Treatment and education of autistic and related communication handicapped children (TEACCH) is an evidence-based service, training, and research program for individuals of all ages and skill levels with autism spectrum disorders. Founded in 1966 by Eric Schopler at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, TEACCH provides training and services geared to helping autistic children and their families cope with the condition. With over 40 years of experience of working with autistic people, TEACCH methodology continues to evolve, refining its approach. TEACCH runs conferences in North Carolina and organizes programs throughout the USA and in the UK.
TEACCH has been running for several decades and a range of studies indicates that it is an effective intervention for autism, although the studies did not meet all the criteria to qualify TEACCH unreservedly as evidence based practice.
Concerns have been raised about the influence on intervention outcomes from staff member skills and experience.
|“||Structured teaching is an important priority because of the TEACCH research and experience that structure fits the "culture of autism" more effectively than any other techniques we have observed. Organising the physical environment, developing schedules and work systems, making expectations clear and explicit, and using visual materials have been effective ways of developing skills and allowing people with autism to use these skills independently of direct adult prompting and cueing. These priorities are especially important for students with autism who are frequently held back by their inability to work independently in a variety of situations. Structured teaching says nothing about where people with autism should be educated; this is a decision based on the skills and needs of each individual student. Some can work effectively and benefit from regular educational programs, while others will need special classrooms for part or all of the day where the physical environment, curriculum and personnel can be organised and manipulated to reflect individual needs.||”|