Welcome to the Child Development Institute

Research shows that high quality and intensive early intervention can make a significant difference in the life of your child with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Developmental Delay.

At the CDI we offer specialized Early Intervention programs based on the Early Start Denver Model . Our programs are designed specifically for children with ASD aged 12 months – 5 years and are proven to reduce the symptoms associated with Autism and Developmental Delay.

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“The benefits of the Early Start Denver Model have been enormous for our son. He’s making a lot more eye contact, and has started to talk much more and identify emotions. We’re seeing continual progress in many areas.”

Chris, son aged 3 years

What is the Early Start Denver Model?

The ESDM is a naturalistic play-based intervention model for young children with neuro-developmental delays aged 12-60 months built on a strong evidence base of clinical trials.
It can be delivered across multiple settings including education settings, community clinics and the family home during typical play and daily routines.
Evidence supports the ESDM’s ability to accelerate a child’s development, particularly in the areas of social communication and cognition.

ESDM: A Multi-Disciplinary Model

Autism Specific Early Intervention for Children
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“We are so pleased with the improvements we have seen in our son since beginning ESDM therapy. The therapists have been amazing in their approach to connect with our little boy. Most importantly, our son always has a big smile on his face as soon as we arrive at the CDI. He enjoys every therapy session and has a great bond with his therapist.”

Leah, son aged 2 years

Programs

Clinic Program

The ESDM Clinic is the ideal introduction to the play partner approach of the ESDM. It prepares a child for both future therapies including ESDM Inclusion Readiness Program and our Mainstream Support Program. The ESDM clinic is a high quality, highly intensive, one-to-one therapy with an ESDM therapist. The goal is to bridge the learning gaps that have accumulated over time and to construct the building blocks a child needs for social interaction

Inclusion Readiness Program

IRP targets the skills needed by children with ASD to participate fully in everyday life and to be included in a mainstream community education setting. This 3 hour group program facilitates the child’s learning, mastery and generalization of: 

  • Imitation skills, so they can learn from others
  • Social skills with adults and peers
  • Communication skills and Self-independence

Skills for transitioning between activities and participating in structured group time

The focus of the intervention is to target individual goals that work towards the child’s inclusion into natural settings and bringing the child back into the social loop.

Mainstream Support Program

The mainstream support program was developed with the aim of supporting inclusive practices for children with ASD within their community education settings. Our staff will visit your child’s centre and guide their mainstream educators, enhancing inclusion and participation.

Objectives of the program

The following overarching mainstream support learning outcomes will be targeted:

  1. Settling into an educational environment and following daily routines
  2. Independently transitioning between routines, activities and tasks
  3. Participating in learning activities within small and large group play experiences
  4. Playing alongside their peers and educators
  5. Using play materials appropriately and increase their repertoire of functional play
  6. Participating in personal independence tasks
  7. Develops new and appropriate skills to communicate with peers and adults

Parent Participation

CDI acknowledges parents as the expert and primary carer for their child and aims to help create inclusive homes and communities for children with ASD. Supporting families through coaching and mentoring is integral to a wholistic approach to building children’s independence skills, and supporting them to achieve their goals.
Parents meet with their child’s keyworker at the end of each term to discuss progress and set objectives for the coming term that are aligned with the families priorities.

How do I enrol my child at the CDI?

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Supporting parents through their NDIS journey

The CDI has a dedicated NDIS Support Manager who has coached many families through the following processes in order to secure an Intensive Therapy Plan that is appropriate to their child’s needs:

  • Initial planning meetings
  • Review meetings
  • Unscheduled review applications
  • Tribunal applications

While the NDIS is a fantastic scheme, the process of attaining an appropriate plan for a young child with ASD or Developmental Delay can be daunting. But we are here to help you navigate the journey and ensure you are as prepared as you can be with all the evidence to support your application for an Intensive Therapy Plan.

Self managed or Plan Managed NDIS funding can be used to cover costs of all services at the CDI.

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“We’ve received a 12-month intensive plan from the NDIS review ….I would just like to thank you for all the support you have provided us and are excitedly looking forward to what’s ahead in Suventha’s development. From the bottom of my heart, I honestly feel as though the CDI was a blessing from God to us, and my family and I are so very thankful for how the CDI has given us hope.”

Yaso daughter aged 3 years

Evidence

The ESDM is proven to work. Practiced worldwide, numerous clinical trials have validated the ESDM as a highly effective therapy for young children living with ASD, due to its comprehensive and naturalistic approach.

Clinical trials have shown the ESDM to provide greater improvement in cognitive and adaptive behaviour and language ability, while minimising the symptoms of autism.

Proven to be highly effective in both a one-to-one and group setting, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest the ESDM is also highly effective in a mainstream setting such as a childcare centre, pre-school or primary school, if delivered by ESDM trained educators.

Positive Outcomes - A CDI Case Study

At assessment this 3 year old child was meeting some milestones on Level 1 on the ESDM Curriculum Checklist which is equivalent to the developmental age of a 12 month old in terms of his skills across all domains. He is now entering level 3 on the ESDM Curriculum Checklist, which is equivalent to a 2 – 3 year old.

This demonstrates that he has made the equivalent of 12 months developmental progress across all domains in 5 months of therapy.

On entering the program this child was very unresponsive, with few social skills, and no social smiles. He had difficulty expressing his emotions and became easily frustrated.

He has now:

  • Developed the words and skills to make his needs and feelings known
  • Has significantly improved social skills, both at home and while in our centre
  • Addresses staff members by name and is learning the names of his peers
  • Is able to share toys and interactions with his peers

Our Team

The CDI programs are delivered by a multi-disciplinary team including allied health professionals and educators, who have all received intensive training in the Early Start Denver Model.

Each child enrolled in our programs has a dedicated Key Worker who delivers therapy, tracks progress, communicates with parents and runs quarterly reviews to set the next terms objectives that are in line with the family’s priorities.

6 reasons to find out more about
the Child Development Institute:

1

The CDI deliver high quality, evidence-based programs with proven results that are sustained over time.

2

Intensive hours are available across the week with programs that are tailored to your child’s needs.

3

The timing of a child’s therapy is critical. The younger a child is the greater their brain’s plasticity. In other words, there is a brilliant window where a child can learn skills to enhance the rest of their life.

4

Our multi-disciplinary team of staff have specific qualifications such as speech Pathology, OT or Early Childhood Teaching, and they receive intensive training in the Early Start Denver Model to ensure a consistent approach and optimal child outcomes.

5

Parents are supported through training programs, our ‘coffee morning’ series and on-going communication with your child’s Key Worker.

6

Specialised NDIS support is available to assist in securing an Intensive Therapy Plan that is appropriate to your child’s needs and will cover the cost of all CDI services.