Structuring the environments

Report
Using Visuals and Work Systems to add Structure to the Environment
STRUCTURING THE ENVIRONMENT
INTRODUCTION

Structuring the teaching environment creates a
visual environment that:
 “Speaks”
to the person with ASD
 Supports the person’s behavior
 Supports the person’s independent learning
WHAT IS STRUCTURED TEACHING?
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Structured teaching is an approach to behavior
management
Structured teaching manages and manipulates the
environment to promote better communication
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It teaches organizational skills
It is based upon the communication level of the student
It involves the physical structure of the environment
Contains clearly delineated schedules
Utilizes individual work systems with visually clear
task orientation
 (Schopler, Mesibov, & Hearsey, 1995)
STRUCTURED TEACHING: WHY?
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Structuring the teaching adds predictability and
consistency to:
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daily routines
Workstation routines
Transitions throughout the day
Structuring the teaching environment creates a visual
environment that:
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Helps the person with ASD understand
Helps the person with ASD be calm
 When we understand our environment we are not so
agitated
Helps the person with ASD achieve independence
Helps to develop skills
Helps as a proactive approach to behavior management
STRUCTURED TEACHING COMPONENTS
Physical structure
 Visual schedules
 Errorless learning activities
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PHYSICAL STRUCTURE
PHYSICAL STRUCTURE
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Refers to the way we set up and organize the classroom
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Overall room organization
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Centers or work stations/systems
One-to-one instruction area
Small group instruction area
Large group instruction area
Clear physical & visual boundaries
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The student with ASD needs to visually “see” what type of learning
takes place in each area.
Furniture and room dividers
Tape on floor
Carpet squares
Minimize visual & auditory distractions
PHYSICAL STRUCTURE

Workstation Arrangements
0
sided workstations
 1 sided workstations
 2 sided workstations
 3 sided workstations
 4 sided workstations
WORKSTATION ANSWERS

Answer these questions for the person with
ASD
 What
work?
 How much work?
 When am I finished?
 What happens next?
VISUAL STRUCTURE
WITHIN WORKSTATIONS
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Arrangements within the workstations
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Left to right
Top to bottom
Workstation schedule
Materials define the tasks
Picture jigs
Written instructions
Products samples
VISUAL SCHEDULES
VISUAL SCHEDULES
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Individual schedules tell students

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Types of visual schedules
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Where they should be
What activity they should be doing
When they will be done with this activity
What they will do next
Transition object
Single picture/photo
Picture/word cards
Written cards/written lists
Formatting

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Stationary vs. portable
Top to bottom
Left to right
ERRORLESS LEARNING ACTIVITIES
LEARNING ACTIVITIES
TEACCH’s work systems create a systematic
way for students with ASD to receive and
understand information
 Review of 4 key questions

 What
do I do?
 How much do I do?
 How will I know I am finished?
 What do I do when I am finished?
LEARNING ACTIVITIES CONTINUED
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Physical arrangement in work station
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Left to right
Top to bottom
Defined “finished” area
Typical work system activities:
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Matching (colors, numbers, letters, etc.)
Sorting (functional items)
Coallating (functional items)
Teach concept of “finished”
Teach concept of “first ______, then _____”
TASKS
Begin with skills he/she comes with
 Build the work with accomplished skills
 Look at skills to begin teaching in the 1 to 1
workstation

ONGOING ASSESSMENT
Data Collection Form
Name:
Date:
Observer:
Classroom:
Start time:
Stop time:
Mark your activities in which the child participated each day as V for verbal prompt, P for
pointing/gesturing prompt, HoH for hand over hand prompt, or I for independent (no
prompts).
Workstation
Activities
Mon.
Tues.
Weds.
Thurs.
Fri.
Comments
MODIFYING WORKSTATION ACTIVITIES
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Set a mastery target for each workstation activity
(100% accuracy at an automatic level for 4 out of 5
consecutive days)
Modify activity once master is met
Generalize activity series to new settings

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Other workstations
Natural environment
INTRODUCING NEW WORKSTATION ACTIVITIES
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As students shows mastery of 3 or more variations on
current workstation activity transfer it to a new setting
and replace with a new activity in the current setting
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Extend on them off current activities
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Move from 1 to 1 to independent
Move from independent to regular classroom
Move from regular classroom to home setting
All sorting, matching, etc.
Functional
WORKSTATIONS IN OTHER SETTINGS

Workstations can and should occur in many of the
following settings.
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Special education classrooms
1 to 1 workstations
 Independent workstations
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General education classrooms
Other school settings
In the home (bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, dining room, etc.)
In the community (church, job, etc.)
PARENT COMMUNICATION & INVOLVEMENT
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TEACCH Parent Logs
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1. Keep them positive:
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2. Describe the full day:
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Parents like to hear about their child’s accomplishments and good traits;
talk about things that delight you and make the child adorable.
Give parents a brief run down of the full day, not just part of it.
3. Share one thing learned:

Educate the parents. Include at least one thing learned about their child.
Report constructive things that have potential for helping. The issue is not
whether it is good or bad, but that it is reported positively and furthers
knowledge about the child.
PARENT COMMUNICATION & INVOLVEMENT
(CONT.)
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TEACCH Parent Logs (Cont.)
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4. Describe the difficulties:

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Talk about the child’s problems and the difficulties presented in
class. Parents know their child has problems; they tend to suffer
more when protected by well meaning professionals who withhold
information, than when they are treated as equals who can help
solve problems.
5. Tell how you managed/taught:

Parents want answers! Be sure to include descriptions of anything
you find effective, as well as why it works. If you know parents
concerns, definitely include information you have relative to their
concerns.
PARENT COMMUNICATION & INVOLVEMENT
(CONT.)
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TEACCH Parent Logs (Cont.)
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6. Send home material:
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If you develop visual devices that work, send them home along with
the explanations of how they were used. Written descriptions are
appreciated, but if parents don’t have time to make materials, then
they often remain written descriptions. Having devices in hand may
help a parent become a parent-teacher.
7. Ask for feedback:

Nothing helps the collaborative relationship more than having the
educational “experts” genuinely ask parents (the REAL experts) for
help. These parents can help you avoid things that have already
been tried or obviously won’t work.
PARENT COMMUNICATION & INVOLVEMENT
(CONT.)
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TEACCH Structured Teaching Model
Parent Log Components:
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1. Summarize the day
2. Educate about an area of difficulty
3. Describe it
4. Explain it
5. What did I do about it?
6. What worked? What didn’t work?
7. Ask the questions at the end
8. Write in a positive, constructive way
FINAL THOUGHTS
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The workstation, particularly in conjunction with
the individual schedule is a powerful
intervention for people with ASD.
 Creates
familiarity and predictability to a wide
variety of activities
 Can build flexibility – activities change but the
system remains the same
 Teaches the “first. . . then. . .” concept
FINAL THOUGHTS
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Workstation activities can be higher level – they need to merely
be at the independent level for the person with ASD
The key to structuring the environment is to:
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Create a physical structure with clearly defined boundaries that will
facilitate independent, 1 to 1, small and large group learning
Design individual daily schedules for your students with ASD
Design learning activities that include errorless independent learning

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