Encouraging Social Communication and Emotional Regulation through Transactional Supports

Program Overview

Student eating lunch and smiling

The SCERTS® Model (Prizant, Wetherby, Rubin, Laurent and Rydell, 2006) is a research-based educational approach and multidisciplinary framework that directly addresses the core challenges people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and related disabilities and their families face.

It provides a comprehensive approach to effectively support students in different social environments by prioritizing goals in social communication, emotional regulation, and transactional supports.  Transactional supports include interpersonal and learning supports, as well as support to families.

The SCERTS Model involves a carefully coordinated multidisciplinary approach to assessment and educational programming that includes educators, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and behavior therapists.

The SCERTS Model provides a systematic method that ensures that specific skills and appropriate supports are selected and applied in a consistent manner across a student’s day. This process allows families and educational teams to draw from a wide range of effective practices that build on the students’ existing knowledge and abilities, providing a coordinated program to address the core challenges of persons with ASD and related disorders.

Why SCERTS Makes Sense for the League School

Learning about signs

We believe that the SCERTS Model augments both the philosophy and approach of the school’s existing program. SCERTS is a framework that enhances existing teaching methodologies by providing a consistent focus on the key challenges facing people with Autism, proven support techniques for both educators and families, a common language, and a research-based assessment.


Specifically, the League School chose the SCERTS Model because:

  • It fit naturally into our current programming, which emphasizes contextual learning and a team approach.
  • We can effectively integrate it into a myriad of teaching methods we currently use at the school, including the ABA and the TEACCH Model, to improve student outcomes.
  • It supports our “eclectic approach,” which uses different teaching methodologies, strategies and techniques to best meet the needs of each individual student. It provides a framework under which a variety of teaching approaches can be used.
  • It offers a comprehensive assessment process to help teams more accurately measure a student’s progress and identify necessary supports that all partners can use with the student.
  • It enhances the school’s curriculum by providing a common language/vocabulary to use throughout the school and our community.
  • It is consistent with our heritage of strong family involvement – the school was founded by two families with children with Autism. The model encourages family involvement, offering family members the supports they need to address the challenges they face.

What Distinguishes the SCERTS Model from Other Programs?

The SCERTS Model prioritizes social communication and emotional regulation skills to best support persons with Autism. These skills are the foundation upon which our students learn how to be effective, well-regulated communicators in order to productively engage throughout their day. The SCERTS Model encourages teaching these skills in the context of natural routines to promote generalization. This model utilizes observations of students at different times and in a variety of settings to provide a holistic view of the students, allowing us to develop meaningful and specific goals and objectives. The SCERTS Model is research-based and further supports its approach by providing manuals outlining proven program planning, assessment, and intervention techniques.

For More Information About SCERTS

Or visit the official SCERTS Website at www.scerts.com.