Sam Brassington

TEACCH and Samantha Brassington

My story as an educator spans just over a decade. I have been a special Education teacher at Kalamunda ESC for the past 6 years, as a classroom teacher. I have always had a desire to teach students with disabilities and completed a four year Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood studies and Special Education. I worked for 3 years in an Education Support Centre in Perth then taught for another 3 years in the USA as part of a cultural teacher exchange program.

I was lucky to be sent to teach in the state of North Carolina in a little town called Lillington. It was there that I had my first experience of teaching students with autism and the TEACCH Program.

TEACCH is a statewide service for children and adults that runs out of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. The program assists families and educators in North Carolina with diagnosis, evaluations, education, training and supported work for adults with autism spectrum disorder.

The TEACCH philosophy is about "making the world make sense" for people with Autism. One of the key parts to teaching students with Autism is providing structures and routines in their lives. Visual cues play a major role in assisting our students to independently look and make sense of what they need to focus on, what to do and what comes next.

When I returned from the US I began work as a Visiting Teacher with the Autism Intervention team, however at the end of 2007 I decided that I really wanted to return to the classroom and I found a home at Kalamunda ESC.

The following year our numbers of students enrolling with Autism had increased and I approached my Principal about creating a TEACCH structured classroom. She agreed!

Now, in 2015 we have been successfully running our classes implementing TEACCH structures for the past 8 years.

2014 was an exciting year for Kalamunda Education Support Centre as we have just been recognized as a Distinctive School and have be delivering professional learning about TEACCH structures in our classrooms. We have been sharing our knowledge and expertise with 10 other schools throughout our state by delivering professional development to other staff.

In 2015 our project has been extended for another 6 months. Our school focus is all about sharing our knowledge with other schools. We are also building the capacity of our school staff through Team TEACCH groups. The Teams consist of a Teacher and 2 Education Assistant.

The Team for Term 1 and 3
Mrs Andrea Brooks
Mrs Lisa McLaughlin
Mrs Caroline Treloar

The Team for Term 2 and 4
Mrs Kerry Neale
Mrs Suzie Whitelaw
Mrs Tracy Gall

I am very excited about my new role as the Kindy Teacher and the Distinctive Schools Project Coordinator for 2015.

If you would like any further information about TEACCH or our school please feel free to contact me on 9293 4798.