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TEACCH Professional Certification Program

As the number of professionals trained by TEACCH® has increased and the demand for accountability for quality services for individuals with autism has also increased, the leadership of TEACCH Autism Program decided that it was an appropriate time to establish a comprehensive Professional Certification Program for educators, psychologists, social workers, speech therapists and other service providers in the field of autism.

The program includes two certification levels, Practitioner and Advanced Consultant, progressing professionals from a skilled practitioner to a consultation role within their work setting to an advanced consultant who is trained to provide lectures to groups inside and outside their work setting.

The TEACCH Professional Certification Program will help to protect the integrity and quality of the TEACCH model  and to provide educators and clinicians with a professional certification that allows them to document their use of evidence-based practices.

For more information, please review the detailed program description that follows.

Introduction and Rationale
The University of North Carolina TEACCH Autism Program was established in 1972 to serve as a statewide program for serving individuals with autism, their families, and their service delivery providers across the lifespan. In addition to providing direct services to individuals with ASD, TEACCH has been committed to developing training programs for students and professionals who serve individuals with ASD. TEACCH uses a multi-disciplinary training program (TEACCH Model) that combines both traditional lecture-style activities with hands-on learning activities to train professionals to employ Structured TEACCHing techniques (see Grindstaff and Marcus, 2013 for a more detailed description of TEACCH training, including its history).

Need for Professional Certification Programs for ASD Providers
When TEACCH was created in 1972, the rate of Autism Spectrum Disorder was estimated to be 1 in 2500 individuals. Since that time, there has been a growing awareness of ASD across the world and the rates of ASD have risen dramatically. Indeed, the Center for Disease Control estimates that the current rate of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is 1 in every 88 individuals (CDC, 2012).  As the number of individuals with ASD has increased, there has been a comparable increasing demand for the use of evidence–based practices by education and mental health professionals. The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders (autismpdc.fpg.unc.edu) has listed the core components of Structured TEACCHing approaches including individualized schedules and activity/work systems as evidence-based. These techniques have been found to maximize independent functioning individuals with ASD across the lifespan and be appropriate for use in home, school, and employment settings.

 

What is Structured TEACCHing?
The intervention approach created by TEACCH is called Structured TEACCHing (see Mesibov, Shea, & Schopler, 2005). Structured TEACCHing is an array of teaching or treatment principles and strategies based on our understanding of the unique cognitive abilities, learning characteristics, and social-communication abilities associated with ASD. Structured TEACCHing recognizes the unique strengths and challenges faced by individuals with ASD including difficulties with attention and executive function and strengths in visual information processing.


Given this unique profile, Structured TEACCHing includes:
• External organizational supports to address challenges with attention and executive function
• Visual and/or written information to support verbal communication

Structured TEACCHing is not a curriculum, but instead is a framework within which educational and therapeutic goals can be achieved. This framework includes:
• Physical organization
• Individualized schedules
• Work systems
• Visual structure of materials

 

Goals of TEACCH Professional Certification Program:

  • Teach professionals across a number of disciplines (educators, psychologists, speech language pathologists, social workers, counselors, etc.) how to use Structured TEACCHing to enhance the effectiveness of their programs.
  • Provide educators and clinicians with a professional certification that allows them to document their use of evidence-based practices.
  • Protect the integrity and promote the quality of TEACCH intervention approaches.
  • Provide an opportunity for professionals interested in conducting their own training programs to receive an advanced certification.

Levels of TEACCH Certification:

For many professionals, the Practitioner (or P) level will be the terminal point of certification, largely because of interests and job requirements. For others, the P level will be a mid-point in working towards Advanced Consultant (or AC) level certification. We have attempted to create levels that are distinct in required competencies and benefits and privileges, but allow for seamless transition from the first to the second level.  Click on links below to view the Certification Overview which summarize benefits and privileges, the costs, application requirements, evaluation process, and restrictions for each level.


TEACCH Certified Practitioner TEACCH Advanced Consultant *revised*

 


For additional questions or more information,
contact: Certifications
TEACCH Autism Program - CB#7180, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7180
Email: TEACCH_certifications@med.unc.edu | Phone: 919.966.7003 | Fax: 919.966.4127