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Structured teaching units for students with autism spectrum disorders


What are Structured Teaching Units

They are not, in any situation, plus a school class. All students have a reference attending class, taking advantage of Structured Teaching Units as a teaching resource of specialized schools or school clusters. These are a response to students with specific educational autism spectrum disorders and can be created at any level.

The teaching is structured in one of the most important aspects of teaching TEACCH model. The TEACCH model was the result of a research project which aimed to teach parents behavioral techniques and methods of special education to respond to the needs of children with autism. The philosophy of this model's main goal is to help the child with ASD to grow and improve their performance and adaptive capacities in order to achieve maximum independence throughout life. This model is flexible enough to suit the way you think and learn from these children / young people and allows the teacher to find the most appropriate strategies to meet the needs of each.
Through structured teaching is possible:
- Provide a clear and objective information of the routines;
- Maintain a calm and predictable;
- Meet the student's sensitivity to sensory stimuli;
- Propose daily tasks that the student is able to perform;
- Promoting autonomy.

Physical Structure
The physical structure is how to organize and present environment of space or teaching / learning. This should be structured so visually clear, with well defined borders and areas, allowing the student to obtain information and organize autonomously as possible, is essential for ensuring stability and foster learning.
The clear delineation of the different areas helps the student with ASD to better understand their environment and the relationship between the events, allowing you to more easily understand what is expected to hold in each of the spaces.

1 - transition area
2 - meeting
3 - learn
4 - work
5 - play
6 - working group
7 - computer

In Structured Teaching Unit can be created different areas. The existing space and the needs of students are at the base of the structure of space and the creation of which is deemed necessary.

Organisation of Time

The time organizes time and simultaneously is an effective support for communication and for the internalization of concepts. It is a way to provide students with the notion of sequence, showing you what will perform throughout the day, helping you in anticipation and prediction.

The time is made ​​on the basis of each student and can be adapted to various levels of functionality. Regardless of the functional level of each child / youth with ASD, the written word must be present at the times.

While the time inform the student about the sequence of activities that will occur throughout the day, the work plan indicates the tasks that has to perform in a given area. Must be adapted to the functional level of each student and presented from top to bottom or left to right, consisting of a reassuring routine which allows to acquire the notion of beginning middle and end.

Organization Area
The Transition Area is the amount where are the individual time that will guide the daily activities of each student. The visual cues provide information about where, when and what to do during the day or part of the day. You can plan a predictable way the many changes that occur throughout the day, helping students to overcome resistance to change or changes in routine, even in situations that may seem minor. Give students the notion of temporal sequence, facilitates the understanding of verbal orders, helps reduce behavior problems and develop autonomy.

The Learning Area is the area of ​​individualized instruction, clean distracter stimuli, which develops attention and concentration, while new skills and tasks are consolidated and worked with the student. Strategies are used demonstration, visual or verbal cues, physical assistance, positive reinforcement and also activities that meet the interests of the student.
The work plan should be visible (in the table) and the symbols that are presented on the boards of the assigned tasks, previously organized.

It is the area in which the student intends to perform activities independently learned. Each student must have their area of ​​work. Again, there is a work plan that transmits visual information to the student about what to do and what the sequence (each tray must correspond to a task with all the material necessary for its realization).

This is an area designed to develop activities, ensuring the planning and structure, promote communication and social interaction. The meeting may take place at various times of day, since all or most students are in the unit.

It is the area in which the entire group can work together to develop. Priority is given to the development of expressive activities such as music, arts and other, group games.

It is the place for:
- learn to relax;
- to short waiting times;
- allow esteriotipia;
- learn to play (in the presence of adult);
- working symbolic play.

This area can be used independently, with help, or in partnership, learning to wait, to give time and run a shared activity.

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