Caregiver-mediated early years programs
Caregiver-mediated early years programs are play-based and child-led developmentally-appropriate programs. These programs help young children (12 to 48 months) learn new skills and achieve goals in social communication. Each program helps parents and caregivers build confidence and skills to support their children on the Autism Spectrum. We know that children learn best through the relationships they have with the important adults in their lives.
The Ontario Autism Program, Durham (OAP-D) partnership provides caregiver-mediated programs through Grandview Kids, Lake Ridge Community Support Services, and The Regional Municipality of Durham. The Province of Ontario will invite families directly via written letter to participate in the caregiver-mediated programs, for which there are three programs to choose from.
All three programs are delivered by trained coaches and:
- Take place in a natural setting and/or may be offered virtually.
- Focus on the child’s communication, behaviour and social skills.
- Incorporate strategies into daily routines, activities and play.
Resources are provided, and there are no additional toys or equipment required. Coaches will use toys that families already have in their homes.
Provider: Grandview Kids
Age range: 12 to 42 months at the start of the program
Type of program: Group adult workshop sessions and individual coaching sessions
Location: Adult-only workshops will be virtual. Coaching sessions can be virtual or in-person at the Grandview Kids Oshawa or Ajax sites.
Duration: 7 weeks (baseline week followed by 6 week intervention program)
Visits: 6 weekly adult-only group sessions (90 minutes each); 9 individual parent-child coaching sessions (90 minutes each)
About the Social ABCs
Social ABCs is an evidence-based, caregiver-mediated intervention for toddlers who have social communication difficulties. It is based on a combination of developmental and behavioural principles and focuses on improving a toddler’s use of vocalizations to communicate and sharing positive emotions with others. Opportunities for teaching and learning come from the toddler’s natural interests during playtime and day-to-day caregiving routines. Parents or other primary caregivers work with a trained Social ABCs coach to learn the intervention strategies in their child’s natural environment, using play-based activities and daily routines that their child finds most motivating.
For more information, visit the Social ABCs early intervention program website.
Provider: Lake Ridge Community Support Services
Age range: Earliest age of diagnosis up to 48 months
Type of program: Individual and group coaching
Location: Virtual or in-person in the home or clinic
Duration: 12 weeks
Visits: Each visit is 60 to 90-minutes in length, between 1 and 2 visits per week.
About Project ImPACT
The Project ImPACT (Improving Parents as Communication Teachers) program is aimed at parents and their young children with a diagnosis of autism, to increase social communication, imitation and play skills throughout daily routines. Parents are experts on their child and are coached by highly qualified professionals. Together, parents and the trainer develop priority goals and activities to support the child’s learning throughout the day. Project ImPACT uses a combination of developmental and behavioural strategies to increase social-communication skills in four main areas: social engagement, language, social imitation, and play.
For more information, visit the Project ImPACT website.
The PLAY Project
Provider: The Regional Municipality of Durham: Durham Behaviour Management Services and Infant and Child Development
Age range: 14 to 48 months
Type of program: Individual
Location: Virtual or in-person in the home or community (Note: In-home visits are offered to caregivers with a Durham Region postal code, only).
Duration: 6 months
Visits: Parents may choose: one, three-hour visit per month; two, 90-minute visits per month; or three, 60-minute visits per month.
About The PLAY Project
The PLAY Project is an evidence-based, playful, practical, parent-implemented program that supports the development of social interaction, communication, play and pre-academic skills in children on the autism spectrum. This program is appropriate for children up to 48 months of age who are communicating at a variety of levels, from no words up to and including sentences. The PLAY Project is designed for children at all levels of need. It is developmentally appropriate and fun, with strategies that can be easily used in a family’s daily activities.
For more information, visit The PLAY Project website.