And i forgot to add, when i see peer reviewed research noting positive outcomes of teacch in terms of “progress” as compared to children in different programs, i might change my mind, as might other parents.
The word “progress” has many connotations and is used willy nilly regarding our children in iep’s by teachers in general. Progress as compared to what? We need proof and evidence to determine what progress is.
A child who could not talk at the age of 4 who can say one word at 15 can be said to be making “progress”, but what happened in the 11 years between is how we measure progress, what were the expectations, how were they measured, compared to the intended goals and objectives for each year?
How did the child fare compared to his peers?
This is where autism and how it affects each child differently simply does not fit into the teacch model. Teacch is a model set up specifically to teach autistic children. It begs the question, what is an autistic child??
It also begs the question, why teacch has not evolved over the years. Its outdated, its ethos concering our children is insulting.
I know a LOT of parents with children on the autistic spectrum. They would not be insulted if i said to them that they are simply unaware of what teacch is really about. Yes there are the parents who involve themselves in the philosophy of teacch and understand it, but equally there are thousands of parents who do not. Its a safe bet that if you ask the average parent whose child goes to school in a teacch facility that they will not be able to tell you what teacch really means, neither the acronym or its ethos.
Particulary in areas of social deprivation throughout the UK, you have parents who do not have the resources to even think about anything else for their children because the information simply is not available. ABA schools do not exist in Govan, or Mosside. Parents couldnt afford it. Alternative educatio for our chidren is in the main, restricted to those who can afford it and who are willing to fight for it. Not being able to afford appropriate education for children with ASD is not an excuse for not being able to access it.
Teacch sets our kids up to fail. It does not provide a socialisation program nor does it provide a language program. It condemns children to a life of routine, sequencing and isolation. Many children in the teacch programs simply should not be there and will never be given the change to pursue their academic and social lives to the fullest.
Gary Mesibov and co have a lot to answer for. Thankfully though parents are becoming more and more vocal in what they want for their children, and they want the best. Teacch does not fit that bill, never did.
I am a parent, i have first hand experience of teacch, and i know of what i speak. I can remember other parents who collected their children from the teacch facility asking me why i was pulling my child from the school, particularly because it was “free”.
I told them, nothing in this world is for free, and my child deserves the best i can offer. i didnt say this to make them feel bad about their economic situation. I said it so that maybe they would think about joining me. One of them did. We both run programs now at home together with the local mainstream school and this mum is very thankful we had those initial conversations. her child is going into mainstream school next year after a 2 yrs of home ABA tutoring. Now THAT is progress.