TEACCH® Autism Program developed the concept of the “Culture of Autism” as a way of thinking about the characteristic patterns of thinking and behavior seen in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
- “CULTURE OF AUTISM”
• Relative strength in and preference for processing visual information (compared to difficulties with auditory processing, particularly of language)
• Frequent attention to details but difficulty understanding the meaning of how those details fit together
• Difficulty combining ideas
• Difficulty with organizing ideas, materials, and activities
• Difficulties with attention. (Some individuals are very distractible, others have difficulty shifting attention when it is time to make transitions)
• Difficulty with concepts of time, including moving too quickly or too slowly and having problems recognizing the beginning, middle, or end of an activity
• Communication problems, which vary by developmental level but always include impairments in the social use of language (called “pragmatics”)
• Tendency to become attached to routines, with the result that activities may be difficult to generalize from the original learning situation and disruptions in routines that are upsetting, confusing, or uncomfortable
• Very strong interests and impulses in engaging in favored activities, with difficulties disengaging once engaged
• Marked sensory preferences and dislikes.
TEACCH developed the intervention approach called “Structured TEACCHing”, which is based on understanding the learning characteristics of individuals with autism and the use of visual supports to promote meaning and independence. TEACCH services are supported by empirical research, enriched by extensive clinical expertise, and notable for its flexible and individualized support of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families.
- PRINCIPLES OF STRUCTURED TEACCHING:
• Understanding the culture of autism
• Developing an individualized person- and family-centered plan for each client or student, rather than using a standard curriculum
• Structuring the physical environment
• Using visual supports to make the sequence of daily activities predictable and understandable
• Using visual supports to make individual tasks understandable
COMMON MYTHS AND MISUNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT THE TEACCH APPROACH
The TEACCH approach is a family-centered, evidence-based practice for autism, based on a theoretical conceptualization of autism, supported by empirical research, enriched by extensive clinical expertise, and notable for its flexible and person-centered support of individuals of all ages and skill levels.