Jayne, if you have a child with ASD i do not recall you mentioning that fact. Its the first thing parents of children with ASD mention as soon as they come to boards like this talking about children who ARE ASD.
I had personal experience of ASD well before i had a child with ASD. But unless you walk the road i do, with a child who is autistic, your “personal” experience and my daily life and knowledge of ASD will continue to be quite different.
You are right in attempting to close this discussion between yourself and me (at least) We are not going to agree. I have no vested interest in TEACCH, it does not pay my wages, it has never done anything but damage my child and there is no point arguing with you over it when you obviously can see merit in it and I cannot.
Which is why i came to this forum in the first place….to let other parents know that there are alternatives to teacch, much better alternatives..to let other parents know, if they dont know already, that teacch does not offer an academic curriculum to their children, keeps them wrapped up in the “cotton wool” of a teacch environment, and generally expects so little of them that their children may well lose out on life’s greatest opportunity, the opportunity to learn, to learn independently. TEACCH does not advocate limitless possibilities for our children.
TEACCH assumes autistic children have “potentials”. When i hear this kind of language regarding my boy, i shudder. Someone else, particularly a teacher who teaches teacch, will NEVER EVER know my child’s potential. However, that teacher may well damage my child’s “potential” by placing a self fulfilling prophesy on him and assuming he will only go “so far”.
It really really makes me ill and extraordinarily angry.
Again for parents who are not aware of what teacch really stands for, learn what the acronym means, try and find anecdotes from other parents whose children have been in teacch programs and make yourself aware of the underpinning “philosophy” that is teacch. Read about Eric Schopler and go the teacch website and carefully examine the words that are used regarding our children.
Funny, how kids with aspergers are not pushed into teacch programs, but our kids are. Because kids with aspergers are considered more “able”, this is verified by the fact that many of them attend mainstream schools.
teacch will ALWAYS keep your child in a “special” school, away from his peers and away from society until he or she turns 16 or 18 and then that child will continue to be YOUR responsibility, or a ward of the state. Unless you can replicate the teacch classroom at home and for the duration of your child’s life, be prepared to have a child who simply cannot cope.
Compare your child’s “teacch” curriculum to that of a child who is in mainstream school or even an ABA school. YOu will see a “sea” of difference.
There is no built in language or behaviour program in teacch, so whilst your child may “behave” and do what he is told at school, what is he really like at home? Even if you get rid of the schedules in his bedroom, what would he be like if you removed the schedules?
My boy doesnt need schedules. He was non verbal and totally without motivation or compliance a year ago. Now he has about 1000 words, is starting to use pragmatic speech and is in a mainstream school learning with his peers.
Why you ask? Because we never lost sight of the fact that he is a little boy first, and autistic 2nd. We never put a blanket ceiling on his “potential”. we dont use words like that. We knew right from the start we had a very bright boy, who could not speak and who was autistic. Had we felt sorry for him and placed him in a classroom with 7 other autistic non verbal children with ill trained aides and teachers with “attitude” he would not be where he is today.
Oh, i forgot, yeah we DID do that, out of our naivete. He regressed terribly for those six months. But we managed to get those six months back.
I am a parent. I have no vested interest in teacch. when the nice lady from the local teacch school comes a calling and tells you how wonderful it would be for your child to attend their purpose built facility, do yourself a favor and wait before you make any decisions.
Tell the nice lady that you want the best interventions for your child, interventions that are backed up by science and peer reviewed research. YOu want to see results of positive outcomes, and studies.
Sorry you won’t get this. What you will get is clap trap and then you will be told how “autistic” your child is, and that he really needs to be in a facility that “suits” him so that he is “happy”. You will be told your child’s “happiness” is paramount.
How happy will your child be in 2 or 3 years time when he still cannot talk, when he cannot function without a visual schedule, when he cant go to the local park on his own with friends because he has absolutely no danger awareness or social skills, or when he has no friends except those at his special school.
Your child’s future is ultimately up to YOU, the parent. I would never let a teacher, much less a teacher at a teacch facility try to brainwash me into thinking that teacch is “good” for my “autistic” boy.
Please please PLEASE just ask questions, if you are reading this. Put them in writing and expect answers.