General approach and philosophy
The TEACCH method (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication Handicapped Children) was developed in 1971 by Eric Schopler and his associates at Chapel Hill University in North Carolina. The aim is to develop the autonomy of the person with autism on all levels and to provide support strategies for their lives in their family, at school, in their community or surroundings.
The method is based on the following principles
- organic origins of autism
- cooperation between parents and professionals
- general approach to care
- full services that are coordinated and community-based and are provided throughout the lifetime of the person with autism
- individual nature of the care
The TEACCH teaching method is said to be structured, i.e. learning is based on a simple and repeated structure of the task to be carried out. For example, it is possible to change the environment by simplifying it and by adding various other cues, such as visual ones, so that the person with autism better understands what is expected from him/her. The method is also based on a developmental approach, i.e. account is taken of the child’s level of development. We recall that cooperation between professionals and parents is essential.
For over 25 years, TEACCH division has been providing extensive services to persons with autism and their families. The TEACCH system has become a programme that is as wide-ranging as is required for the disability, with a network of centres for activities, research and training that are essential to help families and patients deal with the most serious development disorders. Many observers have suggested that a consistent method can bring about considerable improvement to the situation of patients with autism and to their families (Schopler, Mesibov & Baker, 1982).
For further information : www.teacch.com