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Effectiveness of the Early Start Denver Model: a Systematic Review

  • Hannah WaddingtonEmail author
  • Larah van der Meer
  • Jeff Sigafoos
Review Paper

Abstract

The present review identified 15 studies that have evaluated the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) as an early intervention program for a total of 209 children with autism spectrum disorder. The articles were summarized in terms of participant characteristics, intervention characteristics, study design, quality of the study/research rigor, and outcomes. ESDM intervention characteristics included provision of training to parents or therapists, intensive one-to-one intervention, and group intervention. Most studies reported positive child, parent, and therapist outcomes. The included articles used a range of group and single-case designs, but nearly half of the studies were rated as having weaknesses in terms of quality/rigor. We conclude that the ESDM is a potentially promising intervention, but the limited number of high-quality studies indicates the need for additional research to evaluate its effectiveness.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorder Early start Denver model Early intervention Systematic review 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported in part by a PhD scholarship awarded to Hannah Waddington from the Autism Intervention Trust, through Victoria University of Wellington.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Funding

This research was supported in part by a PhD scholarship awarded to Hannah Waddington from Victoria University of Wellington.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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*Indicates study included in the review

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hannah Waddington
    • 1
    Email author
  • Larah van der Meer
    • 1
  • Jeff Sigafoos
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EducationVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

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