Our Most Popular program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    (ages 18 months to SK)

Social Trans-disciplinary Autism Routine (S.T.A.R.)

Due to Popular Demand, our ESDM program called S.T.A.R. is running 5 days per week for ages 18 months through to Senior Kindergarten.

Intensive Autism Spectrum Disorder Program

“S.T.A.R. School” is a full day, evidence based program run at our clinic currently every day.
The program is led by a Senior Speech-Language Pathologist who is ESDM trained with 15 years of Paediatric Speech Therapy experience, as well as an Occupational Therapist, ABA specialist and Communicative Disorders Assistant.

Included in the Programming:

  • All Materials
  • 81 hour of Therapy – Ratio of 2-1
  • Free Orientation Night
  • 50% off Monthly Parent ASD Training
  • Use of Early Start Denver Model (incorporates, teaching principles from ABA, Floortime, Hanen, TEACCH, Pivotal Response Training)
  • Individualized Treatment Goals and Progress Report

Call today to reserve a spot for your child or learn more about our S.T.A.R. program

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

What is an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a diagnosis for people who have deficits (present in early childhood) which are persistent in 4 main areas of development:

  • Social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts
  • Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities
  • Unusual responses to sensory input
  • Impacts on social or occupational functioning (to a clinical level)


What is ABA and IBI services

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication and stereotyped and repetitive behaviours.

On March 27, 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data on the prevalence of autism in the United States. This surveillance study identified 1 in 68 children (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls) as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

It is now widely acknowledged that the form of treatment with the most empirical validation for effectiveness with individuals with ASD is applied behaviour analysis (ABA) delivered in a naturalistic teaching model.

ABA is the science devoted to understanding the laws by which environmental events influence and change behaviour.  For individuals with ASD, these behaviours typically include language and communication, social and play skills, cognitive and academic skills, motor skills, independent living skills and problem behaviour.

ABA first appeared in the late 1960’s, when researchers such as Lovaas used this science to improve maladaptive behaviours of children with Autism.  These programs led to increased language, social, play and academic skills and reduced some of the severe behavioural problems associated with the disorder.

ABA was used in the behavioural approach called discrete trial training (DTT) or Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (EIBI) when delivered before the child was 5 years in age.  It involved breaking down complex skills and teaching each sub-skill through a series of highly adult-structured, massed teaching trials.

These trials were typically delivered in blocks over the course of 20-40 hours per week for two or more years, with skill emphasis in communication, social skills, cognition and pre-academic skills (e.g., letter and number concepts etc).

However, despite promising results using DTT, concerns arose relating to:

  1. The adult-directed nature of the instruction and therefore lack of spontaneous use of the skill
  2. highly structured teaching environment and use of artificial or unrelated reinforces leading to lack of generalization to a natural environment and rote responding.
  3. amount of staff time
  4. the use of punitive procedures following inaccurate responses.

As a result of the above difficulties associated with DTT, new interventions were developed that include more naturalistic, spontaneous types of learning situations that embed the child’s interest and teaching opportunities.  The most rigorously assessed of these programs is the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM).

ESDM is an intervention model that uses the ABA teaching framework/technique to administer intervention in a naturalistic environment (i.e., through play).  This approach shows the best results when provided intensively (minimum of 20 hours/week).  As such, we provide this intervention using the same principles as Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI), except it is conducted using naturalistic teaching. It uses a comprehensive developmental and behavioural intervention framework for the assessment and intervention process for young children with ASD.  Goals are derived from assessing the child’s developmental skills and treatment is provided using the principles of ABA, (Antecedent, Behaviour and Consequence -ABC).

What Treatment Approaches are Recommended for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder?

What is the best treatment?

Research over the past 20 years has consistently shown the importance of giving children with ASD early intervention. The brain is more easily changed at an early age and patterns of restricted behaviour are not so entrenched. Currently research suggests children gain the most benefit from intensive therapy up to the age of 6 years of age.

Research suggests that, when evidence-based intervention is provided early (commencing before child is 2.5years) and intensively (20-40hours) for at least 2 years, normalization of brain activity related to social processing is possible.

It is suggested that parent and significant people in the child’s life are involved in the treatment and that the total number of hours the child is receiving evidenced-based programs is 20-40 hours/week.

Evidence Based Treatment
A number of approaches have been shown to be effective in making developmental gains in children with ASD. These include:

  • Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)
  • Intensive Behavioural Intervention /Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)
  • Pivotal Response Training (PRT)

Other treatment techniques, such as Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), PROMPT (treatment for Apraxia of Speech),  Hanen-More Than Words, Floortime DIR, and Sensory integration Therapy can be used using ABA methodology within PRT, IBI and/or ESDM.  Given that 65% of children with Autism have a dual diagnosis of Apraxia, PROMPT is integral to the treatment approach within any Autism program.


Simone Friedman SLS Approach
We use formal behaviour modification (ABA) to teach developmental skills within a naturalistic play-based context using the ESDM model.  We provide intensive (IBI) 4-9 hour programming daily, collecting data and graphing results.  If TPAS approved and DFO funded, our DFO approved consulting psychologist will oversee the IBI program.

As a trans-disciplinary clinic, we have the means to work on a number of skills, such as, but not limited to:

  • Communication
  • Social Skills
  • Behaviour
  • Gross & Fine Motor Skills
  • Self Help
  • Cognition
  • ADL’s
  • Play
  • Life Skills
  • Articulation/Apraxia

Services Offered

Treatment programs are tailored for each and every child we treat, according to the child’s abilities and age.

Programs may include one or more of the following service options:

Individual Therapy Sessions (S-LP & OT)

  • In-Home Intensive ABA/IBI Therapy
  • Half & Full-Day Intensive program in Clinic
  • Social Skills Groups
  • Parent and School Training

What you need to Prepare if Interested in Services at Simone Friedman SLS

  1. Gather any relevant diagnostic documents regarding your child.
  2. Check your schedules
  3. Look into funding options (personal, extended health care benefits, DFO funding &/or charitable grants).

*visit our site for charitable grants info

Take Action

Call our office at 416-546-3044 or email us at to book an appointment for an assessment.  Our admin team will use your prepared info to help you through the process.

What to Expect

  1. All new clients with ASD begin here with a comprehensive ESDM assessment completed by both our Speech-Language Pathologist and Occupational Therapist.
  2. An individualized treatment program is created based on your goals as well as the assessment findings.
  3. Recommendations are made for type, length and frequency of treatment.
  4. If TPAS approved and DFO funded, our DFO approved consulting psychologist will oversee the IBI program.
  5. Treatment commences and a copy of the weekly goals are provided to the parent for personal records and for generalization at home.


Evidence to Support Early Intervention

Evidence to Support Early Start Denver Model


How can we help you and/or your child?

Services Offered:

  • Individual
  • Full day Intensive ABA –STAR School
  • ABA/IBI at home
  • Social Skills Groups
  • Parent & School Training

All services to people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are based on the holistic Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) approach. The program selected for you or your child is tailored according to level of ability, age, your availability and budget. We use both naturalistic (play and interaction) and formal behaviour modification (ABA, IBI) to help people with ASD to develop new skills.

Some of the Skills worked on include:

  • Communication (using and understanding language)
  • Social Skills (understanding and taking part in interactions and situations)
  • Behaviour (paying attention, coping with restrictions and emotions and sensory issues)
  • Motor Skills (using the body and hands)
  • Cognition (learning concepts like shapes, colours)
  • Hygiene and Self Help (bathing, toileting etc.)
  • Life Skills (housework, planning, money skills)


  • 1-on-1 sessions between 45 minutes and 2 hours with S-LP and/or Occupational Therapist.
  • 1-on-1 ABA sessions at home/daycare and/or school up to 4 hours per day.
  • At the clinic downtown or at your child’s school, daycare, home or community activity

STAR School – FULL DAY Intensive ABA Program (Social- Transdisciplinary- Autism- Routine (Full & ½ day offered)

Wednesdays for 8-12 week blocks

Full Day Program 8.30-5.30pm (9 hours) based on the Early Start Denver Model

Up to 6 children with ASD to allow for social-communication training.

Program led by a highly trained SLP with 15 years experience with ASD.  In addition, support will be provided by a Communication Disorders Assistant.


Call to reserve your child’s place for January !!

Social Skills Groups:

  • Small peer groups of 3-5 children/adolescents
  • 1-1.5 hour program at the clinic downtown
  • Weekly progress report and resources for home/school practice

Squirrels: 3-5 yr olds

Otters: 6-7 yr olds

Bears: 8-11 yr olds

Teen Scene: 12 and up

Some of the Internationally Recognised Approaches Provided at our Clinic:

ABA, the Early Start Denver Model, PECS, TEACCH, PROMPT, American Sign Language, BLADES, Hanen- More Than Words, Floortime DIR, Sensory Integration

Parent & School Training

Daytime and Evening  Workshops are provided  for Parents, Teachers and Clinicians year round at the clinic and can also be arranged at daycare or school sites. Each workshop at the clinic includes picture and video examples for learning and a workbook to take home. Evening workshops are catered with a light dinner provided!

Please see the next few workshops below:

Introduction to Therapy for People with Autism

Early Communication for ASD- A 6 session course

The following are also run at other times in the year: Please call the office to put your name down for the next one:

  • Using i-pads for child development
  • Language Skills in Middle Years
  • Social Skills for Primary
  • Eating Issues
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Life Skills for Teens