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A Review of the TEACCH Method for Autism Treatment

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A Review of the TEACCH
Method for Autism Treatment
Jennifer Cheselka
and
Svetlana Vigdorchik
Caldwell College
What is TEACCH?
Treatment and
Education of
Autistic and
Related
Communication-handicapped
CHildren
TEACCH Mission Statement
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To enable individuals with autism to function as meaningfully
and as independently as possible in the community;
To provide exemplary services throughout North Carolina to
individuals with autism and their families and those who serve
and support them;
As a member of the University community, to generate
knowledge; to integrate clinical services with relevant theory
and research; and to disseminate information about theory,
practice, and research on autism through training and
publications locally, nationally and internationally.
http://www.teacch.com
TEACCH Program
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Dr. Eric Schopler (1927-2006)
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Gary Mesibov
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Developed the “culture of autism”
Current Director of TEACCH
Worked with Schopler for 32 years
Nine TEACCH centers across the state
CLLC for adults
Administrative and research section
Characteristics of the TEACCH
Program
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Statewide (based in North Carolina)
Comprehensive
Community based
Emphasis on family involvement
TEACCH philosophy
Funding
The TEACCH Method
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Provides a family-centered evidence based
practice for autism that is person-centered
and individualized
- Based on theoretical conceptualization of
autism
- Supported by empirical research and
clinical expertise
Services Provided by TEACCH
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Diagnostic Evaluations
Individualized Curriculum
Social Skills Training
Vocational Training
Parent Counseling and Training
Diagnostic Evaluations
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One hour interview or screening session with
staff psychoeducational therapist
Staff referral meeting
Full evaluation (unless family feels clear
about diagnosis and wants to begin clinic
teaching sessions)
Standard Assessment
Team Includes:
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A clinical psychologist
Three psychoeducational therapists
A pediatrician
Formal Testing Included in the
Assessment Process
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Wechsler Preschool and Primary
Psychoeducational Profile (PEP-R, Schopler)
Autism Diagnostic Interview
Vineland
Childhood Autism Rating Scale
Individualized Curriculum Based on
Structured Teaching Recognizes:
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Each child with autism is unique
Diverse family situations
Differences in cognitive, social and language
levels of each child
Social Skills Training Utilizing
Individualized and Group Instruction
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Individual interests
Highly structured groups
Typically developing peers
Conversational guidelines
Vocational Training
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Farming
Supported Employment
Parent Counseling and Training
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Teaches parents to understand the nature of
autism spectrum disorders
Provides approaches to skill development
and behavior management
Identifies and facilitates individualized
intervention
Introduces parent to a supportive, welcoming
network
The TEACCH Program Describes
Deficits of Autism as:
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Receptive language
Expressive language
Sequential memory
Organization
Controlling Behavior
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Social skills
Hypersensitivity to
sensory input
Distractibility
What is Structured Teaching?
Features of structured teaching:
• Physical organization
• Scheduling
• Teaching method
Physical Organization
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Size of the room
Lighting
Location of the bathroom
Number of and access to electrical outlets
What other classrooms/students are near by
Physical Organization
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Specific areas for learning specific tasks
Making boundaries
Making materials easily accessible
Individualization
Classroom Layout for
Younger Students
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Learning areas for :
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Play
Individual and independent work
Snack
Developing self-help skills
Cubbyholes/special boxes
Teacher areas
Example of a Preschool
Classroom Layout
Lord, C., Marcus, L. & Schopler, E.
Classroom Layout for
Older Students
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Areas for:
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Leisure
Workshop
Domestic skills
Self help areas
Individual teaching
Time-out areas
Lockers
Teacher’s area
Other Considerations for Classroom
Layout
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Eliminate Distractions
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Blinds/cardboard taped over windows
Place work areas near shelves or storage
cabinets
Blank walls
Other Considerations for Classroom
Layout
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Make Clear Boundaries by using
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Rugs
Bookshelves
Partitions
Tape over the floor
Arrangement of tables
Other Considerations for Classroom
Layout
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Materials should be clearly marked by using:
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Pictures
Color coding
Numbers or symbols
Schedules
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Should be:
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Clear
Purposeful
Consistent
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Purpose:
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To organize and predict
To help transition
independently from
activity to activity
Two Types of Schedules
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General overall classroom schedule
Individual schedule
Location
Format
Arrangement
Examples of Daily Schedules
Lord, C., Marcus, L. & Schopler, E.
Teaching Method
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Providing verbal directions
for tasks:
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Having the child’s attention
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Eye contact
Body orientation
Verbal response
Stopping other activities
Minimizing amount of
language used
Accompanying verbal
directions with gestures
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Nonverbal cues for tasks:
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Visual cues using pictures
Written instruction
Teaching Method
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Prompts for new tasks:
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Physical
Verbal
Visual
Gestural
Modeling
Situational
Teaching Method
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Present prompts systematically:
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Clear
Consistent
Provide prompts before the student responds
incorrectly
Reinforcement
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Tangibles:
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Food
Toys
Activities
Tokens
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Social rewards:
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Praise
Smiles
Hugs
Reinforcement
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Used systematically
Individualized
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Type of reinforcement
Frequency
Immediately following behavior
Reinforcer assessment
Research Supporting Project TEACCH
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Evaluation of treatment for autistic children and
their parents. (Schopler, Mesibov & Baker 1982)
Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry
- 657 past and present students in Project
TEACCH
- 50% of the participants diagnosed as having
autism
- the remainder of the participants were
diagnosed as having an unspecified
communication disorder
Green, Luce & Maurice 1996
Research Supporting Project TEACCH
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Schopler, Mesibov & Baker 1982 (con’t)
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Parent questionnaires were sent to the
participants homes
348 (53%) were returned
Most respondents indicated that project TEACCH
was helpful
The study found an institutional rate of 7% for the
adolescents and adults with autism
Green, Luce & Maurice 1996
Research Supporting Project TEACCH
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Limitations of the Schopler, Mesibov & Baker 1982
study
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Wide range of participants
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Almost half without a diagnosis of autism
Some toddlers
Other adults
Procedure for assigning participants was not described
Not clear whether questionnaires were anonymous
Cause for lower institutionalization rate was unclear
Green, Luce & Maurice 1996
Research Supporting Project TEACCH
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Effectiveness of a home program intervention
for young children with autism. (Cathcart and
Ozonoff 1998)
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
- two groups containing 11 participants
- one treatment group
- one no-treatment control group
Research Supporting Project TEACCH
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Cathcart and Ozonoff 1998 (con’t)
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Treatment group
Provided with approximately four months of home
programming focusing on cognitive, academic and
prevocational skills
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PEP-R
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Non-treatment group
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Tested at the same four month interval using the PEP-R
Research Supporting Project TEACCH
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Limitations of the Cathcart and Ozonoff 1998
study
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Children were not assigned randomly to the
treatment or control groups
Examiners administering the dependent
measures were not blind to group assignment
Dependent measure was created by the founder
of the TEACCH program
Research Supporting Project TEACCH
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Commitment to philosophy, teacher efficacy,
and burnout among teachers of children with
autism. (Harris, Jennet & Mesibov 2003)
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
- Compared teachers who use Applied Behavior
Analysis to those who used the TEACCH method
Research Supporting Project TEACCH
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Harris, Jennet & Mesibov 2003 (con’t)
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Participants completed:
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The Autism Treatment Philosophy Questionnaire
Teacher Efficacy Scale
Maslach Burnout Inventory
Results indicated a significant difference in
philosophical commitment between groups and
no differences in teaching efficacy and burnout
Research Supporting Project TEACCH
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Limitations of the Harris, Jannett & Mesibov
2003 study
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Number and content of items representing the
philosophies of both approaches was insufficient
No research to establish the scales reliability
Survey answers may have been biased
References
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Cathcart, K., & Ozonoff, S. (1998). Effectiveness of a home
program Intervention for young children with autism. Journal of
Autism and Developmental Disorders, 28, 25-32.
Division TEACCH. (July 1999). Information on autism.
Retrieved July 2007, from http://www.teacch.com.
Harris, S. L., Jennett, H. K. & Mesibov, G. B. (2003).
Commitment to philosophy, teacher efficacy, and burnout
among teachers of children with autism. Journal of Autism and
Developmental Disorders, 33(6), 583-593.
References
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Lord, C., Marcus, L. & Schopler, E. (2001). TEACCH services
for preschool children. In J.S. Handleman & S. L. Harris (Eds.),
Preschool educational programs for children with autism (pp.
215-232). Austin, TX: PRO-ED, inc.
Mesibov, G. B., Schopler, E. & Shea, V. (2006). The TEACCH
approach to autism spectrum disorders. New York, NY:
Springer.
Smith, T. (1996). Are other treatments effective?. In G. Green,
S.C. Luce (Co-eds.) & C. Maurice (Ed.). Behavioral intervention
for young children with autism: A manual for parents and
professionals (pp. 46-47). Austin, TX: PRO-ED inc.
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