Autism schools are beginning to pop up around the country. The following specific programs have been developed for persons with autism:
• TEACCH is a program developed in North Carolina and is used statewide for people with autism. It encompasses many different theories and techniques to develop an individualized program for each person with autism. The underlying principle is that the environment should be adapted for the person with autism, not the other way around. This program focuses less on changing specific behaviors and more on providing the child with the skills needed to understand his or her environment and communicate his or her needs.
•Floor time is an approach that helps the child with autism progress on the natural developmental ladder. It is based on the theory that children cannot progress to advanced learning until they have completed all the required steps of this ladder, and that children with autism have not completed the ladder.
• Social stories is an approach that uses stories to teach children social skills. In each story, a person is faced with a situation or event; the story is intended to help the child with autism understand the thoughts and emotions of the person in the story. This helps the child develop an understanding of the appropriate or expected response to the situation. The stories are tailored to the individual and often include music and illustrations.
It is important that skills learned at school are generalized outside the classroom setting. Thus, programs for children with autism must include the family and be coordinated across the child's home and community.
More on schools to come. Check back later.
Autism Schools - Behavioral Therapies
Autism Home Page