5 Key Principles of the TEACCH Method

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The TEACCH Method is a scientific framework for teaching children with autism. It has been adapted to teach many different populations, including the elderly, and it focuses on an individual’s needs rather than their behaviors or traits.

The “teacch method pdf” is the 5 key principles of the TEACCH Method. The TEACCH Method is a teaching model that helps children with autism develop social skills communication and self-care.

There are a number of methods and approaches that you will need to master if you are looking for the ideal job and are presently enrolled in a teaching, ABA, or other similar college program, or have just graduated. You may study and use them as part of your academic degree, you may learn about them while doing an internship or practicum, or you may have discovered most of your favorite tactics by working as a teacher or ABA specialist in the classroom. 

On the other hand, it’s conceivable that many of those who are reading this are either new to the field of behavior or have already tried various methods that didn’t appear to produce the desired outcomes.  

There are often just too many resources available, along with all the blogs and social media posts suggesting that this is the best course of action to take for the kids you deal with. 

For instance, the sector of education is flooded with free online materials thanks to social media, educational websites with free and paid memberships, blogs, Teachers Pay Teachers, YouTube, etc. It might be difficult to sift through the options and choose a few proven, research-based methods with a good track record. And ones that will help the kids you deal with and be sufficiently customized. 

For that purpose, we are here. We want to provide a research-based approach that you can utilize as a teacher or Behavior Analyst since we are the experts in ABA. 

TEACCH Approach

A person interested in education, Applied Behavior Analysis or a related field should be aware of the five key principles of the TEACCH Approach. The TEACCH, or Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication Handicapped Children, is a method of teaching children with autism and was developed by the University of North Carolina in the 1970s. 

This approach encourages organized learning settings with an emphasis on visual learning for kids with a variety of impairments, such as those who struggle with executive functioning, social communication, and visual information processing.  

The TEACCH specialists at UNC outline the fundamental principles guiding this approach. 

  1. showing a dedication to changing other people’s lives for the better.
  2. fostering an environment of cooperation and partnership where everyone is cherished and respected.
  3. delivering excellence via cutting-edge and flexible methods.
  4. recognizing each person’s particular talents.
  5. highlighting the significance of ongoing, lifelong learning.
  6. creating a setting that actively supports fairness, diversity, and inclusion.

Learn more about TEACCH’s essential elements and how mastering these techniques may make you a better analyst or instructor by reading on. 

1. Physical Composition

The physical structure is the first part of the TEACCH Approach. It refers to the individual’s surroundings or environment. Clear physical boundaries are in place for all of the day’s activities. For example, playing takes place in one part of a room, and eating takes place in a cafeteria.

When dealing with younger pupils, as well as those who have autism or developmental disabilities, having ordered physical areas that each have their own role is crucial. The requirements of the people in a classroom should be taken into account while designing the space, and this space may, of course, be amended as needed during the year. 

The usage of the physical setting for autistic pupils will be beneficial.

  • For better organization
  • to increase environmental predictability
  • To make expectations for the environment visible
  • to instruct a learner graphically on a task
  • minimize distractions
  • to lessen worry

Education specialists advise drawing distinct physical boundaries, such as by using tape to mark the edges of the room’s furniture or other objects. Additionally, they advise reducing distractions from sound and sight as much as possible, for instance by utilizing fabric covers, room dividers, containers, and bins. To carry out these suggestions, develop a distinctive organizational structure and make use of ASD-style resources. 

2. Reliable Timelines

Consistent Schedules for autism studentsConsistency in the timing of events is the second principle of the TEACCH Approach. This can be established through verbal communication, written communication, and drawings or pictures. For example, a schedule for a five-year-old in a preschool class for children with autism might include a board with pictures of the day’s schedule. Those pictures might include the American flag for the pledge of allegiance, a picture of a book for storytime, and a picture of crayons for art. The second row might include a picture of a plate for snack or lunchtime, a picture of a playground for recess time, and a picture of a ball for gym class.

In a classroom with ASD, it’s important to stick to a timetable consistently. In addition to helping children learn the plan so they can manage their time more independently, it may soothe students who need to know what will happen next and enjoy a consistent pattern. 

Consistency of a routine is crucial because children with autism often struggle with transitions and sustaining proper conduct when changes are made without their notice.  

The ultimate objective is, of course, to help children with autism and developmental disabilities accept change and adapt their daily routines. Students may learn to be more flexible by creating a timetable and gradually making modifications, offering alternatives to make changes, and generalizing some aspects of the schedule to other areas. 

3. Specifying Expectations

Establishment of Expectations in the TEACCH ApproachIn the TEACCH Approach, the third principle is the establishment of expectations. These expectations may be behavioral, activity-based, academic, or for communication. Having a clear set of expectations makes it easier for a parent, caregiver, educator, or therapist to set up consequences or interventions when the expectations are not met. This principle also includes activity measurements. The goal is to set up the child for independent work and functioning.

Setting and implementing expectations for the classroom, as well as those for other spaces like the corridor, restroom, cafeteria, bus, etc., is essential. To understand what is required of them, students with ASD need clear instructions, images, and plenty of practice. In general, people with autism benefit from limits and regulations that are unambiguous. 

Using a social tale or images that are reviewed daily is a terrific method to help set expectations for a classroom of students with ASD or for specific people. For instance, read a social narrative on morning ritual expectations aloud as a class as soon as the children enter the room. Change the subject to computer expectations just before they use technology, and go through the regulations for using the corridor to go to lunch and the cafeteria just before that as well. 

It’s impossible to evaluate expectations enough. 

4. Upkeep of a Schedule

Someone with autism has to establish and follow a schedule. Consistency is often beneficial for autistic children. They could retreat or become uncooperative for the activity or occasion if anything out of the ordinary happens. To keep a routine consistent from one location and one school year to the next, parents, caregivers, and educators must all collaborate.

A step-by-step manual for creating a routine is provided by the specialists at the Marcus Autism Center, but it may also be used in a classroom context. 

  1. List the stages of a task you want your kid to perform and identify each phase.
  2. Create a schedule by following the instructions. Choose a timetable format that your youngster responds well to, such as a pictorial essay, task list, or video model.
  3. Use timers or alarms to announce the start of the schedule or to assign each phase a certain amount of time.
  4. Throughout the routine, refer to the timetable. Provide encouragement or other rewards for following instructions.
  5. Be dependable. Every time, carry out the whole process.

Again, this method for establishing and maintaining a routine with autistic people may be used everywhere, not only at home. 

5. Utilizing cues that are based on visuals

According to the Autism Speaks organization, the visually-based cues that are a part of the TEACCH Approach are designed to supplement the verbal information provided by an educator, caregiver, or therapist. The visual information could be written on paper or on a computer. It could also be drawings or graphics, such as a picture of a shirt on a bin so that the child knows that shirts go in the bin.

For children with autism, particularly those who are nonverbal or less vocal than typical children, visuals may be quite useful. Visuals may be utilized for any purpose, including reviewing expectations, serving as a reminder, facilitating student expression of emotions, signaling the need to switch tasks, or rewarding good conduct. 

Conclusion to Key Principles of the TEACCH Approach

A person who wants to work with children who have autism should understand each of these five major principles of the TEACCH Approach. While this method might not be the best one for every child who has autism, it is still a useful tool to know, and it could be a good one to try before moving on to other education and behavioral modification techniques. Familiarity with these five key principles of the TEACCH Approach is essential to educators, psychologists, and others who work with children who are on the autism spectrum

Jennifer Cerny

Northeastern State University offers the Master of Education degree.

Disorders of Behavior and Learning | Georgia State University

September 2021 update


The “criticism of the teacch approach” is a principle that was introduced by TEACCH, which has been criticized for not being able to help autistic children.

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