Community Dissemination of the Early Start Denver Model: Implications for Science and Practice

Laurie A. Vismara, Gregory S. Young, Sally J Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The growing number of Autism Spectrum Disorder cases exceeds the services available for these children. This increase challenges both researchers and service providers to develop systematic, effective dissemination strategies for transporting university research models to community early intervention (EI) programs. The current study developed an abbreviated training workshop to teach the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) to 24 community EI practitioners and examined their fidelity of implementation posttraining and 4 months later. Practitioners successfully implemented and self-assessed their delivery of the ESDM teaching strategies compared with fidelity ratings by expert trainers by the end of the workshop. Those who submitted follow-up materials met fidelity in their direct delivery, whereas their self-assessment of skill delivery appeared lower compared with trainers' fidelity ratings. Findings are discussed about the immediate gains and challenges of community-based dissemination of the ESDM, and the priority for continued research in implementation science to support and sustain intervention delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-233
Number of pages11
JournalTopics in Early Childhood Special Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • early intervention
  • Early Start Denver Model
  • fidelity training
  • implementation research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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