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Specialist Programs

Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)

The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) is an evidence-based intervention program specifically designed for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, starting at ages 1-3 years and continuing until 4-5 years.

ESDM, which draws principles from various other therapy approaches, is grounded in current research on infant-toddler learning and the effects of autism on early development. The aim of ESDM is to reduce the severity of autism symptoms and to promote development in a range of key domains, including:
  • Joint Attention
  • Imitation
  • Communication
  • Social Skills
  • Gross Motor Skills
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Cognition
  • Behaviour
  • Play
  • Personal Independence
ESDM’s teaching practices are delivered by intensively-trained Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Psychologists and Special Education Teachers within play-based, relationship focussed routines.

At Irabina, ESDM sessions are offered to clients on an individual basis. Parent and family involvement is an essential component of ESDM intervention.

Transition to school

Every year, large numbers of children who attend Irabina transition to primary school. We provide excellent information and support to both families and schools to help ensure that this exciting and challenging process runs smoothly. For example, Irabina staff members liaise with school communities, and invite Prep teachers to visit the Centre to observe and discuss prospective students.

Families who are considering school entry are encouraged to discuss this with their Key Worker throughout the year and to inform the Key Worker once a school has been chosen. To assist families in making their decisions, Irabina offers a number of kindergarten and school transition information sessions over the course of the year.

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)

ABA is a therapy approach which can help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder improve their cognitive skills, behaviour, and ability to interact with others. It is one of the most evidence-based therapy approaches for children with autism.

ABA is based on learning theory and the theory of behavioural psychology. therapy involves specific goal setting around target behaviours, usually breaking down tasks into smaller components tasks. Positive reinforcement is used to aid acquisition of new skills. There are elements of ABA in many of the treatment programs developed for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Irabina has several staff experienced in using ABA, and considers the suitability of this approach on an individual basis.

Gross Motor Skills/Basketball Program

This is run by an Occupational Therapist using basketball as a vehicle to improve gross motor skills and enhance social skills. The program is aimed at pre-school children as well as school-aged children up to 8 years old. The program is conducted weekly at a local venue.

Gross Motor Skills/Football Program

In 2014 Irabina, together with Auskick Victoria, will be introducing our Father & Child Football Program. This will be facilitated by an Occupational Therapist as well as a football coach, using football and teamwork to improve gross motor skills and enhance social skills for children up to the age of 8. The football program will be conducted weekly at a local venue. Irabina will provide more details in the coming months, including starting dates.

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