At the heart of the ESDM is the empirical knowledge-base of infant-toddler learning and development and the effects of early autism.
ESDM intervention is typically provided in the home by trained therapists and parents during natural play and daily routines. ESDM is a relationship-based intervention, and involves parents and families.
The aim of ESDM is to increase the rate of development in all domains for children with ASD as it simultaneously aims to decrease the symptoms of autism.
In particular, this intervention focuses on boosting children's social-emotional, cognitive, and language skills, as development in these domains is particularly affected by autism.
ESDM also uses a data based approach and empirically supported teaching practices that have been found effective from research in applied behavior analysis. ESDM fuses behavioral, relationship-based, developmental, and play-based approaches into an integrated whole that is standardized and yet completely individualized (Wagner & Rogers, 2011)
University of California-Davis MIND Institute.
TIME 2012 Top Ten Medical Breakthroughs: "Hope for Reversing Autism".