The SCERTS® Model (Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Supports Model)

This model offers a comprehensive educational program for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or related challenges. It was developed by Barry Prizant, PhD, CCC-SLP; in collaboration with Amy Wetherby, PhD, CCC-SLP; Emily Rubin, MS, CCC-SLP and Amy Laurent, EdM, OTR/L in the 1990’s.

The SCERTS® Model has been informed by research in the fields of applied behavior analysis (ABA), developmental psychology, speech‐language pathology, special education, neurodevelopmental science and occupational therapy. The focus is on helping the child with an ASD, or other challenges, become a competent and confident social communicator, while proactively reducing problem behaviors that interfere with learning and relationship building. The SCERTS® model involves a team approach, incorporating families, educators and therapists working together across home, school and the community for optimum success.

SCERTS® defines itself as a lifespan model and can be used from the time of initial diagnosis (typically early childhood) throughout the school years and beyond, including vocational settings. It is for children and older individuals with a range of abilities and developmental challenges. A SCERTS® program begins with a comprehensive assessment of the individual’s baseline, which in turn informs the goals and necessary supports to be used for the child and by “social partners” (parents, caregivers, teachers, therapists).

Core values include:

  • Creating functional, meaningful and developmentally appropriate goals and objectives
  • Respecting interests and motivations with individual differences in a child’s style of learning 
  • Understanding and respecting culture and lifestyle of the family
  • Engaging the child in meaningful and purposeful activities throughout the day
  • Developing and using transactional supports consistently across partners, activities and environments
  • Systematically charting progress over time, with quarterly team re-assessment to shape new objectives

Watch Barry M. Prizant, PhD

Link to website for more information.