Sally J Rogers ESDM UC Davis MIND Institute

What is the ESDM?

At the heart of the ESDM is the empirical knowledge-base of infant-toddler learning and development and the effects of early autism.  ESDM intervention is provided in the home by trained therapists and parents during natural play and daily routines.  ESDM is a relationship-based intervention, and involves the parents and families; An Early Start for your Child with Autism, is a parent's guide to using everyday activities to help kids connect, communicate, and learn. The aim of ESDM is to increase the rates of development in all domains for children with ASD as it simultaneously aims to decrease the symptoms of autism. 

In particular this intervention focuses on boosting children’s social-emotional, cognitive, and language abilities, as development in these domains is particularly affected by autism.  ESDM also uses a data-based approach and empirically supported teaching practices that have been found effective from research in applied behavior analysis. ESDM fuses a behavioral, relationship-based approach with a more developmental, play-based one in order to create an integrated whole that is both individualized and standardized.

Our Mission Statement

The mission of the ESDM Training Program at UC Davis MIND Institute is to improve the lives of children with autism and their families, We aim to do this by:

















  • increasing availability of effective intervention for young children with ASD by helping family members, therapists, teachers, and other professionals learn to embed ESDM practices in their interactions with children during everyday home activities, treatment activities, educational activities, and community activities;


  •  supporting the development of a cadre of expert trainers worldwide who wish to help others learn this approach;


  • continuously improving the quality of our training and our intervention approaches and results by conducting high quality research, engaging in ongoing learning activities, and revising our practices, principles, and materials based on new evidence;


  • fostering community of practice networks and responsive, respectful interactions with those we teach in order to provide safe supportive environments and relationships for peer-to-peer learning and skill maintenance, and


  • carrying out the commitment of the MIND Institute, the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department and UC Davis to improving the health and wellbeing of persons with mental and physical health impairments and their families, including those with ASD, through service, education, and research.

Click here to read the ESDM Training Program Policy Statement on Community Use of ESDM.

The ESDM Training program is a service of the MIND Institute supported entirely by the revenue it generates.