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Mothers’ Perceptions of a Home-Based Training Program Based on the Early Start Denver Model

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The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) is a naturalistic developmental behavioral intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) under the age of 5. Research suggests that some parents are able to learn to implement the ESDM techniques and that this often leads to positive outcomes for their children. However, there is limited research evaluating parent perceptions of this intervention. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the parent perceptions of a home-based training program based on the ESDM.


This study involved quantitative and qualitative data collected from the mothers of five young boys with ASD who had participated in a 12-week home-based parent training program based on the ESDM. The mothers completed the Treatment Acceptability Rating Scale-Revised (TARF-R) and participated in open-ended semi-structured interviews following the intervention.


All five mothers gave the intervention positive ratings on the TARF-R. During the semi-structured interviews, each of the parents also identified strengths and challenges related to (a) outcomes for their child, (b) the model of intervention, (c) the parent training procedures, and (d) the relationship with the trainer.


These results suggest that the mothers found the intervention to be acceptable. These findings provide some insight into elements of the training that parents found to be beneficial and those that could be improved.

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Author information

HW: Designed and conducted the study, conducted the data analysis, and wrote the majority of the draft of the paper. LVDM and JS: Assisted in the design of the study and provided edits on the manuscript. CB: Provided input into the study methodology and contributed to the data analysis section of the paper.

Correspondence to Hannah Waddington.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Considerations

Ethical approval for this study was gained from the Victoria University of Wellington Human Ethics Committee (22085).

Informed Consent

Parents provided informed consent for themselves and their child to participate in the wider parent training intervention. Parents also consented to participate in the semi-structured interview.

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Waddington, H., van der Meer, L., Sigafoos, J. et al. Mothers’ Perceptions of a Home-Based Training Program Based on the Early Start Denver Model. Adv Neurodev Disord (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41252-019-00146-6

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  • Early Start Denver Model
  • Home-based early intervention
  • Parent training
  • Parent perceptions
  • Treatment acceptability