TEACCH (Teaching, Expanding, Appreciating, Collaborating, Cooperating, Holistic):
The TEACCH approach is used by staff working with young people who have ASC. This method promotes structured learning environments with a focus on visual learning for children with a range of disabilities such as those with visual information processing issues and those who have difficulties with social communication, attention, and executive functioning.
The TEACCH core values that surround this method.
- Demonstrating a commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others.
- Creating a culture of collaboration and partnership, where everyone is respected and valued.
- Delivering excellence through innovative and responsive practices.
- Appreciating the unique strengths of every individual.
- Emphasizing the importance of continuous lifelong learning.
- Cultivating an environment that actively promotes inclusion, diversity, and equity.
- The physical structure is the first part of the TEACCH method. It refers to the individual’s surroundings or environment. Clear physical boundaries are in place for all of the day’s activities. For example, playing takes place in one part of a room, and eating takes place in a cafeteria.
Having organized physical spaces that each have their own function is important when working with younger students and also students with autism or developmental disability. The needs of the individuals in a classroom should be taken into consideration when creating the classroom space, and of course, this space can be modified throughout the year based on needs.
The use of the physical structure for students with autism aim will help
- To increase organization
- To make the environment more predictable
- To visually communicate what is expected in the environment
- To visually direct the student to an activity
- To reduce distractions
- To reduce anxiety
2. Consistency in the timing of events is the second principle of the TEACCH method. This can be established through verbal communication, written communication, and drawings or pictures. For example, a schedule for a five-year-old in a preschool class for children with autism might include a board with pictures of the day’s schedule. Those pictures might include, a picture of a book for story time, and a picture of crayons for art. The second row might include a picture of a plate for snack or lunchtime, a picture of a playground for recess time, and a picture of a ball for gym class.
Being consistent with a schedule in an ASC classroom is crucial. It not only helps to teach the students the schedule so that they can be more independent with time management but it also can reassure students who need to know what is coming next and prefer a predictable routine.
Children with autism oftentimes struggle with transitions and maintaining appropriate behaviour when changes are made without their knowledge, so consistency of a schedule is key.
Of course, the ultimate goal is to encourage children with autism and developmental delays to accept changes and to become more flexible with their daily routines. Setting a schedule and slowly making changes, adding in choices to make changes, and generalizing portions of the schedule to other areas can help students become more flexible.
3. In the TEACCH method, the third principle is the establishment of expectations. These expectations may be behavioural, activity-based, academic, or for communication. Having a clear set of expectations makes it easier for a parent, caregiver, educator, or therapist to set up consequences or interventions when the expectations are not met. This principle also includes activity measurements. The goal is to set up the child for independent work and functioning.
Establishing and practicing classroom expectations, as well as expectations in other areas such as the hallway, bathroom, dining hall, bus, etc. is a must. Students with ASC need clear instructions, visuals, and a lot of practice to learn what is expected of them. Generally, those with autism thrive on clear boundaries and rules.
One great way to help establish classroom expectations with an ASC classroom or certain individuals is to use a social story or visuals that are reviewed each and every day. For example, right when students come into the classroom, read a social story on the board together as a group about morning routine expectations. Switch over to computer expectations when they’re about to use technology, and go over rules about walking in the hallway to lunch and eating in the cafeteria right before as well.
- Setting up and maintaining a routine is essential for someone with autism. Young people with autism typically thrive on consistency. When something that is outside of their routine occurs, this may cause them to withdraw or become uncooperative for the activity or event. Parents, caregivers, and educators all need to work together in order to maintain consistency in a routine from one environment to another and one school year to another.
- Identify each step of a task you’d like the young person to complete, and list the steps.
- Use the steps to create a schedule. Use whatever form of schedule works for the young person, like a picture essay, task list, or video model.
- Use timers or alarms to signal when the schedule will begin or to allot a certain time to a step.
- Refer to the schedule throughout the routine. Provide praise or other reinforcement for completing steps.
- Consistency, every step of the routine every time.
- Visuals are very helpful for children with autism, especially those who are not verbal or not as verbal as others. Visuals can be used for any reason, such as when going over expectations, as reminders, for students to use when asking for a break, to allow students to express their feelings, to show that it is time to change activities, or as a behaviour incentive.
TEACCH enables young people to develop independence in learning and to consolidate skills in core areas of the curriculum and in other individual target areas for each young person.
To find out more please visit: https://www.autism.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/topics/strategies-and-interventions/strategies-and-interventions/teacch