TOTAL COMMUNICATION (TC)
Total Communication (TC) is a specialized program, that offers an intensive educational platform and utilizes Evidence Based Practices. Total Communication serves students who are Pre-Kindergarten through age 22, primarily hold eligibility for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and other developmental disorders, such as Intellectual Disabilities. Students receiving services in Total Communication typically require highly structured and individualized intervention for the development of functional communication skills and socially appropriate behaviors. Intervention includes, but is not limited to: social skills instruction, TEACCH®, also known as Structured Teaching, is a program that primarily focuses on work systems, visual schedules/supports, and is intended to expand expressive and receptive communication. Students with Autism and some students with Intellectual Disabilities benefit from components outlined in TEACCH®. The program also encompasses Quality Indicators and Fidelity Checklists.
The Total Communication program has a lower staff to student ratio than is available in less restrictive environments and has smaller class sizes. Interpersonal and learning supports are developed and used to actively engage students through meaningful and purposeful routines and activities. Individual progress and active participation is regularly measured and documented to determine the effectiveness of interventions or the need for adjustments to the student’s program.
Placement into the Total Communication Program is an IEP team decision and is based on specific student needs and discussion regarding the placement that can meet those needs most appropriately. The decision is made after a thorough review of the IEP components which may include present levels of performance, goals/objectives, accommodations, modifications, supplementary aids and services, state and district assessments, behavior intervention plans and behavioral data, teacher and parental input/observations, and results from any previous evaluations.
The Total Communication program utilizes components of general education, when appropriate, to implement IEP goals and objectives. In addition, teachers implement the N2Y Learning platform, which is aligned to TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) standards. Teachers also incorporate, when appropriate, other district approved supplemental platforms of learning such as Vizzle. Teachers also apply principles based on those of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) when appropriate.
Program Initiatives: TEACCH® Program
The Total Communication (TC) program utilizes the TEACCH® system, also referred to as Structured Teaching. The University of North Carolina TEACCH® Autism Program creates and disseminates community-based services, training programs, and research to enhance the quality of life for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families across the lifespan. Their vision includes a world where all individuals with ASD and their families have access to excellent evidence-based services in their home communities.
TEACCH® Core Values:
With colleagues, community partners, individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and their families served, the TEACCH® program will:
- Demonstrate a commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others.
- Create a culture of collaboration and partnership, where everyone is respected and valued.
- Deliver excellence through innovative and responsive practices.
- Appreciate the unique strengths of every individual.
- Emphasize the importance of continuous lifelong learning.