tubes into a bowl or container. (“Drop the ball. It went through. There it is.”)

Combination play that encourages multi-step actions for children to construct and accomplish goals:

  • Set up the tubes for the child to knock them over bowling-style with a ball. (“Ball. The ball is rolling. It crashed. The tubes fell down.”)

  • If you have some yarn or other long string, you can thread the tubes like beads onto the string. (“String. We’re pulling the string.”)

  • Stack the tubes into a pyramid and have fun crashing them over. Characters can also climb and help restack the tubes into a pyramid or other shapes. (“A tower. The tower came down. Here comes the dog. He’s going to help build. Let’s give him a tube.”)

  • Roll the tubes through paint, shaving cream, glue followed by glitter, and/or decorate with stickers to create your own masterpiece! "(“Pour the red paint here. Paint the tube. More red paint or glitter?”)

Imaginary play that encourages children to make-believe and role-play:

  • Tubes can serve as either tunnels or garages for small cars, trains, farm animals, toy characters, or other items that will fit. (“It’s a garage. The car is inside. It’s parked. It’s a tunnel. The car drove through the tunnel.”)

  • Pretend to drink from the tubes like cups or have a tea party or to serve stuffed animals or other “guests”. (“I poured the juice. We’re drinking. Look, Mr. Bear is thirsty. He needs a cup.”)

  • Pretend that the tubes are houses for little people or animals. You can cut out the doors and make a little neighborhood of houses or a zoo. (“Here’s a house for the family. Where should it go? We need a door on this one. You do it.”)

  • Pretend that the tubes are rockets and have fun blasting them off into outer space. You can sing along to "Zoom Zoom, We’re Going to the Moon" (lyrics follow).

    “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
    We’re going to the moon.
    Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
    We’re going to the moon.
    If you want to take a trip,
    Climb aboard my rocket ship.
    Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
    We’re going to the moon.
    5, 4, 3, 2, 1,
    Blast off!”

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