UNICA offers a highly-structured learning environment, accommodating learners in small classes ranging from 7-9 students. Its curriculum focuses on the development of academic abilities; communication and behaviour management programmes; movement and visual perceptual skills; social skills; computer, vocational training and leisure skills; and life orientation and thinking skills.

The curriculum used at UNICA School is outcomes based. It consists of cross curricular learning programmes tailored to the specific needs of each individual.

Research and experience shows that learners with autism respond better to teaching methods that incorporate visual and verbal stimuli and that are also interactive.

Therefore, members of staff at UNICA are trained in internationally-recognized methods that one might not find used at a school for typically-developed children, such as TEACCH, PECS and Makaton.


A TEACCH classroom is usually very structured, with separate, defined areas for each task, such as individual work, group activities, and play. It relies heavily on visual learning.

The children use schedules made up of pictures and/or words to order their day and to help them move smoothly between activities.

Children with autism may find it difficult to make transitions between activities and places.

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The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is an augmentative communication system developed to help individuals quickly acquire a functional means of communication.

PECS is appropriate for individuals who do not use speech or who
may speak with limited effectiveness: those who have articulation or motor planning difficulties, limited communicative partners, lack of initiative in communication, etc.

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Makaton is a multi-modal communication programme for people with severe communication and learning disabilities.

It was designed to aid functional communication, and it encourages the development of language and literacy through the use of signs, symbols and normal grammatical speech.

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