Home Forums TEACCH DISCUSSION FORUM Peer -reviewed research on the efficacy of TEACCH Re: Peer -reviewed research on the efficacy of TEACCH

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I am the parent of a 15-year-old girl with Aspergers Syndrome. She was briefly at an lea secondary special school using Teacch and is now home educated. I think that the “belief” or non-belief of Teacch in a cure for autism is a red herring. What is important is the consequences of that belief in practical action. Teacch believes in adapting the environment of the school to fit the child. It believes that this autistic child needs a low-stimulation environment with visual timetables and rigid routine for reassurance. This can be problematic in various ways. Firstly we have the cookie-cutter problem. In a context in which it is platitudinously said that “all children with autism are different” it seems a bit odd to find a programme based on the idea that they are all broadly the same. Secondly this approach is at odds with what is generally conceived as education. Mainstream education aims to change the child to fit the demands of the world. We can argue about whether this is desirable but it is so. It is odd to find a programme which does not share this aim being presented as schooling. Parents differ in their attitudes and some do not wish their special needs child to take part in the world outside special education. They want separate development within a special needs world. For them teacch, which does not aim to modify the behaviour of the child, will be acceptable. The danger is that students handled using teacch will not develop the skills needed to manage in a non-teacch world. They must remain within the special needs world all their lives. Teacch is cheap for local authorities to implement because its emphasis on non-change means less intensive learning. A lack of joined-up thinking is stopping councils from recognising the long term costs in care and social services from the implementation of Teacch in special schools.