Welcome to the Online Parent Training in Early Behavioral Intervention (OPT-In-Early). Please read this introduction all the way through before starting this program!

Introduction to OPT-In-Early

OPT-In-Early was developed by UConn faculty and their colleagues. Links to professional articles describing the results of using the website will be put at the end of this section. This program was developed with a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. We are extremely grateful for this funding, and for the help of the children and parents you will see in the video clips.

Some parents will have therapists or other clinicians to work with their children. If you do, we encourage you to be in contact with these providers with any questions or concerns about material from the Parent Training program. Your child’s provider might use a different approach.

This material is copyrighted. Please do not make changes to any of it or distribute it to others. By starting to use the program you are expressly consenting to use these materials ethically and not to use the materials for any commercial purposes.

This website is mainly for caregivers of children who may have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), or another developmental condition. Throughout this program, we will use the terms “autism” and “ASD” interchangeably. It is also for use with children who do not have a diagnosis, but for whom caregivers or physicians have a suspicion of ASD or another developmental delay or condition.  It is important to note that autism is indeed a spectrum and represents a wide range of abilities and challenges. However, parents of children not suspected of having a specific developmental disorder like ASD, but who may be slow to learn certain skills or have social problems, may also find useful material in this program.

If you are concerned about your child’s development, try to get the child to see a doctor if you have not already done so. This could be a pediatrician, developmental pediatrician, psychologist, or psychiatrist. This may help you get a better handle on the sorts of challenges your child may have. In general, it does not help to wait and see what happens; it’s best to consult a doctor while the child is as young as possible. It is often the case that children who receive the help they need early in life make better progress.

Many caregivers who are concerned about their child’s development cannot get intensive professional intervention for their child as soon as they would like, and sometimes not at all. Although web-based parent training like this program cannot substitute for professional intervention that is delivered to your child as an individual, you may be able to give your child a good head start on learning and development by using the behavioral teaching methods discussed in this program. We are focusing on children aged 1-5, but parents of older children will also find a lot of useful material. For older children, caregivers might want to learn the basic principles (Modules 2 and 3), and then decide on skills you can teach your child using these principles.

We have created this material from research that we and others have done, and from our years of clinical experience. If you would like to learn a little more about us, please go to Meet the Experts.

We hope that the information in this program will help you to teach your child important skills, and to prevent or manage behaviors that interfere with learning. We have focused on many of the skills that young children need to learn, but the rules of learning that we will describe apply to all children, so even if you have an older child, we hope the material will be helpful to you. To make it easier to explain things, we are sometimes going to use the words “he” and “him” and sometimes “she” and “her” to refer to all children. But please remember that we are always talking about both boys and girls.

If you want more information about OPT-In-Early, please email the principal Investigator, Dr. Deborah Fein at


Once registered, please click on each of the following links before starting the program.