1 About the House Model

HANDS House ModelThis house is a visual representation of the HANDS in Autism® Model. It does not completely capture the complexities or depth of individualizing instruction for those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or social, communication, sensory and/or behavioral needs. However, it does demonstrate many of the elements which are key to this process.

While each individual’s instruction should be unique, there are key elements to providing instruction that is appropriate, effective, and core to the process.
Central to the process is an understanding of evidence-based practices, specifically Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), as well as the practical implications of the individual’s disorder. Foundational to the process are the proactive components at the base of the house as well as common strategies that are essential to effective implementation across all areas of the Model.

The remaining components, represented by the “walls” and “roof”, further support effective intervention leading to successful implementation and outcomes. The process is not linear, thus the arrows point in each direction from any given structural unit.

Implementation Supports

The foundation as well as the full process is supported with common strategies central to implementation inclusive of prompting, differential reinforcement, and team collaboration.

Building the Environment

Involves consideration and use of physical space, visual cueing and proactive planning methods essential to setting students up for success.


Involves the regular and consistent use of both informal and formal data collection and assessment procedures to inform programming.

Setting Goals

Involves using a systematic approach and using data to inform goal areas and developing meaningful goals for individuals.


Includes use of strategies that promote support and increases in both academic and functional skills individualized for the student, targeted in the IEP and based on an analysis of the data collected.


Includes a systematic approach to teaching skills to different locations to help students be able to use skills in a variety of locations.



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