Early Start Autism’s founder, Melissa K. Burkhardt, M.S. Ed., BCBA, draws from her vast experience, knowledge, expertise, and compassion in her work with young children with autism and their families. Early Intervention is her passion and she has over twenty years of experience working hands-on with young children with autism, working closely with their families, Speech and Language Pathologists and Occupational Therapists. Through her drive to help the young child with autism in reaching their greatest potential, she has continued her education over the years, always seeking to find treatments that are supported by current brain research and scientific evidence on autism and learning.
Melissa is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), and an Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) certified therapist. Melissa has been trained in the P-ESDM model (Parent Coaching in ESDM) by Dr, Sally Rogers and her collegues at the MIND Institute. She is DIR Floortime certified, a certified reading specialist and is a certified Exceptional Student Education teacher. She is Montessori trained. From all of her research, hands-on experience and studies, she finds that ESDM best addresses all of the developmental needs of the young child with autism. She feels honored and considers it a great privilege to be able to team with families of young children with autism at the most crucial time in the child’s development, equipping the child and their family with the knowledge, skills, and ability to all live the highest quality of life possible.
Melissa is also an award-winning author of the book, Exceptionally Good Friends: Building/Relationships with Autism. Her book was awarded the Autism Society's,"2015 Dr. Temple Grandin Award for Outstanding Literary Work of the Year." If you would like to learn more about her book click here.
The team at Early Start Autism consists of BCBAs who are experts in using a developmental relationship-based model with over a decade of experience doing so. Stefanie Barenblat, BCBA is certified in Pivotal-Response Training and has experience with all ages of children with autism.The support therapists at Early Start Autism are carefully chosen for their experience and knowledge in child development and have undergone extensive training to be able to use the Early Start Denver Model with fidelity. Early Start Autism teams with knowledgeable Occupational Therapists and Speech Pathologists to help provide the best team and the best care for your child.