Friday, 30 December 2011


So while I am procrastinating desperately avoiding my medium term planning which is lingering over me I thought I would try and do something that I haven't yet done despite my blog title which is tell you about TEACCH.

I am a TEACCH teacher in Sheffield and have set the approach up form scratch with a class of mixed SLD students.

TEACCH stands for 'treatment and education of autistic and communication related handicapped children' which is awfully long winded and old fashioned (the word handicapped isn't a nice one!). However I love the approach and having worked in classes that used it before securing my current role I was confident in how to set up and maintain the approach.

Simply it is a structured teaching approach designed for students who are autistic and more information can be found at the web address below. But essentially there is loads of visual support and a nice mix of individual an group work times. Each session (of which there are 3 in a day) has a very repetitive structure and in my class we do independent work, choice (the reward for the work), circle and group (which is the national curriculum subjects) and then reward (to reward the circle and group work). I use my IEP's to inform my individual work programs which are completed independently and repeated twice a day until complete.

I am not saying that the approach I take is true TEACCH, I have adapted it so that all students are taking part in each activity at the same time to make it easier for me and my team to manage. I will try and add some photos of my class layout (as this is very important) or at least the old room.

The main difference in the way I use TEACCH compared to the traditional American program is that my class is mixed SLD and is not just made up of Autistic students. I find that it is particularly useful for students who have ADHD and there are even some physical difficulties in there (I have therefore adapted the system further).

I have also done some work on setting up an individual TEACCH system within a mainstream school class, here we had to think of ways to integrate students in the class while providing them their own spaces to work with appropriate levels of visual support. The key to this was timers! We used plenty of timers for students to complete work pieces in a work booth while the rest of the class completed the same work at group work tables. Students then usually returned to group work situations, this meant that the forced interaction was limited and more suited to these specific students!

more info and hopefully pictures to come. Look up 'work tasks' for some of the tasks that I have used and the ways they have been presented!

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