Mary McKenna

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A Family-Centered Approach

I am a Speech-Language Pathologist and Board-Certified Behavior Analyst with over 30 years of experience working with young children, families, and early childhood professionals. I am a certified therapist and trainer in the Early Start Denver Model and parent coach and coach trainer in the PACE Coaching research study.


"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

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

Upcoming Events

April & May 2022

Early Start Denver Model Advance Workshop

This workshop is closed. 

Fall 2022

Early Start Denver Model Advanced Workshop  via Zoom

Exact dates to be determined.  Workshop will be held on Fridays.  Register early to save your space!



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 

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Looking for new therapy ideas? Or new ways to interact with children? Every month I will post a game, activity or idea for interacting with children. I have lots to share, including the best game ever: the magic game!

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