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Hi Janice,

sorry to hear that it sounds as though you’ve had a bad experience of TEACCH in an educational setting and I appreciate you may have found it ineffective for your child. However I am concerned and would be interested to find out why you are so vehemently against it, why to feel it is ‘damaging’ to children with ASD and what alternative you would promote.

Whilst it can have a limited effect with some children I have certainly never found it to be damaging to any child i have ever worked with.

The Team I work for support parents in introducing TEACCH based interventions to the home environment and have found it to be extremely successful in the vast majority of cases. TEACCH is often mis-represented as a school based approach, as you seem to be suggesting, but this is certainly not the case. If used appropriately in the home parents CAN see a change for the better in their child’s behaviour, understanding, consentration and, as importantly, they feel empowered and back in control. It can encourage self-esteem in both the young person with ASD and the parent.

I accept what you are saying about other interventions in school but we have found when TEACCH is not working in schools it is because it is no being used correctly.

I have to disagree with you when you say that parents do not ‘beg for TEACCH’ in the way they do other interventions as this is simply not true. I know a number of parents who have gone to great lengths to battle with SENCo’s LEAs etc. to enable their child to have access to TEACCH provision in mainstream settings as well as in Special schools.

You seem to be very concerned about the amount of money that people are making out of TEACCH and would be interested to know what sums of money you are talking about and whether this is more than parents would have to pay for other interventions. For example I know of a number of parents who have looked into other approaches and have found the cost of introducing them at home to be too expensive for them, as a family, to commit to.

I think it is unrealisitic to suggest that parents can opt for whatever type of intervention they choose in school. This surely would not be workable. You would end up with teachers dabbling in a variety of sensible and weird and whacky approaches without being able to specialise and develop to a highly professional level in any one of them.

You seem to say that TEACCH was decided on a whim as the approach to use when teaching children with ASD. Obviously I cannot speak for other counties but I know that in this county the decision was made by a multiagency team who spent time visiting and assessing different provisions and interventions before deciding on TEACCH.

I am saddned that, as a parent of someone with ASD, you do feel so vehemently against TEACCH and wonder if you have had a bad experience with the intervention or whether it just wasn’t right for your child.