This module will define structured teaching and offer strategies for implementing the components of structured teaching at home, school, work, and in the community. Structured teaching is an approach to help individuals with autism understand their environment and daily activities using their visual mode, which is usually their strongest modality.
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Structured teaching is a visually based approach to creating highly structured environments that support individuals with autism.
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What are the facets of structured teaching?
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Structured teaching is only used in the school environment.
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Structured teaching environments can only be constructed by trained personnel.
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Complete the following statement: Structured environments allow individuals with ASD to ...
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Choose the correct word. Which word means visually structured sequences that provide opportunities to practice previously taught skills, concepts, or activities?
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Choose the correct word. Which word means the use of visual supports such as furniture, labels, icons, etc., to make environments comprehensible and manageable?
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Choose the correct word. Which word means tasks that are highly organized and incorporate visual instructions?
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Choose the correct word. Which word means a visual representation of planned activities in the order in which they will occur using symbols, words, pictures, photographs, icons, or actual objects?
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Choose the correct word. Which word means in combination with visual schedules, assist individuals in understanding the environment and in becoming more flexible?
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What is Structured Teaching?
Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) thrive in well-organized, highly structured environments. Structured environments are those environments that promote a clear understanding of the schedules, activities, and expectations for both the individuals with autism and their caregivers (teachers, parents, etc.). Specifically, structured environments are environments that allow individuals with ASD to:
understand and predict what is happening in their environments
generalize skills from one setting to another (Iovannone, Dunlap, Huber, & Kincaid, 2003).
Structured teaching is a visually based approach to creating highly structured environments that support individuals with autism in a variety of educational, community, and home/living settings (Mesibov, Shea, & Schopler, 2005). Structured teaching is associated with the Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication Handicapped CHildren (TEACCH) (Schopler, Mesibov, & Hearsey, 1995). The goal is to create an environment that promotes independence (i.e., decreased need for adult support) by incorporating an understanding of the characteristics of autism and the strengths and interests of each individual (Mesibov et al., 2005). Visual supports and external organization serve as the basis for the interventions in a structured environment. For more information on the use of visual supports, click here to complete the Autism Internet Module on Visual Supports.
There are five major components to structured teaching, including physical organization/visual boundaries, schedules, routines, work systems, and task organization. Each of these areas will be discussed in the following sections.