TEACCH is a comprehensive clinical and psychoeducational programme for supporting autistic people. It is based in the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and has Centres throughout the state. The programme is adopted worldwide.
TEACCH views autism as a culture, and therefore a key assumption is that the environment and daily activities need to be adapted to meet the unique needs and strengths the autistic person.
Research confirms that some autistic students favour have a visually based learning style. The TEACCH Autism Programme aims to facilitate learning through a visual and structured teaching approach. The supports can be adapted to suit all ages and ability levels.
TEACCH can be useful because:
- It helps the student to understand expectations
- It suits visual learning style
- It promotes flexible thinking and can support independence
Educational Principles of Structured Visual Teaching Approaches
- Students are best helped with their parents/carers as co-educators alongside professionals
- Students should be as independent as possible
- Teaching skills should start with assessment and the process should be ongoing as programmes develop
- Supports should be individualized and
- Strengths and interests should be utilised in the development of supports.
Aims of Structured Visual Teaching are
- To build understanding
- To increase meaning
- To increase predictability
- To teach functional skills
- Spontaneous communication
- To increase learning
Structured visual teaching approaches provide a framework on which to help the learner engage and learn. The principles of the TEACCH Programme can be used as a method to teach.
This chapter describes only the fundamental principles of the Programme. Please see this video for further information on training in the programme. See the TEACCH Autism Programme Video.