Using TEACCH At Home:
Specific Instructions

Specific Instructions

1.  When it is time to work, say, "Time to work" and lead the child to the work area. When the child needs a break say, "Time to play" and lead the child to a play area.  Try to finish a task before taking a break.

2.  Try to keep the child seated until you tell him "Time to play."

3.  For each task, remove the materials from the work basket at the child's left and place them on the table in front of him or her. Only have out the materials needed for the work you are doing. Keep all your other materials handy but out of the child's line of sight.

4.  Be sure you have the child's attention before attempting to show him what you want him or her to do. Before beginning a task say, "Get ready," "Quiet hands," "Quiet feet," "Quiet mouth," "Look at me." You can model and/or assist the child with what these terms mean (quiet hands = hands in lap not fidgeting; quiet feet = feet flat on the floor; quiet mouth = no sounds coming out of mouth.)

5.  If the object, instruction, or concept is new, help the child through it. Name the object clearly or demonstrate the action or concept slowly and clearly.

6.  If he or she will not follow through with an activity, have him go through it with your assistance (i.e. physically assist the child hand-over-hand) and then praise him or her for cooperating.

7.  Reinforcements will be used liberally in the beginning so your child will realize that good things occur if he or she complies with your request. As he or she begins to see the intrinsic rewards in the tasks (such as your saying 'good job' or giving the child your attention, etc.), reinforcers should be gradually reduced. Initially, you will want to give a reinforcer every time he or she complies with a request. After a little while, go to giving a reinforcer every other time, then every two or three times and then randomly without following any kind of pattern. This intermittent reinforcement is the most sustaining because the child doesn't know when he or she will actually get a reward for compliance. It keeps the child on his or her toes just like slot machines (that also work on intermittent reinforcement) do for adults.

8.  As each task is completed, say "All done" or "finished," and place the materials in another basket at the child's right. If the child is distracted by the materials being in view, you can set the completed materials on the floor.

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All rights reserved. Updated November 2, 1999. Homeschooling Kids With Disabilities