Update on the Early Start Maine Program

Since January 2015, the Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research (MAIER) and Maine Child Development Services (CDS) have collaborated to provide the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) intervention to young children with autism, birth to age three, and their families.  Known as Early Start Maine, this statewide program has served 374 young children with autism and their families. As of December 31, 2019, MAIER will transition oversight of the Early Start Maine program to Maine CDS.

Resources developed through the project funding will remain available on the MAIER website, including the Parent Coaching Modules.  These modules are designed for parents and caregivers to encourage positive emotions and happy interactions with your child in a manner that promotes learning. These modules do not require special equipment and take advantage of toys and play materials readily available in most homes. Each module includes information, resources, and activities to help you help your child achieve important learning goals. In a step-by-step manner, the modules build from teaching you how to capture your child’s attention to higher level social communication skills. We will support the online resources until the content is no longer applicable.

Please join us in thanking MAIER’s Early Start team of nine research assistants for their dedication and commitment to the families, children and early intervention providers that they have served these last five years.  We value their accomplishments and contributions to the field of early intervention and wish them well as they begin new adventures.

If you have a young child with autism, please contact your regional Child Development Services office, or the state office to learn more about the Early Start Maine program.




Group photo of ESM team
MAIER’s Early Start Maine team, left to right: Shilo Goodhue, Shannon Smith, Bethan Jerome, Lauren Langtange, Brooke Getchell, Debra Rainey, Jill Hamm, Susane Boulette, Deborah Rooks-Ellis (MAIER Director) and Karen Pratt. (2018)
Maine Department of Education logo
The Maine Department of Education, Office of Special Services and Child Development Services provided significant support and funding for the Early Start Maine Program.