TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication…
TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication-handicapped CHildren)
Approach: Structured teaching
based on evidence that people with ASD share a pattern of neuropsychological deficits: "CULTURE OF AUTISM"
Relative strength in and preference for processing visual information (compared to difﬁculties with auditory processing, particularly of language).
Heightened attention to details but difﬁculty with sequencing, integrating, connecting, or deriving meaning from them
Enormous variability in attention (individuals can be very distractible at times, and at other times intensely focused, with difﬁculties shifting attention efﬁciently).
Communication problems, which vary by developmental level, but always include impairments in the initiation and social use of language (pragmatics).
Difﬁculty with concepts of time including moving through activities too quickly or too slowly and having problems recognizing the beginning or end of an activity, how long the activity will last, and when it will be ﬁnished
Tendency to become attached to routines and the settings where they are established, so that activities may be difﬁcult to transfer or generalize from the original learning situation, and disruptions in routines can be uncomfortable, confusing, or upsetting
Very intense interests and impulses to engage in favored activities and difﬁculties disengaging once engaged
Marked sensory preferences and aversions
STRUCTURE: structuring the environment and activities in ways that are understandable to the individual
organization of time, space and sequences of events --> make learning activites clearer and easier to perform
4 different types of structure
physical structure: A) furniture arrangement, visual cues to show what to do or where to sit B)reducing environmental sources of distraction/overstimulation f.ex. seating a student facing away from the window
organizing and communicating the sequence of events of the day by making this organization understandable and meaningful for the student/client
schedules to help transition from one activity to next: objects (an actual spoon to be used for snack, pictures and word schedules)
organization of individual tasks using visual aids to show: what he is supposed to do, how long the activity lasts, hoe he can see that he is close to being finished, hoew he can see that the activity is finisdhed, what he will do next
work activity system: linking individual tasks into a sequence of activities - increases amount of time engaging in meaningful and productive activities
2 studies showed that this technique increased on-task behaviour, decreased teacher prompting and time it took to complete a task
VISUAL INFORMATION: using individuals’ relative strengths in visual skills and interest in visual details to supplement relatively weaker skills
objects, pictures, to-do lists
SPECIAL INTERESTS: using individuals’ special interests to engage them in learning
MEANINGFUL, SELF-INITIATED COMMUNICATION:supporting self-initiated use of meaningful communication.
learning to communicate is a major issue in autism (but not for those with Asperger Syndrome)
receptive understanding is the foundation for expressive use of communication: Our approach to teaching early communication skills initially takes the form of associating labels (typically either objects or visual symbols of some kind, paired with spoken words) with meaningful, highly interesting activities in the individual’s schedule. As the individual learns the association between the symbols/labels and the activities, it is then possible to begin offering choices, which is the ﬁrst step toward understandable, socially acceptable expressive communication.
evidence-base: research findings
focus on RCT limits autism intervension
research needed in
mechanisms of change
moderators of change and their application to clinical practice
research on components
some of the essential mechanisms are backed with empirical support, but they need further research
STRUCTURE: a structured intervention/environment has empirical back up and has been shown to be beneficial in working with people with ASD
VISUAL INFORMATION: using visual aid material to increase skill has been accepted by numerous researchers and clinicians
visual aids have been found to be helpful in teaching kids with ASD skills in many of their weaker domains, using time on tasks, initiate social exchange, disruptive behaviour, social interaction
SPECIAL INTERESTS: using these interests in treatment has been found to be effective
self-stimulatory behvaiour , stereotyped motor movements, repetitive speech : better reinforcers of desired learning and behaviour (language, cognitive tasks). using ASD kid's interests in play time increased there social interaction.
MEANINGFUL, SELF-INITIATED COMMUNICATION
seems like this method might need more empirical research?
DIRECT RESEARCH SUPPORT FOR THE PROGRAM
methods have changed since beginning --> need newer support
some early stuides do not meet the criteria for elements such as control groups, blind raters, or statistical analysis
early studies showed positive effects of TEACCH, but lacked important methodological criteria
more research needed for the programme as a whole and the effective components/mechanisms of the program
it is a clinical service and a professional training program
has recieved awards
have created 2 assessment instruments ( the Psychoeducational Proﬁle, the TEACCH Transition Assessment Proﬁle) .
starting point for individualized plans for teaching and supporting skills
need more research on how adults with ASD are doing int he world
And yet the clinical robustness of Structured Teaching even in imperfect conditions has been striking