Application of the Early Care Program Based on the Early Start Denver Model for Children with ASD



Currently, there are no standards for early care in Russia, and therefore the introduction of successful foreign practices of work with young children is relevant. The article presents the experience of implementing an early care program for children with ASD. Presented program developed and tested during 6 months of 2020 in the Center for Mental Health of the Privolzhsky Research Medical University in 2020. The program was established on the basis of the Early Start Denver Model program for children with ASD. The study involved 19 children from 1 to 4 years old with a diagnosis of autism. For 6 months, all children were engaged in the developed program. Frequency of the program — 2—3 hours in a week, parents were also trained. As a result of the dynamic assessment of skills according to the RCDI-2000, the rates of target skills in the Denver model showed improvement in all areas of child development. For example, as a result of classes, 9 children (47.4%) demonstrated positive dynamics in the development of social skills, their “age” in this area improved by the end of the project from 3 to more than 20 months. 12 children (63.2%) showed an improvement in the development of speech skills in the range from 1 to more than 28 months. The results of the dynamic assessment based on repeated diagnostics of the list of target skills of the Denver model demonstrate an improvement in children’s skills in all areas of age development. The greatest changes in indicators are detected in the areas of receptive communication (improvement of skills by an average of 40%), games (an increase of 30%), cognitive skills (an increase of 30.5%), household skills (an increase of 33%). That is, the effectiveness of the developed training program has been proven. A low-intensity early care program based on the Denver model is promising for use in public educational and social institutions involved in the early care system.

General Information

Keywords: autism spectrum disorders; ASD; childhood autism; early care; Denver model of early intervention; skills assessment

Journal rubric: Education & Intervention Methods

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The study was carried out with the financial support of the Ministry of Internal Regional and Municipal Policy of the Nizhny Novgorod region within the framework of the grant “Methodological Center for Early Assistance” FGBOU VO «Privolzhsky Research Medical University»

Received: 23.02.2022


For citation: Starikova O.V., Dvoryninova V.V., Balandina O. Application of the Early Care Program Based on the Early Start Denver Model for Children with ASD. Autizm i narusheniya razvitiya = Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2022. Vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 29–36. DOI: 10.17759/autdd.2022200104. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Oksana V. Starikova, special teacher of the Mental Health Center, Privolzhsky Research Medical University (FGBOU VO PIMU of the Ministry of Health of Russia), Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Veronika V. Dvoryninova, PhD in Medicine, Psychiatrist of the Mental Health Center, Privolzhsky Research Medical University (FGBOU VO PIMU of the Ministry of Health of Russia), Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Oxana Balandina, The Head of Mental Health Center, Federal State Budgetary Educational Institution of Higher Education «Privolzhsky Research Medical University» of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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