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TEACCH and Autism

TEACCH (an acronym for the Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication-Handicapped Children) is the term given to describe the various activities undertaken by Division TEACCH, a state-wide community-based programme of services for children and adults in North Carolina, USA.

The TEACCH approach is based on understanding the culture of autism (the characteristic patterns of thinking and behaviour seen in individuals with autism). It is also based around developing an individualised person (and family)-centred plan for each client or student, rather than using a standard curriculum

TEACCH makes the most of an individual's strengths within a very structured environment - sometimes known as 'structured teaching'. The four major components of structured teaching are physical structure (the organisation of the room), visual schedules (visual information depicting where/when/what the activity will be), work systems (visual information informing an individual what to do while in a work or play area), and task organization (visually clear information on what the task is about).

Elements of the TEACCH approach are used extensively alongside other approaches within other, multi-component interventions throughout the world, such as the Children's Toddler School Program in the US. It also forms a key element of the SPELL approach, used in services run by the National Autistic Society in the UK.

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Updated
21 Sep 2015