Bright Start Pediatric
Bright Start Pediatric Bright Start Pediatric




















Autism Services

Our comprehensive Autism Services are customized to meet the specific needs of each child and family. When a child is diagnosed on the autism spectrum, our Autism Supervisor meets with the parent(s) to determine the appropriate program elements.

Services begin with providers working with the family and child in their home. When the child is ready, services move out into the community to playgroups and into preschool programs.

Bright Start providers use the Development Individual Differences Relationship (DIR) Model and add Social Communication Emotional Regulation Transactional Support (SCERTS) objectives to the child’s programming at the appropriate point in therapy. SCERTS is described in detail below.

Development Individual Differences Relationship (DIR) Model

The DIR Model supports child-caregiver interactions while helping the child develop in a play-based atmosphere. The model focuses on six functional developmental capabilities:

  • Shared attention and regulation
  • Intimacy and engagement
  • Purposeful two-way communication
  • Complex communication
  • Emotional ideas
  • Emotional thinking

The goals of the DIR Model are:

  • To support the family in helping the child climb the functional developmental ladder of skills listed above.
  • To make the family aware of their child’s individual differences in motor, auditory, visual-spatial and sensory processing capacities
  • To facilitate the child’s development of peer relationships
  • To help the child transition to preschool and prepare for kindergarten
  • To help the child with Autism conceptualize all the vital developmental processes and incorporate them into their every day lives so that they can participate in a range of age-expected social relationships.

The DIR team, which includes a special educator, speech therapist, occupational therapist and physical therapist, works together with parents to meet the child’s individual social, cognitive, communication, adaptive and motor needs.

Our providers are well trained in the use of the DIR Model. Every provider receives the four-day basic DIR training, along with ongoing observations and trainings with a DIR Supervisor.

The SCERTS Model

The SCERTS model compliments the DIR model and focuses on social communication, emotional regulation and transactional support. The SCERTS Model helps parents and providers prioritize essential objectives to address social communicative competence and emotional regulation in children, especially as they turn three and enter preschool programs. The DIR model helps the child work on engagement; the SCERTS model helps support that engagement as it becomes more complicated with different partners and in different settings.

For more information

For more information about our Autism Services, email Bright Start or call us at (585) 377-2230.