The SCERTS Model

The SCERTS Model is a comprehensive, educational approach and multidisciplinary framework that addresses the core challenges faced by children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and related disabilities. The model is derived from a theoretical and research-based foundation on communication and social-emotional development in children with and without special needs.

The SCERTS Model was developed to address the critical need for a comprehensive multidisciplinary team model for children with ASD that addresses educational priorities based on the most current research on ASD. For children with ASD and related social-communicative disabilities and their families, it prioritizes goals and implements practices that focus on enhancing:

                 Social Communication

                 Emotional Regulation

                 Transactional Supports

The SCERTS Model is based on research and practice that indicates that educational programming should focus on:

  • Developing spontaneous, functional communication and secure, trusting relationships with children and adults (Social Communication)
  • Enhancing the ability to maintain a well-regulated emotional state for learning and interacting (Emotional Regulation)
  • Supporting children, their families, and professionals to maximize positive social experiences across home, school and community settings (Transactional Support).

The SCERTS Model focuses on functional skills in everyday activities across settings, and is supported by research on the unique learning style of children with ASD. It is not an exclusive approach, in that it provides a framework in which practices from other approaches may be integrated. Assessment occurs through observation of children in different settings and different partners using a detailed curriculum-based assessment and parent report. The SCERTS Model can be used with children of varying ages as well as a wide range developmental abilities, including both pre-verbal and verbal children. It also is relevant for older school age children and adults. Particular emphasis is given to parent-professional collaboration and careful coordination across all settings and partners.
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