SCERTS-based Teaching

What is “SCERTS-based teaching”? It is a model for teaching students with autism, and it stands for Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, and Transactional Support. The SCERTS model draws on the work of Dr. Barry Prizant and his colleagues at Brown University, and it is an evidence-based, practical approach that effectively accommodates a variety of instructional practices to help students with autism connect socially and academically.

Dr. Prizant and his colleagues, Dr. Amy Wetherby, Ms. Emily Rubin, and Ms. Amy Laurent, developed the SCERTS model over 25 years of research, clinical practice, and classroom experiences. SCERTS has been proven to be effective in peer-reviewed published research in large sample studies with preschool and school-age children. We at Franklin have been using the SCERTS model since early 2017, and have seen tremendous strides taken by our students with autism.

The three key concepts behind the SCERTS model are:

Social Communication

This includes speaking, listening, reading facial expressions, and understanding gestures. It is the ability to communicate spontaneously, share emotions and develop relationships. Our instructors promote social communication skills by engaging interactively and organically, by modeling appropriate communication, encouraging communication, and recognizing communication successes when they happen.

Emotional Regulation

This includes addressing anxiety and dysregulation.  Our instructors promote emotional regulation by building coping mechanisms for unfamiliar and anxiety producing stimuli.  They also provide physical proximity, visual reminders, predictable environments, and validate our students’ feelings.

Transactional Support

This includes interaction between all individuals working with children – our instructors, our parents, and any third-party educators or clinicians. We build transactional support by viewing parents, clinicians, and other individuals interacting with the child as partners.

Aside from these key concepts, the additional objectives of the SCERTS approach include making sure each student’s curriculum is modified, as well as strength- and interest-based, and teaches life skills explicitly (in one-to-one sessions) and authentically (in the real-world context).

If you would like to learn more about our SCERTS model for students with autism, visit our website and click on the “Our Services” tab.


  • John Posatko, M.A.Ed.

Director of Education


Franklin offers specialized academic tutoring, home school, test preparation, and educational therapy in Los Angeles and Orange County.  Contact us for more info!