Early Childhood Program | Ages 2 – 4

Starting Together | Ages 2–4

Starting Together is an early, behavioral treatment program for children with autism, ages 2-4, and their parents. The program is founded on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), a naturalistic approach to treatment. All services are provided at the Waisman Center. Sessions offered are described below.

In the morning and afternoon programs children participate in daily preschool activities during pretend play, building, sensory play, reading, exploration, projects, movement activities and outdoor play with 1:1 support.  The Starting Together classroom is in shared space with the Waisman Early Childhood Program, providing opportunities for collaboration and shared activities between the two programs.  In addition to small group instruction with 1:1 support, children also receive 1:1 teaching in individual play rooms during their morning or afternoon session.

Parents also attend weekly parent coaching sessions with their child. Parent coaching sessions focus on parents learning strategies to support their child’s development and learning, and receive support for their concerns. Parent strategies are based on “An Early Start for Your Child with Autism” (2012, Rogers, Dawson & Vismara).

Treatment planning, progress review, and staff supervision and training are provided by licensed behavior analysts; the team also includes ESDM certified therapists.  Additional support for families and parent coaching is provided by a licensed clinical social worker.  Bachelor’s level treatment specialists provide 1:1 teaching and support.

Parents participate in identifying their priorities for treatment outcomes, in assessment activities, practicing strategies at home during daily routines, family activities, and in quarterly progress review and transition planning.  Transition planning is individualized, most children graduate from the program at age 4. The treatment team supports families in planning for that transition.

Sessions Offered

Morning Program

  • Monday – Friday
  • 8:30am-11:30am
  • Weekly 60 minute Parent Coaching Session

Afternoon Program

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
  • 2:00pm-3:30pm
  • Weekly 60 minute Parent Coaching Session

Parent Coaching Plus 1:1

  • Monday – Friday (Sessions are scheduled based on provider availability)
  • Sessions scheduled between 8:30am-12:30pm
  • Weekly 60-90 minute Parent Coaching session
  • 1-2 Additional 90 minute 1:1 sessions with child only

Parent Coaching only

  • Monday – Friday (Sessions are scheduled based on provider availability)
  • Sessions scheduled between 8:30am-12:30pm
  • Weekly 90 minute Parent Coaching session