The ESDM team: We did it!
CARA, in collaboration with the Neurodevelopmental Foundation (NDF), hosted the first ever Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) training in Africa earlier this year. Thanks to Dr. Lauren Franz (Duke University) and Dr. David Griessel (University of the Free State) the training took place from 28th September to 2nd October in Bloemfontein.
The training was led by Dr. Franz, who is the master trainer involved in training three South African ESDM therapists as trainers. Certification of the three therapists will ensure that ESDM trainings in SA and the African continent will not require the presence and involvement of US trainers, thus contributing to making this evidence-based intervention more accessible to African settings.
The 1-day introductory course was attended by 55 participants representing seven of the nine provinces of SA. Feedback from participants was very positive. Of the five attendees who proceeded to do the 3-day advanced training, three were from Cape Town and two from Bloemfontein. The trainee trainers and ESDM trainees are greatly indebted to Dr. Lauren Franz who supports the supervision of the new trainees to certification as ESDM therapists. Thanks to the University of the Free State for providing the space and support in this process that is part of the CARA dream to develop affordable and sustainable interventions for children diagnosed with ASD and their families.
The ESDM training contingent in Bloemfontein