Welcome to the WikiEdit

Welcome to the world of treatment possibilities for teaching/educating children with autism! Learn about different options that will work best for you.Edit

Teaching a child with autism can be difficult and challenging. But there is good news! There are many different types of methodologies used to teach children with autism. This Wiki hopes to provide current methodologies along with research to help inform its readers of their options. It can be a scary and overwhelming time when trying to decide what approach or technique to take when teaching a child who has autism. Please add your knowledge.Edit

The Reading and Writing ProgramEdit

Who developed it: Nina Watthen LovaasEdit

How did it get developed: One of the cornerstones and goals in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is the development and training of the vocal language of children with autism. However, some of these children have trouble learning verbal imitation. For example: You are trying to get the child to say apple. You verbally instruct the child to imitate you, so you say: "Say Apple". However the verbal instruction was lost on the child, s/he was not able to verbally repeat the word back to you. Therefore if the child has difficulty with learning verbal imitation the consequence is a learning barrier. This was observed by the Lovaas Institute for Early Intervention (LIFE) and it was there that The Reading and Writing Program was developed. It was observed that the children who did not benefit from the traditional ABA-program were in fact visually very strong, for example; able to put together puzzles that were a level higher than their developmental age would suggest, ability to remember routes to the store, school, or home. Therefore if the children were visually strong they thought it would help to use a visual form of teaching because this way the instruction would not disappear. Let's go back to the apple example. If you say "Say apple" and the child was not able to repeat it back to you the instruction is then essentially lost on the child at this point. If it was a written instruction the child could look at it and it would still be there. After observing the difference Nina Watthen-Lovaas and others decided that a writings could be helpful for a child in learning how to read, type and discriminate. Edit

What is The Reading and Writing Program?:Edit


Who developed it: Eric Shopler

What is TEACCH?

TEACCH stands for "Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication handicapped Children. TEACCH was developed by Eric Shopler at the University of North Carolina in the early 1970's. TEACCH focuses on teaching functional skills to children with Autism by creating a plan based on the child's individual needs, skills, and interests. TEACCH also provides clinical evaluations, parent training, support groups, and social play/recreation groups for children in the program.

When the TEACCH program started it was a parent and child psychoanalysis group. It rapidly transformed into a skill-based approach that relied upon strong parent-professional collaboration. Structured teaching combined with the use of visual materials and a stress-free environment are used to help children aquire new skills.

Helpful resources:


Founder: Dr. Stanley Greenspan

The idea behind 'floortime' is Dr. Greenspan's belief that emotions give us meaning for what we experience in life, and these emotions guide our actions. The child with autism needs to be drawn out of their own world and encouraged to interact with others. With the floortime approach the child can learn social interaction while having fun at the same time because the exercises are based on the child's interests. The four goals that therapists and parents work on with this floortime approach are: encouraging attention and intimacy, two-way communication, encouraging the expression and use of ideas and feelings, and logical thought. So far this approach has been effective in helping children with autism relate to others.

Here are a few helpful websites on "Floortime":

Here are two interesting videos:

Video: Circles of Communication

Video: Dr. Stanley Greenspan, founder of Floortime Speaks

Sensory and Diet Intervention

It is understood that children with ASD need treatment that attempt to avoid certain types of sensations as well as seek certain ones that are preferred in order to balance their nervous system. There are interventions to improve behaviors and skills by helping children with ASD learn how to cope and process via sensory. The sensory stimulation hat they are being given and to help them understand where their bodies are and how to balance by touch.

These are videos on sensory interventions as well sa very educational and informative, as it is made by a therapist who deal with working with autistic children:,com/watch?v=qtszqdr4GW4&feature=related,com/watch?v=rfOov_bSwXg&feature=related

This is a website that can be used to help parents educate themselves as well:

With children with ASD it is possible that their systems are not processing essential nutrients properly and therefore need o be on a specific diet. There may be a high level of mercury or toxic metals, and allergies that are affecting them. Gluten-free and Casein-free works well with clients who have allergies or a toxic response to gluten and casain. When a client is allergic to them they can have reactions such as diarrhea, constipation hyperactivity, red face or ears, and pale skin. This treatment is not harmful, and is something that the parent can have control over, and there are many cook books available that can help any parent making this shift in diet.

This is a great website or parents to sue when learning more about this diet:


Who started it?

Following his study of “operant conditioning” and his book The Behavior of Organisms, B.F. Skinner developed his theory of ABA. His theory is based on the idea that all behavior is learned and therefore has an antecedent (something that happens before the behavior) and a consequence (something that happens as a result or after the behavior). In this way, behavior can be shaped by both the positive and negative consequences of the behavior. The consequence is what serves as a motivator to either change or maintain the given behavior. A good example of this for most adults would be the paycheck (positive consequence) they receive after a long work week. Adults work because they get a paycheck. If they stopped getting a paycheck, they would likely lose motivation to work and stop working.

What is ABA?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is one of the most researched and proven methods of teaching children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Within this teaching method, certain skills are targeted; specific to the child’s need, and taught in a systematic way. The skill is broken into multiple steps and then taught step by step to the child. Moving on to the next step would require the mastery of the first step and so on. Learning a new skill might initially be difficult for the child, and ABA provides strategies to help the child be successful in the acquisition process. Such methods include prompting, or guiding the child through the desired response, shaping (reinforcing closer approximations of the desired response) and rewarding for the desired response. ABA has been widely used to teach children of varying abilities and can assist in teaching multiple skill areas such as academics, speech and language development, self-help, and the development of socially appropriate behavior.

ABA Service Providers&nbsp

Autism Partnership

Ron Leaf, Ph.D., and John McEachin, Ph.D

200 Marina Dr.

Seal Beach, CA 90740

Phone: 562)431-9293; Fax: 562)431-8386



Life Institute

Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas


Books About ABA

A Work in Progress: Behavior Management Strategies and a Curriculum for Intensive Behavioral Treatment of Autism by Ron Leaf, Ph.D., and John McEachin, Ph.D.

Sense and Nonsense in the Behavioral Treatment of Autism: It Has To Be Said by Ron Leaf, Ph.D., John McEachin, Ph.D., and Mitchell Taubman, Ph.D.