SCERTS is an educational model for working with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families. It provides specific guidelines for helping a child become a competent and confident social communicator, while preventing problem behaviors that interfere with learning and the development of relationships. It is also designed to help families, educators and therapists work cooperatively as a team, in a carefully coordinated manner, to maximize progress in supporting a child. According to the SCERTS website, http://www.scerts.com/, the acronym “SCERTS” refers to the focus on:
“SC” – Social Communication – the development of spontaneous, functional communication, emotional expression, and secure and trusting relationships with children and adults;
“ER” – Emotional Regulation – the development of the ability to maintain a well-regulated emotional state to cope with everyday stress, and to be most available for learning and interacting;
“TS” – Transactional Support – the development and implementation of supports to help partners respond to the child’s needs and interests, modify and adapt the environment, and provide tools to enhance learning (e.g., picture communication, written schedules, and sensory supports). Specific plans are also developed to provide educational and emotional support to families, and to foster teamwork among professionals.
The SCERTS Model can be used with children and older individuals across a range of developmental abilities, including nonverbal and verbal individuals. It is a lifespan model that can be used from initial diagnosis, throughout the school years, and beyond. It can be adapted to meet the unique demands of different social settings for younger and older individuals with ASD including home, school, community, and ultimately vocational settings.
The SERTS Model collaborators include the team of Barry Prizant, Amy Wetherby, Emily Rubin, and Amy Laurent, who have training in Speech-Language Pathology, Special Education, Behavioral and Developmental Psychology, Occupational Therapy and Family-Centered Practice.
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