The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) is the only comprehensive early intervention model that has been validated in a randomized clinical trial for use with children with autism as young as 12 months of age. ESDM has demonstrated both improvement of social skills and brain responses to social stimuli. These optimal outcomes include increased IQ, increased adaptive and social behaviors as well as promoting the normal development of the brain and behavior that optimizes a child's potential to participate meaningfully in the community into their adult years http://simonefriedmansls.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/earlystartdenvermodel.pdf. ESDM integrates a relationship-focused, developmental model with the well-validated teaching practices of applied behavior analysis (ABA). ESDM was named one of TIME Magazine's TopTen Medical Breakthroughs of 2012. Research shows that the Early Start Denver Model has been found to reduce the need for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) therapies and special education services for young children with ASD through the school years following their early intervention compared to early intervention services typically available in the community. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130501112846.htm
As of January, 2016 Melissa K. Burkhardt, M.S. Ed., BCBA is one of 245 people worldwide certified in the Early Start Denver Model and she is one of six people certified in the entire state of Florida. Melissa has been trained in the P-ESDM model (Parent Coaching in ESDM) by Dr. Sally Rogers and her colleagues at the MIND Institute.