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About ESDM
About Aspire Preschool

Our Story

Aspire Preschool was created out of the necessity for preschool spaces for children who need extra support and early intervention services. We envisioned a program where all children could be well supported, and parents wouldn’t have to worry about their children being included.  In dreaming up this beautiful creation we went in search of a therapy model that could not only offer a typical preschool experience but also provide an intensive, research based, effective therapy approach.  And so… Aspire Preschool, based on the Early Start Denver Model, was born! We strive to provide neurodiversity-affirming therapy and programs where all children and families are included. 

Program Details

Aspire Preschool operates from the second week of September to the end of June, 4 days per week, Monday to Thursday.  There is the option of mornings (8:45am-11:15am) or afternoons (12:00pm-2:30pm).  Children will sign up for either the morning program or the afternoon program. Aspire consultants will work with parents to determine which group is the best fit for their child. Here is more information about the groups: 


Emergent Language Learners

Our Emergent Language Learners program runs Monday-Thursday 8:45am-11:15am and focuses on building early social, play and communication skills taught within the routines of a preschool program. Building interaction and early communication skills will be the focus.


Social Language Learners

Our Social Language Learners program runs Monday-Thursday, 12:15-2:45. Learners will practice social, communication and play skills within a preschool routine to support their transition to Kindergarten in the fall.

There will be a 2:1 ratio (children:adult), with a maximum of 10 children in the center at one time.  The clinicians have masters degrees and have been certified in ESDM.  They have trained all staff with a superior skillset that is assessed on a regular basis to ensure high fidelity.  This ensures that your child receives the best therapy and makes the quickest gains.


Data is collected frequently to ensure that rapid and continuous progress is being made.  Goals are developed based on continuous assessment and family input.  They are designed in steps, breaking down skills and teaching in increments, until mastery has been attained.  The goals will change every 12 weeks.

About The Team



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Click here to go the ESDM website.

About the Team



Sarah Stepaniuk


Sarah Stepaniuk is one of the owners of Aspire Preschool. Sarah’s experience includes working with children who have a variety of special needs; she has a keen interest in working with children who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She has worked in a variety of settings including schools, health units and private agencies. She has experience on the Provincial Autism Resource Team as well as organizing social communication summer programs for young teens. Highlights of her training include SCERTS (Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support) workshop, Early Start Denver Model. Introductory and Advanced Workshops and attendance at multiple speech language pathology conferences. Sarah is passionate about providing best practice to clients and their families.



Shantelle Soto, M.A., B.C.B.A.


Shantelle Soto is one of the owners of Aspire Preschool as well as a co-owner of Stepping Stones Therapy.  She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has been working as a consultant for children with autism since 2014.  She recently was certified in the Early Start Denver Model approach, and she specializes in Autism and ADHD.  Her passion is helping children be successful and empowering them and the people surrounding them, to be their best.



Sandi Foster


Sandi Foster is one of the owners of Aspire Preschool Inc. and co-owner of Stepping Stones Therapy Inc. Sandi’s passion for working with children with ASD began as a Special Education Assistant in schools. That passion continued in the Queen Alexandra Autism Program, then to the creation of Stepping Stones Therapy and now Aspire Preschool Inc. Over time, Sandi has moved into the management of the financial and funding aspects associated with business.

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