Early Years Programs
Hanen Program; NAS Early Bird; Early Start denver Model; Lovaas/Applied Behaviour Analasis (ABA)
My approach combines using most, if not all of these strategies and techniques in your loved one's natural environment, in a person-centred and family considered way. This enables generalisation of skills across environments which according to research by well-known Professor Patricia Howlin, acquires the skills needed to establish longer term gains than one specific intensive approach of many hours a week. You can read more about this here
Hanen is a model of parenting which teaches parents how to 'get in to and understand their child's world.' By doing this your child can learn to communicate and understand his/her world around them and begin to interact.
It is a Canadian created program and was what we used with our daughter in the 1990s before the NAS created their 'Early Bird' program. When my husband and I did the program, which is 12 weekly sessions, Hanen had only developed 'It takes two to talk' which is for communication delayed children. Later 'More Than Words' was created especially for children with Autism. Now there is also a guide for parents of verbal children on the autistic spectrum including Asperger Syndrome:
Books: Guides written for Parents:
A parents' Guide for childrens' communication delay:
More Than Words
A guide for parents of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder
A guide for parents of verbal children on the autistic spectrum
National Autistic Society EARLY BIRD PROGRAMS
The NAS have created programs simialr to the Hanen models called the Early Bird and Early Bird Plus and at present these are available to children newly diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder but you may find there is a waiting list. To find out more contact your local branch of the NAS.
The Early Start Denver Model
The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) program was developed by Dr. Sally Rogers and Dr. Geraldine Dawson in the USA and is designed especially for professionals who work with infants, toddlers and preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
From what I have read and understand from all three programs, Hanen, Early Bird and ESDM, they are all very similar to each other and share similar if not the same principals and practices.
Portage is a home visiting service which some Local Authorities in the UK provide for parents and their children with any additional needs and/or disabilities.We were lucky enough to have this service for my daughter as there was a long waiting list at the time. This was really valuable in helping me learn, practice and review skills with my daughter and her portage practitioner every week and is not the same but similar to the Home visiting service I am offering.
LOVAAS was the intensive ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) intervention which was being advocated and used by some parents back in the 1990s and has since then been adapted by some therapists to be delivered less intensively and more in the natural environment rather than in a specifically designed room where generalisation skills needs to be taught additionally. I watched a friend's son have a session of LOVAAS but decided it wasn't for my family and we couldn't afford it anyway! But I read about it and used some of the principals and practices in a more natural way using naturally occuring reinforcers.
I will add more information about other specific programs in due course....