Learning Experiences: An Alternative Program for Preschoolers and Parents

Integrated Classroom Model for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Our Partnership

We collaborated with the University of South Florida to bring the Learning Experiences: An Alternative Program for Preschoolers and Parents (LEAP) Preschool Model into classrooms. Consultation and training to implement the LEAP Preschool Model included content and coaching, as well as providing training and support to external AEA consultants/coaches.

We believe that the research and ingenuity produced by collaborations like this are essential as we work to influence policy and improve early childhood education.

About Our Research

We leverage cross-institutional collaboration to address some of today’s most pressing challenges, producing interdisciplinary solutions that influence policymakers to effectively serve the public good. From Stanford to UChicago to NYU, we’ve refined our collaborative process through years of mutually beneficial relationships with institutions nationwide to understand and address challenges like climate change, HIV and youth homelessness.

DU’s current research efforts have been featured in news outlets like The New York Times. They include…

  • exploring the effects of felony disenfranchisement.
  • employing lasers as the medium for quantum science.
  • using theatre to heal and rehabilitate inmates.

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About the Project

The LEAP Preschool Model was founded by DU's Phillip Strain in 1981 as a model for early education designed to meet the educational needs of both typical preschool children and those with autism in an integrated classroom setting. 

The program was designed to:

  • Provide children with ASD with the prompting, classroom and curricular adaptations and modifications, and general support necessary for them to participate fully in classroom activities.
  • Ensure that the typically developing children are provided with comprehensive social skills training that will help facilitate the social and communicative behaviors of peers with ASD.
  • Provide skill training focused on providing adult family members with strategies that will help them experience less stress and more pleasure in daily routines with their children.

Discover Research at DU

Phillip Strain

Phillip Strain is James C. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Urban Education at the University of Denver's Morgridge College of Education and Director of DU's Positive Early Learning Experiences Center. The author of more than 300 publications, his research works to expand inclusive preschool options and provide comprehensive services for young children with autism.