Introducing the SCERTS
framework
Information for family/whānau and educators
Adapted from: Hawke’s Bay Early Intervention Team presentation 2010
Handout 1.2
Objectives of presentation
To understand why we have chosen the
SCERTS framework
To introduce the key elements of the SCERTS
framework
To show how the SCERTS framework links with
ASD and Te Whāriki
AND
Working together as a team
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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
Children with a diagnosis of ASD have delays or
difficulties in:
the development of communication
the development of social relationships
play and imagination
Many young children with ASD under- or overreact to sensory information
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SCERTS…
Is an assessment and programming framework for
children with autism and/or developmental needs.
Acknowledges that most learning during childhood
takes place “…in the social context of daily activities
and experiences” - therefore everyday, natural
routines in the home and early childhood setting are
used
Acknowledges that caregivers and familiar adults
play an important part in supporting the child’s
learning.
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SCERTS
a framework for working with
children with autism
spectrum disorder
Social
Emotional
Communication Regulation
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Transactional
Supports
SCERTS communication stages
The assessment is based on the child's
communication stage:
Social Partner – the child may or may not
communicate intentionally using gestures and
vocalisations
Language Partner – the child is communicating
using words, gestures and/or symbols
Conversational Partner – the child uses words,
phrases and sentences. They are learning about
conversations
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SCERTS
Social Communication
• The goal for all children is to become competent
and confident communicators so they can be part
of social activities and learning
• Children who communicate effectively have
more opportunities for play and learning and are
more able to enjoy social relationships
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Social Communication
Goals are targeted in
Joint Attention
The ability to share attention,
emotion and intention with others
Symbol Use
The ability to understand and use
objects, pictures, words or signs
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SCERTS
Emotional Regulation
• the ability to attend to, process and filter
environmental and sensory information
• the ability to stay focussed, engaged and being
able to adapt to different situations
When children are emotionally well regulated they
are ready and ‘available’ for learning
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Emotional Regulation
Mutual regulation –
the child’s ability
to respond to others using strategies
to help them regulate
Self regulation –
strategies used by the child to self
regulate
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SCERTS
Transactional Support
• the planned supports and strategies that are
used to help the child participate and learn
• the supports and strategies are used when
working on the child’s goals in Social
Communication and Emotional Regulation
• support to families and to the team
Transactional supports are often referred to as
the “adult” goals
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Transactional Support includes
 Interpersonal Support - the
strategies used by adults when
interacting with the child e.g.,
using gesture
Learning Support – the
environment, routines and
activities are structured to
encourage social communication
and emotional regulation, e.g.
modifying an activity to ensure
success for the child
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Interpersonal support
An adult partner needs to
 be responsive
- notice and respond to child’s
attempts to communicate
 foster initiation
- offer choices
 set the stage for engagement
- be at the child’s level
 adjust the amount of language
used
- use simple sentences
 model appropriate behaviour
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Learning supports
Structured activities e.g. clear
beginning and end to the activity
Visual supports - to organise the
day
Using motivating toys and
activities
Adjustments to activities so that
the child has success
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How SCERTS fits with Te Whāriki
principles
Te Whāriki principles
SCERTS framework
Whakamana
Empowerment
Social Communication and
Emotional Regulation
Nga Hononga
Transactional Supports
Relationships
Whanau Tangata
Family and Community
provide context for learning
Family & Community
Kotahitanga
Holistic Development
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All domains of development
are interrelated
The team can use SCERTS to:
• assess the child’s strengths and needs in the areas that
children with ASD have most difficulty
• set goals for the child in social communication and emotional
regulation for home and the early childhood setting
• plan activities that are meaningful and purposeful, at home
and at the early childhood setting
• provide a balance of free play and structured activities.
• identify the transaction support the communication partner
will use (the adult goals)
• monitor a child’s progress
• ensure that we share successes and challenges and support
each other
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References
Prizant, B. M., Wetherby, E. R., Laurent, A. C., &
Rydell, P. J. (2006). The SCERTS™ Model: A
comprehensive educational approach for children
with autism spectrum disorders (Volume 1)
Assessment. Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co:
Baltimore, USA.
http://www.asdineducation.org.nz
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Introducing SCERTS Information for families