The primary aim of the TEACCH programme is to help prepare people with autism to live or work more effectively at home, at school and in the community. It focuses on creating structured, visual support to enable a student to carry out tasks with maximum independence.
Teaching – sharing autism knowledge and increasing the skill level of professionals and practitioners.
Expanding – increasing own knowledge to provide high-quality services to people on the autism spectrum and their families.
Appreciating – appreciating the strengths and uniqueness of autistic culture.
Collaborating and Cooperating with colleagues, other professionals, people on the autism spectrum and their families.
Holistic – adopting a holistic approach, looking at the person, their family and community
The principles and concepts guiding the TEACCH system are:
· Improved adaptation: through the two strategies of improving skills by means of education and of modifying the environment to accommodate deficits children so that techniques can be continued at home
· Assessment for individualised parent collaboration: parents work with professionals as co-therapists for their treatment: unique educational programmes are designed for all individuals on the basis of regular assessments of abilities
· Structured teaching: it has been found that children with autism benefit more from a structured educational environment than from free approaches
· Skill enhancement: assessment identifies emerging skills and work then focuses upon these.
· Cognitive and behaviour therapy: educational procedures are guided by theories of cognition and behaviour suggesting that difficult behaviour may result from underlying problems in perception and understanding
· Generalist training: professionals in the TEACCH system are trained as generalists who understand the whole child, and do not specialise as psychologists or speech therapists.
(Extract from Approaches to autism: an annotated list published by The National Autistic Society, 1993/revised 2003).
At Marlborough, we use workstations with work schedules and finished trays, with left to right working system. Tasks are visually obvious:
Students have daily lesson Timetables, session breakdowns and ability appropriate visual support for transitions: