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Structured Teaching

At NSA all teaching teams implement structured teaching.

Structured Teaching is an intervention approach developed by TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication handicapped Children) from the University of North Carolina. It is a teaching framework with 40 years of research behind it and is based on teaching to the “Culture of Autism”. Research has shown that students/children with ASD have a different psycho-educational profile.

Structured teaching addresses:

  • Organisation of the physical environment
  • Use of individual schedules
  • Promotion of independent skills
  • Ways to provide information visually


Teaching & Learning Protocols

Northern School for Autism (NSA) strives to be a centre of excellence. Students are supported towards developing their personal and educational potential so as to be valued contributors to family and community life. In line with the school’s pedagogical philosophy, the leadership team have developed Teaching and Learning Protocols to promote a consistent educational approach across NSA.

As a student at Northern School for Autism I have an expectation that you, my teacher, will:

Develop a positive relationship with me:
  • Talk to me in a respectful and calm manner.
  • Plan activities and tasks to accommodate my visual learning style.
  • Know what toys or activities motivate me.
  • Set clear boundaries so that I know how to work and play with other children in a friendly way.
  • Do not speak about me to others in front of me.
  • Tell me what I need to do, not what not to do.

Provide me with a classroom that is structured and organised:
  • With clear expectations for me to follow.
  • That has a defined start and finish to activities.
  • So that my toys and activities and materials are presented in a way that I am able to organise and manage them.
  • With clearly defined working areas.
  • With limited distractions including, visual, auditory and movement.
  • Without messy clutter around the room.

Provide me with an educational program that:
  • Ensures my communication system is always accessible to me and that I use it regularly throughout the day and you extend my ability.
  • Allows time for me to process your verbal and visual instructions.
  • Meets my individual needs (cognitive, sensory and communicative) and increases my skills.
  • Ensures my learning activities are at my developmental level.
  • Builds in the recommendations of leading teachers, the occupational therapist and speech therapist.
  • Builds my independence to allow me to manage myself as an individual, and, in relation to others.