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MODULE: Structured Work Systems

Can Structured Work Systems Be Used In The Community, At Home, Or With Adults?

Structured work systems can be used in any setting or to support any individual with ASD.  Moreover, any parent, family member, educator, or other support individual can create a work system to support an individual with ASD. Mesibov, Shea, & Schopler (2005) of Division TEACCH offer a list of examples for using work systems at home, in the community, or with adults. Examples include using a work system to:

  • ride the bus or subway
  • prepare a casserole
  • clean dishes while working in a restaurant
  • complete a toileting or hygiene routine
  • request food during a meal
  • complete a sequence of school activities
  • complete a sequence of therapy activities before going home.

In addition to the examples above, work systems can be used to facilitate participation in exercise or physical fitness activities, social activities such as bingo games, bowling, or cooking classes, and outdoor activities such as gardening. Because consistency and predictability are so important to individuals with autism (Scheuermann & Webber, 2002), once an individual understands the work system in one environment, the system can be used in other environments to promote independence and learning, and facilitate participation in a variety of activities.

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