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TEACCH and autism? anybody have any experience of this?

(19 Posts)

my ds (3) who has ASD is starting his pre school in august and they use TEACCH apparently.

i have never really read anything much about it in relation to autism. all the books i read and many threads on here talk about ABA and floortime. in fact, the little i have read about TEACCH seems to be suggesting that it is mainly to help teachers control classes, and doesn't appear to move autistic children forward very much.

does anyone have any good or bad experiences to tell me?

and while i'm on, does anyone recommend a good book about learning ABA methods, as i've a feeling i'm gonna have to do it myself.!

cocolepew Mon 15-Jun-09 20:28:54

I work in a TEACCH class and it helps the children to know what is happening during the day and makes the transition from one activity to another smoother and less stressful.

so it is not actually a method of teaching them skills? (sorry, excuse my ignorance)

cocolepew Mon 15-Jun-09 20:47:57

It's a series of diffrent cards with symbols, pictures or words, on them. They are used in a schedule for the activities that will be happening that day, we have schedules up to break, dinner and bus home, The pupil looks at the card and 'posts' it at their workstation.

HelensMelons Mon 15-Jun-09 21:09:05

They use this in my DS's school and encourage it's use at home as well. It works brilliantly - it gives my DS total security about what he is doing during the day, when he is doing it, what comes next, etc - it takes the stress out of not knowing and the difficulty of moving from one task to another. It has been a very positive experience for us. I would recommend going on the TEACHH training if you are offered it. We have been on it and it makes sense.

Val2009 Tue 16-Jun-09 00:53:35

TEACCH works great for us.

tiredmummyoftwo Tue 16-Jun-09 07:22:26

I have just ordered 'parents guide to becoming an ABA therapist' (sorry can't rememeber the exact name, but it is along that line, this is the only one came up when I did my search on amazon and had a five star rating from parents). Unfortunately, I still haven't received it and I will get it around 11th July when friends come to visit). If you are still looking, I willl let you know what I think of it.

Seuss Tue 16-Jun-09 10:58:27

My ds's school use it too. I think it's quite good that they have to check themselves what's next - quite a useful skill in itself. We do similar at home when ds is having stressful times and it works well.

sickofsocalledexperts Tue 16-Jun-09 12:18:21

We tried TEACCH for 2 years and found it pretty nigh useless. ABA (or VB, which we use) is far better and there is research out there to prove its effectiveness (not the case with TEACCH). I've been lobbying the govt that we should swap over wholesale to ABA in this country, as they do in the US, as it seems crazy to use TEACCH when it simply isn't getting the results. I found it a one-trick pony - visual timetable (which by the way only really helps kids who need structure or who are anxious), pictures for evverything else and lots of exercises for completion on trays. I am quite bitter about how little my DS learned during the 2 years of (v expensive) TEACCH he got at a pre-school nursery. The best book on VB imho is the VB-Mapp set - which you get on line. It gives you a really good idea of the stesp to take to break down each target into achievable goals. Good luck, and sorry to those who believe in TEACCH, but as someone who's tried both in some detail, and read the research, I really don't think there's any contest with ABA (VB) for both speech development and behaviour management. My boy is even reading now and coping (accompanied) in mainstream: I simply don't believe he would have got there if we'd stuck with TEACCH.

FioFio Tue 16-Jun-09 13:07:23

Message withdrawn

thank you guys for all the info.

i am thinking that i will probably go with the preschool methods in the morning, and try and set up some ABA at home in the afternoon. although i contacted PEACH today and they advised ABA should be done consistently in both settings (but i dont think i could afford it). i think i will probably have to learn and do it myself.

sickof how did you go about setting up VB for your child? did you do it yourself or hire people? how often and for how long did you do it? and finally, (!) how much did it cost?


sickofsocalledexperts Tue 16-Jun-09 19:53:54

I did mornings at pre-school and pms ABA pills, so I think you have a good plan. Do not be put off by Peach - the trouble is that there is so much antagnosim between TEACCH and ABA that both sides will say you must do it their way 100% of the time. ABA will also say that you must do it 40 hours a week, but that is bollocks. I did it 3 hours each am, weekdays only, and still do in fact. Looking back, I wish I had found a way to get my son into a mainstream pre-school (accompanied) and then do ABA in the pm. The TEACCH school gave him some idea of classroom protocols, but that is about it. The first thing to do is to find a supervisor or at least a lead tutor. Look on the VB/ABA community website or just google ABA tutors available as there are other sites. I was lucky as got my supervisor recommended by another mum and he happened to have sessions available. He brought with him two other tutors, but over the years I have also found and trained up my own (students, nannies, friends etc). A tutor costs between £10 and £25 an hour (the latter is supervisor, though think that rate may have gone up since I started). The basic truth is that it costs a lot! But, if you can pay for it yourself for a while, then you may be able to make a case to your LEA that it is a "suitable" learning method for your DS, and hence may be lucky to get at least part-funding (which is what we got). The other thing is that if you get just one tutor, plus the VB Mapp book, you can train up other people (nannies websites provided good candidates, plus friends of friends looking for work) and do some yourself. I was never a formal tutor myself, but I have done loads of stuff with my DS, incl. teaching him the alphabet and then to read. It is a big journey, but it is so worth it. Where are you based?

i am in argyll in scotland. in a small town, about an hour or so from glasgow (including a ferry journey).

not exactly at the heart of things!

but it is encouraging to hear that you think it is worth it.

sickofsocalledexperts Tue 16-Jun-09 20:17:12

Other mums are sometimes a good source of tutors, pills, as they know about kids already so all you need to teach them is the ABA bit. You'd be surprised how many ABA tutors there are around, you might find some nearby. It is so worth it - I have quite a large network of pals with autistic kids, and I can absolutely see better progress in those having ABA than those having TEACCH. The other thing is that TEACCH doesn't really have any solutions to bad behaviours, except "redirecting" - which basically gets you no-where as the minute you don't redirect, the bad behaviour is still there. ABA gave me the techniques I needed to socialise my little boy and get rid of his aggression and other anti-social behaviours.
I find much about TEACCH, and the establishment view in general of autism, very patronising : "poor wee thing, of course he needs to bite and hit and spend the whole day licking a mirror, it's his autism the poor love." My view is that my boy needs to join this world, and learn to be around mainstream kids/adults who are the majority, rather than me pander to the autism. There will be cries of horror from some people at this view, but frankly when I am no longer here, I want my boy to have the best possible chance of an independent life, rather than life in some rundown institution where the staff see him just as a problem. My ABA tutors say that the establishment prefers TEACCH because a) it's easier for the practitioners to do and b) it's cheaper, as it's not one-to-one. You will find that LEAs etc will try to put you off ABA, telling you for instance that it is robotic, as a) they don't understand it and haven't bothered to go and see up to date ABA sessions (there was bad press about old style ABA methods many years ago) and b) they can't ever afford to admit it's effective, as the cost of providing it to every autistic kids under the present regime would be prohibitive. Which is all my long-winded way of telling you that you may have a fight on your hands, but it's one that will ultimately benefit your DS greatly.

bubblagirl Tue 16-Jun-09 20:27:25

i have no idea about ABA at all keep meaning to look into this but my ds has the picture cards and works really well with him at home and school his very visual so this is great and his understanding is now at a level of grasping now and next and instructions of whats expected and whats coming

any info on ABA id be interested in in case this could be more beneficial for ds

cyberseraphim Wed 17-Jun-09 12:29:51

pills - The VB tutor I use has a client in Dunoon atm so may be able to help (though not full time). You can contact her at - she said it was ok to pass her email on

I have reservations about TEACCH too though think it is mainly down to how it is used. I think it can be used to schedule purposeful and meaningful learning, or can be used to schedule nothing very much. So don't dismiss it out of hand until you have seen what happens on the ground.

cyber! i have actually checked out ruths website and emailed her, and think i will probably get her to do an initial assessment.

how long have you been doing VB? and how are you finding it? do you feel your child is progressing?

i am still not entirely sure of the difference between VB and ABA ?

cyberseraphim Fri 19-Jun-09 07:29:05

We have been doing VB for about 3 months now and I am very pleased with the results. We had been doing informal play therapy for a year at a local hospital (also very happy with their program) and felt it was time to move on to something more structured - DS1 is 5. I find it helpful to have a plan - VB MAPP to work from and to have some goals to work towards. Ruth's style is to blend play with the VB and we do 2-3 1.5 hour sessions a week. Funding is Self Funding though DLA helps a bit and is not expensive by private SALT standards. Ruth is very experienced and I would recommend her very highly.

I asked the same question about ABA/VB a while back - I will search out the discussion from the archives and post a link for you.

cyberseraphim Fri 19-Jun-09 07:31:27


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