Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication-Handicapped Children (TEACCH)

TEACCH is an internationally known model for conceptualizing ASD and delivering services and support. TEACCH developed the concept of a “Culture of Autism” to convey the idea that like a culture, autism produces characteristic patterns of thinking, communicating, and behaving, and that teachers, therapists, and family should function as “cross-cultural interpreters” who can translate for the person with ASD, the expectations of the neurotypical world.

TEACCH was one of the first disorder specific programs to address the need for an intensive and coordinated intervention, and uses an eclectic approach to develop social, communication, and other skills often lagging in individuals with ASD. The overall approach is called “Structured TEACCHing,” and its fundamental principles include:

  • Individualize interventions
  • Use visual and written supports
  • Make sequences of events predictable and understandable
  • Organize the physical environment
  • Work specifically to develop flexibility and an ability to generalize learning
  • Stimulate and support meaningful, self-initiated communication
  • Collaborate with families

The TEACCH® Autism Program is a university-based program at The University of North Carolina, which aims to meet the clinical, training, and research needs of children with ASD and their families. The clinical services include initial referral and consultations, diagnostic evaluations, family consultation sessions and parent support groups, social play and recreation groups, individual counseling, and supported employment.

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