TEACCH Centers have been instituted in the Sargent Center Day School lower and upper schools. This has been a methodology traditionally contained to pre- and early learning special needs classrooms. Sargent Center is demonstrating that this form of task-orientation has positively impacted transitioning the school day for children with autism and related disorders not just for scheduling but also for subject matter across academics, vocational training and community integration.
TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children) is the nation’s first program of its type for the treatment of children with autism and related disorders. It is a functional approach which uses a visual structure to emphasize students’ strengths in memorization. The Sargent Center TEACCH models provide a structured physical environment, a daily schedule and a clear work system or ‘to do’ list. These three key features of TEACCH give students confidence to apply skills to situations outside their comfort zone. Students can take learning experiences and apply them beyond the classroom, into the home and community.
With support from a grant from The Champlin Foundations, a professional carpenter created shelves to our exact specifications. This allowed us to outfit the entire day school of seven classrooms and a large vocational unit with TEACCH furnishings and materials. We were able to create highly specialized stations in each classroom so that as students transition from one grade level to the next, they are consistently learning and applying aspects of the TEACCH method. Each classroom has at least two TEACCH stations. The tasks that are completed at these stations are intended to improve academic reading, math, and fine motor skills in a manner that is predictable for students who thrive on structure. Upper school students who are involved in pre-vocational and job training are using the TEACCH model to complete tasks related to job skills (i.e. sorting, quality control, measuring, weighing, and packaging).
In all, the Sargent Day School has 32 complete TEACCH stations.