Treatment and Education of Autistic
and other Communication Handicapped Children
What is TEACCH?
Treatment and Education of Autistic and other related Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH) was developed at the University of North Carolina in the 1970s. Designed to support individuals with ASD, TEACCH is a service delivery model that utilizes Structured Teaching, highly visual planning and organization strategies, and predictable environments to increase the overall independence of learners on the autism spectrum.
The TEACCH approach to educating students with autism starts with the acknowledgment of the “Culture of Autism.” Unlike other instructional strategies which are focused on remediating deficits in order to make individuals with autism more aligned with their environment, TEACCH embraces the notion that environments can be modified in order to better reflect the unique learning profiles of persons on the spectrum. In other words, the TEACCH approach emphasizes that autistic characteristics are different but not necessarily inferior to the traits of typically-developing persons.
A typical TEACCH-based classroom creates clear distinctions between the different areas of the room such as independent work, group work, and leisure time areas. The TEACCH system helps the students make effective transitions between the various locations in the room and when they arrive at their destination, to know what to do and how to do it. Successful TEACCH programs can dramatically decrease teachers’ need to verbally prompt and cue each task while improving students’ overall independence.
How Does TEACCH Benefit Those with Autism & Other Children with Communication Problems?
The TEACCH approach can increase the independence of students with autism through the use of structure, visual support, and environmental arrangement. The students are able to successfully predict upcoming activities and understand the expectations of different tasks—which promotes more appropriate responses and fewer negative behaviors. For more information visit www.teacch.com.
How is TEACCH Used in AHRC New York City’s Schools?
The TEACCH approach is used in all AHRC New York City schools in some capacity. A number of our school staff have attended an intensive 3-day TEACCH workshop conducted exclusively for AHRC NYC. These staff subsequently trained teachers at their respective schools in the strategies of classroom arrangement, Structured Teaching, visual support, task organization, and other fundamental TEACCH methods and how they can help individuals with ASD significantly increase their overall independence.