One in six children is diagnosed with a developmental disability, including 1 in 13 with a communication disorder and 1 in 68 with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Most teachers will have a child with a communication disorder or with ASD in their classroom at some point. To maximize educational achievement and outcomes of young children with ASD and other social or communication delays, classroom instruction must be evidence-based and must target a core set of knowledge and skills that usually are not addressed adequately in existing preschool curricula. The Early Achievements intervention is an evidence-based approach to targeting such knowledge and skills in children.

Currently, most teachers learn about evidence-based instructional strategies by attending workshops. However, practice-based coaching also is needed to assist them in: (1) mastering the implementation of these strategies with students having diverse learning profiles; (2) aligning these strategies with their school’s existing curriculum; and (3) using these strategies to address their students’ IEP goals and accelerate child learning overall. The Early Achievements professional development program addresses these needs.

The explicit knowledge that teachers gain about the Early Achievements instructional strategies equips them to communicate more effectively with parents about what and how children are learning. This fosters parent-teacher alliance and shared expectations for children’s learning and behavior at school. Through the Early Achievements professional development program, teachers become powerful agents of student change in their classroom.

As teachers become more powerful agents of change in their classrooms, they see their students’ learning accelerate, and behavior improve. This, in turn, can be highly energizing and fulfilling to teachers. Early Achievements helps to make the educational experience for teachers, children, and parents a more positive and productive one.