A Randomized, Community-Based Feasibility Trial of Modified ESDM for Toddlers with Suspected Autism

J Autism Dev Disord. 2022 Dec;52(12):5322-5341. doi: 10.1007/s10803-021-05390-1. Epub 2022 Jan 13.


A randomized feasibility trial of a parent coaching (PC) intervention was conducted across 16 community agencies in a Canadian province. Parents of toddlers with suspected autism were assigned to either a PC group (n = 24) or an enhanced community treatment (ECT) group (n = 25). PC participants received 24 weeks of coaching support from community service providers trained in the project. Children in both groups also received available community services and supplementary materials. PC children made significantly greater gains in word understanding and PC parents had significantly higher quality of life, satisfaction, and self-efficacy scores. Results are discussed in terms of the challenges of conducting feasibility studies in community settings and the lessons learned in the project.

Keywords: Autism; Community-based; Feasibility; Parent coaching; Preemptive intervention.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder* / therapy
  • Autistic Disorder* / diagnosis
  • Autistic Disorder* / therapy
  • Canada
  • Child, Preschool
  • Early Intervention, Educational / methods
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Parents
  • Quality of Life