What is TEACCH?

The TEACCH® Autism Program is a clinical, training, and research program based at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. TEACCH was developed by Dr. Eric Schopler and Dr. Robert Reichler in the 1960s. It was established as a statewide program in 1972 and has become a model for other programs around the world.

TEACCH uses a method called “Structured TEACCHing.” This is based on the unique learning needs of people with ASD, including:

  • Strengths in visual information processing
  • Difficulties with social communication, attention and executive function

Structured TEACCHing provides strategies and tools for teachers to use in the classroom. These help students with autism to achieve educational and therapeutic goals.  The Structured TEACCHing approach focuses on:

  • External organizational supports to address challenges with attention and executive function
  • Visual and/or written information to supplement verbal communication
  • Structured support for social communication

This method supports meaningful engagement in activities. It also works to increase students’ flexibility, independence, and self-efficacy.

Structured TEACCHing strategies can be used alongside other approaches and therapies.

What Does TEACCH Look Like?

TEACCH programs are usually applied in a classroom setting. TEACCH-based home programs are also available. Parents work with professionals as co-therapists for their children so that they can continue to use TEACCH techniques at home.

Structured TEACCHing uses organization and supports in the classroom environment to help students learn best. This includes:

  1. Physical organization
  2. Individualized schedules
  3. Work (Activity) systems
  4. Visual structure of materials in tasks and activities

Who Provides Services?

TEACCH methods are used by a variety of autism professionals:

  • Special education teachers
  • Residential care providers
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Speech therapists

To become trained, professionals must go through a certification program offered by the TEACCH Autism Program in North Carolina. Trainings are offered both online and in-person on the TEACCH campus.

The program includes two certification levels, Practitioner and Advanced Consultant.

Visit the TEACCH website for more information on training and certification.

What is the evidence that TEACCH works?

2011 review of more than 150 autism-intervention studies found that the TEACCH program had the strongest evidence of educational benefits of any recognized program. These benefits included improved learning (cognition) and motor skills.

Other studies found benefits of using TEACCH strategies in residential and employment programs for adults with autism.

Is it covered by insurance?

TEACCH is an educational approach. In most cases is not covered by private insurance because it is offered in a school setting. Students can receive TEACCH services in school, and adults in some residential or vocational programs. Some services provided through TEACCH Autism Centers in NC may be covered by insurance.

Where do I find a provider trained in TEACCH?

Search the Autism Directory to find TEACCH-trained professionals in your area.

Visit the TEACCH Autism Program website to locate TEACCH regional centers in North Carolina.

For More Information

TEACCH Autism Program website