By Praveen Singh [November 3, 2019]
Do you know that 1 in 68 children is diagnosed with ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder in India? Seeing the growing prevalence of this neurotypical and behavioural disorder, there is a huge requirement of skilled Autism support teachers in India and worldwide. And so, if you plan to build your career as an Autism support teacher, you have a great scope in terms of demand, salary and future outlook of this job profile. In addition to these, there would always be a feel-good factor involved that you are putting in efforts to bring a positive impact to the lives of those diagnosed with ASD. This article will help you with the complete guide to becoming an Autism support teacher and what prospects it holds.
Job profile of Autistic support teacher
In a general setup, the Autistic support teachers are expected to plan or schedule and deliver structured educational instructions to those children who are on the Autism spectrum. They work at special needs schools, special education schools, or counseling centers. The end goal of an Autistic support teacher is to help those children with Autism learn ways and strategies to cope with their challenges and better adapt to social communication. Subjects that are generally taught by these teachers include Mathematics, writing, reading, comprehension, communication skills, etc.
Additionally, an Autistic support teacher can also help encourage learning of life skills in a child. This can be done by establishing a defined classroom structure, procedures and rules to carry out specific tasks and activities. For instance, children may be tutored to interact with their peers, follow directions and communicate their needs and wants effectively with others. Lastly, an Autistic support teacher may also be required to assist the child’s therapist about the child’s present skills and progress.
How can one become an Autistic Support Teacher?
To become an Autism Support teacher, one is required to hold an undergraduate degree in education or psychology, preferably with a specialization in Child Psychology. Additionally, the person may also go for a master’s in special education or any other related field. Now, since you plan to work with ASD students, you should preferably hold an additional certification in behaviour analysis or Autism. This will help you become a knowledgeable and well-rounded Autistic support teacher.
Once you have completed these educational requirements, doing a handful of good internships would be a good start to launch your career. Coming to the salary of an Autistic support teacher, the starting salary is around 2.4 LPA, however, with skill enhancement and years of experience, it goes up to 6-8 LPA.
Other than the educational qualifications and certifications, one also needs to have a few qualities or traits that are necessary to be a good Autism support teacher.
- Patience-As an Autism support teacher, you need to have a lot of patience. The child may sometimes throw a tantrum or not understand a task even after repeatedly explaining the same. This may sometimes feel frustrating but being a support teacher, you always need to stay patient and composed. Only then would you be able to help the child deal with their challenges.
- Calming nature and even-tempered- Children who are on the Autism spectrum generally find it difficulty in communicating and expressing themselves. This may lead them to feel anxious or overwhelmed and thus, hamper their learning. Being a Special education teacher, you need to have skills and techniques that can help the child in calming.
- Organization skills- Children when taught in a structured and organized environment, tend to learn things with higher confidence. You should know how to keep surrounding and tools organized and help the child learn to do the same. For instance, you could help the child color-code his/her notebooks and folders. This will help cut the confusion and instil organizational skills in the child.
- Fondness for children- This trait is often overlooked in an Autism support teacher; however, it is one of the more important characteristics. When a support teacher genuinely loves children, they will be able to put in her best efforts and mind to uplifting the child’s holistic development. Also, when the child knows that he/she is truly loved and cared for, they are more likely to follow what is asked.
If you think you have these traits inherent in you and are interested in complying with the educational qualification requirements, this can be a great career for you. Also, considering the massive number of children diagnosed with Autism, you’d have plenty of job opportunities. Usually, special needs schools or inclusive schools hire Autism support teachers as a part of special education. One can also simply browse, “Autism counseling near me” and you would get a list of centres that offer counseling to children diagnosed with ASD. Lastly, if you know a child who is diagnosed with Autism, consult a child psychologist or a therapist who can work on improving their skill development and growth to provide them a better life ahead.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Praveen Singh is a writer and blogger, and a professional interested in sharing interesting ideas with the world. His blogs give a peek into things that aim to inform, enrich and entertain the readers. He loves sharing views on anything that provides value to the readers and helps broaden their horizon.