Teaching the TEACCH Method

Autism Parenting and Structured Learning

Written by Dr. John Carosso

What does TEACCH stand for?

It’s an acronym for the Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication Related Handicapped Children (quite a mouthful). It was developed at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in the early 1970’s by Eric Schopler.

Okay, so what is it?

The idea is that some kids do much better as visual learners; consequently, with TEACCH, everything is set-up to be very visual with color and physical barriers being used to create very clear boundaries, work-spaces, organization, and structure, on which many kids thrive. Under the TEACCH method, kids know where to be, what to do once they’re there, how to do it, and are better-able to work through their tasks with independence because of the structure. It’s effective, really, for any kiddo who needs some extra guidance; not just children with autism or communication issues.

Something you need to see!

TEACCH can be explained, but it’s much more impressive and impactful if you see it first-hand. So, go to youtube and search “TEACCH” and you’ll see plenty of videos providing lots of great visual descriptions of what TEACCH is all about. This is one of my favorites (that little girl is too cute) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkymZzmg4jw

But there are plenty of others that show how it works.

How can you use the TEACCH program?

The strategy is geared toward classrooms and educational environments; but who says you can’t incorporate elements of TEACCH into your own home. Your child’s room can use bright colors to section-off areas for different purposes; to help organize for clean-up, using visuals and visual-schedules to guide your child through the day; it’s all fair-game and very adaptable to the home.

Start slowly…

You may find it worthwhile to take the time, watch some of the videos, and read-up on how the system works. Incorporate small elements to your home and to your child’s daily schedule, and increase the elements over time. You may want to start with schedules and visual schedules given they are pretty easy, kids love them, and they tend to be very effective.

Feedback

Please let me know how it goes, and if you have any questions along the way. You can email me at jcarosso@cpcwecare.com. Also, I’d love to know what aspects of the program are working best for you. Thanks for your feedback and God bless you and yours.

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Dr. John Carosso

I work as a Child Psychologist, and School Psychologist in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania,specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, Behavioral Problems, Autism, Depression, Trauma, and Educational issues. I also provide in-home and in-school wraparound services.