Mary McKenna

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A Family-Centered Approach

I have worked collaboratively with families and their children for over 34 years.


"Mary helped us begin our journey with grace, patience, and enormous kindness. Armed with her amazing wealth of knowledge, Mary worked with us to set up a program designed to support our child’s cognitive, emotional, and physical development. She came into our home and modeled for us how to communicate effectively with our child, as well as how to understand “behavior“ and what that behavior was trying to tell us. Our family is forever thankful for her key-role in our daughter’s early intervention program – without Mary, I do not believe we would be functioning as well as a family as we are today.

Erin, Parent

ESDM Advanced Workshop, Taipei Taiwan, March 2018

Early Start Denver Model

I have supported children and families using the Early Start Denver Model since 2011 and provided training and supervision for early intervention providers since 2014.  It has been an absolute pleasure working with professionals from across the globe!

The PACE Coaching Project

The Parent and Child Early (PACE) Coaching Project was a 3 year research project that concluded in March 2020. In the project, researchers partnered with child and family agencies across British Columbia to train early intervention providers in Parent Coaching.  As a coach trainer, I trained and mentored an amazing group of professionals who provided parent coaching to families in their community.

My Story

I am a registered Speech-Language Pathologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst.  I am a certified therapist and trainer in the Early Start Denver Model and parent coach.  I am trained in the Lidcombe Program for young children who stutter.  I am a member of the College of Speech and Hearing Professionals of British Columbia (registration number 0885).

In 2020, I experienced firsthand how COVID impacted families and children accessing early intervention supports and services.  I was able to coach families to support their child’s development using Zoom and also provided parent coach training for early intervention professionals in child development agencies across Vancouver Island.  This experience inspired me to launch Early Start Canada.


For more about the Early Start Denver Model and other intervention approaches for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, check out these on-line resources:

Interacting with Autism | Early Start Denver Model | Autism Community Training