What is the ESDM?

Named as a Top Medical Breakthrough by TIME Magazine in 2012, the ESDM was developed by Sally J. Rogers, Ph.D., and Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D., and is a comprehensive intervention approach for children with or at risk of autism under the age of five. Its teaching approach bridges the science of child development (how abilities emerge and progress over time) with the science of Applied Behavior Analysis (how learning takes place for behaviors to develop and change over time) inside the context of play, daily routines (like meals, dressing, or getting ready for bed) and the relationships that young children value most, starting with their parents.  

What Makes the ESDM Effective?

Evidence Based- Promising research for improved outcomes, particularly in cognition and language, when started early.
Fun- Children are more willing to connect and engage with others, try new experiences, and retain information when having fun because the process is enjoyable and memorable. 
Can Be Used Anywhere- Things that young children do everyday (bathing, eating, dressing, riding in the car, going to grandpa's house) are full of learning opportunities that help children make sense of their world and grow their skills. 
Family Centered- Recognizes that each family is unique and central to their child with valuable insight to share about children's abilities and vulnerabilities. 
Individualized- Customization and joint planning of children's intervention goals and programs from parent insight and clinical input. 
All Domains- Attention to learning across all areas of development for young children.
Starts Young- The sooner to start, the greater the potential to develop. 
Laurie A. Vismara, Ph.D., BCBA-D

I am a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst and Authorized Continuing Education (ACE) Provider with over 20 years of experience working with families of young children with or at risk of autism. My background as a certified ESDM therapist, parent coach, and trainer, as well as co-author and researcher of the parent coaching, infant ESDM, and ESDM training to certification programs gives me unique insight to working closely with parents and early childhood professionals who wish to learn more about this early, evidence-based intervention approach to autism.

Trying anything new takes time and practice for adults as for children. But with a clear coaching plan, the expertise and encouragement to guide you along, and effective strategies that address the early effects of autism, parents and early childhood professionals can help children reach their fullest potential. 

Whether it is playtime, dressing, eating, taking a bath, or getting ready for bed, each is a moment to use the ESDM and help children connect, communicate, and learn...all while having fun!

Co-Authored Materials and Other Resources

Click the images below for more information.

ESDM in Action

Click below to see video examples from Laurie and ESDM certified therapists in Russia and Australia who have taken the Introductory and Intermediate ESDM Parent Coaching Workshops.

Contact Information

+1 (404) 290-6694
ESDM Online