TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication Handicapped Children)
The TEACCH approach is based on structured teaching and organization of classes that organizes the environment in a way that Children and Young People (CYP) with autism can understand. Many of the principles of this approach are used in Queensmill School.
There are 3 main components:
The physical structure
At Queensmill we implement the physical structure throughout, providing a low arousal environment which minimizes visual and auditory distractions. We then organize the rooms visually, so it is apparent to the child which areas of each class serve which function.
The visual schedules
All CYP are taught how to use a visual schedule, which allows them to understand what is to happen throughout the day, and helps them to move between one activity and another and to manage that change with minimum anxiety. The content of the schedule is led by the child’s reading abilities. At first it may be objects of reference (a spoon stuck to the timetable denoting food), then photographs, or symbols, or words, whatever the child can ‘read’. Most children will progress to using a filofax-type schedule or schedule on iPad or iPhone as they get older.
The teaching method
(NB this does not describe the curriculum content, but the way in which we present teaching activities that are the next steps in learning for the child):
We ensure that teaching activities are appropriate and presented in a motivating way that will help CYP with autism to understand what is expected of them and to take part. This greatly increases the child’s independent functioning and will help them in life-long skills. Pupils learn to work independently through the use of a structured work system in which work is presented in a systematic and organized way that the child is able to understand. This system can be used for any type of task – curriculum activities, daily living skills, recreation and leisure.