What is Structured Teaching?
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).
Students with autism benefit from visual structure when completing new and familiar tasks. Verbal instructions are difficult for an individual with autism to process and retain as language is transient, whereas visual structure is non-transient, will increase clarity of the task and removes the need for the student to process verbal language. Importantly, it also increases independence and generalization skills.
Aims of Stuctured Tasks:
- To remove/reduce the need for verbal instruction
- To provide visual clarification of what is to be done
- To show when a task is complete
- To increase independance
- To increase participation
- To reduce anxiety
- To teach target skills and
- To help with generalization
Structured tasks should not be limited to the independent work desk or to one-to-one teaching times; structure should be extended to all daily activities in all settings.