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In this Autism East Midlands blog Independent Living Lead, Mark Stocken informs us of how Sutherland House School are embedding TEACCH into everyday teaching.

Sutherland House School are working hard to embed Autism evidenced based interventions by using TEACCH independent work structures. It features on this year’s school development plan and all staff have received training from the clinical team to support them.

What is TEACCH?

TEACCH is an approach that tries to respond to the needs of autistic people using the best available approaches and methods known for educating and teaching autonomy. It is not a single method and can be used alongside other approaches.

What are the TEACCH values?

Teaching – sharing autism knowledge and increasing the skill level of professionals and practitioners.
Expanding – increasing own knowledge to provide high-quality services to autistic people and their families.
Appreciating – appreciating the strengths and uniqueness of autistic culture.
Collaborating and Cooperating with colleagues, other professionals, people on the autism spectrum and their families.
Holistic – adopting a holistic approach, looking at the person, their family and community.

What are the TEACCH priorities?

Some of the TEACCH Autism Program priorities are:
• focusing on the person, their skills, interests and needs
• understanding the ‘culture of autism’ and identifying differences based on individualised assessments
• using visual structures to organise the environment and tasks when teaching skills
• being broad-based, ie support people at work, teach skills but also ensure that people are supported during leisure and/or social activities
• being flexible and teaching flexibility.

The TEACCH principles and techniques may always need to be in place for someone, but they may look very different at different stages of the person’s life.

I must admit at the start there was a lot of work involved but once it was up and running things just came together and the students took to it quite well, I use this system in cooking and independent living which has a relaxed environment now the system has been introduced.
The folders I use are what we call a working folder, as changes are made quite frequent to support our students progress in independency.
The TEACCH system is being used across the school in many lessons and is a real success.