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Friday 15 Dec 2017

NEW TeachTown®: Social Skills Curriculum for Children with Special Needs & Autism

Animated Video Modeling Curriculum Teaches Students Essential Behavior and Social Skills, Including Prevention of Bullying, for Optimal Classroom Learning

Press Release February 10, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA – TeachTown, Inc. is an innovative education company that develops learning products for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, (ASD) speech and language impairments, developmental delays, and other special needs. TeachTown has just released a unique, early prevention video modeling-based curriculum called TeachTown®: Social Skills.

“Finally, a curriculum that helps children, in their formative years, learn how to cope and interact with others, including school bullies,” said Rachel Palmer, a teacher in Los Angeles. “This program comes at a time when autism and bullying are prevalent topics in schools today. The program is fun for students and includes everything a teacher could wish for to engage and instruct children on important skills they’ll need in school and for a lifetime. We love it!”

TeachTown®: Social Skills is a classroom-tested curriculum that integrates engaging animated characters to teach socially valid skills for optimal classroom learning and school safety. Five volumes roll out this year with the first volume, “Following Rules” available now.  Additional volumes 2 -5 will cover Self-Regulation and Coping, Interpersonal Skills, Friendship and Good Communication and are due to release in early spring.

“Following Rules” teaches 10 lessons within 10 animated episodes (short videos). Each episode is centered on a main theme to build student confidence and to help students make good decisions. Lessons include why it’s important: to raise their hand before speaking in class; listen to what the teacher says; follow fire drill instructions; use lunchtime manners; and use a calmer voice inside. Lessons emphasize bullying prevention, peer relationships and related educational skills such as expressive language, motor skills, vocabulary, word recognition, pronunciation and spelling.  Each volume includes a curriculum binder filled with lessons, activities, and take-home worksheets. A lesson takes approximately 20 minutes, including a 2 to 3 minute video. A datasheet accompanies each lesson for teachers to assess and collect pre-post information on student behavior and progress. Lessons also include:

  • Ideas for differentiated instruction to provide individualized or whole-class learning
  • Character catch-phrases and songs for repetitive auditory cues and sustainable learning
  • Worksheets and classroom activities designed to augment and practice important skills
  • Homework assignments that include a comic book activity to be used at teacher’s discretion

TeachTown®: Social Skills was designed by a team of autism experts and researchers led by Dr. Christina Whalen, PhD, BCBA-D, Chief Science Officer of TeachTown, who co-founded the company while working at the University of Washington Autism Center. The team of experts include: Dr. Shannon Cernich, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Dr. Lauren Franke, PsyD,CCC/SLP, Melinda Docter, Ed.D and Molly K. Rearick, MS. They are joined by Dan Feshbach, creator of Animated Speech Corporation who has a son with autism and Terry Thoren, a gifted animation storyteller who helped to bring the Rugrats to global blockbuster prominence.

“New research shows that early prevention initiatives are effective to strengthen a child’s emotional confidence and coping skills and to suppress anti-social or aggressive behavior,” said Dr. Christina Whalen, CSO of TeachTown. “This program is ideal to help students learn how to socially fit in and to achieve higher learning outcomes who are now being served in the least restrictive learning environments as recommended by IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).”

A television with DVD player is required for animated episodes and a CD drive or CD player for the music portion. Visit or call 1-800-283-0165 to request a quote and to learn more about this outstanding company and its quality educational and animated programs.

About TeachTown, Inc.

TeachTown, Inc. is an innovative education company that develops world-class computer aided instruction and new media products to address the needs of schools, families, and clinicians serving students with autism and other special needs. The company has developed two educational programs for children with ASD and special needs: TeachTown®: Basics and TeachTown®: Social Skills.  The programs are based on curriculum that uses evidence-based best practices from Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Speech and Language Pathology therapy, and developmental psychology to teach a wide range of meaningful educational, social and behavioral skills. TeachTown offers the first and only software and video modeling-based program for students with autism that combine a rigorous curricula with broadcast quality animation. Research supporting the TeachTown curriculum was funded by grants from the National Center for Technology Innovation of the U.S. Department of Education.

Research References

Connolly, I. & O’Moore, M. (2003) Personality and family relations of children who bully.  Personality and Individual Differences 35(3), 559-567

Lynch, K.B., Geller, S.R., & Schmidt, M.G. (2005) Multi-year evaluation of the effectiveness of a resilience-based prevention program for young children. The Journal of Primary Prevention 24(3), 335-353.

Raising Healthy Children, Volume 82, Issue 1, pages 405–432, January/February 2011 – A new report published in the peer-reviewed journal Child Development, researchers led by Joseph A. Durlak, a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Chicago, found that students who took part in social and emotional learning, or SEL, programs improved in grades and standardized-test scores by 11 percentile points compared with nonparticipating students.  Students also demonstrated greater social skills, less emotional stress, better attitudes, and fewer conduct problems.

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