A teacher’s aide career can be both an emotionally and financially rewarding one. In order to maximize your career opportunities, you may want to consider specializing in a certain area of education. With additional training a teacher’s aide can enter into a number of specialized teaching fields. One such opportunity is in the area of disabilities, specifically in the Autism Spectrum.
Here is a breakdown of performance requirements and expectations of a teacher’s aide desiring to work with Autistic students.
Physical Requirements for Teacher’s Aides Working in the Autistic Spectrum
At the elementary level, it is important that the teacher’s aide possesses the physical ability to get on the floor level with students. Many student activities and learning experiences are conducted during floor exercises and during play time.
A teacher’s aide working in the Autistic Spectrum will also be expected to assist and be knowledgeable of intervention techniques. These techniques could include deescalating steps, as well as physically restraining students who become a safety risk to themselves or others, according to guidelines.
Academic Requirements of Teacher’s Aides Working in the Autistic Spectrum
In order to be considered for a position working in this area, a prospective candidate should have taken extra courses in childhood development and special needs. A knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorders, expected behavior, and learning patterns is advised.
By taking as many extra training courses related to Autism as possible, you will be well equipped for your role as a special needs teacher’s aide and will put yourself ahead of other applicants as well.
Behavior Management Skills
Because a variety of situations can arise when working in the Autistic Spectrum as a teacher’s aide, it is vital that aides have the ability to treat students with respect at all times and model patient and proper behavior patterns.
The ideal teacher’s aide in this position will also be able to follow behavior management plans as set down by the instructor, keeping in mind age appropriate expectations for Autistic students. Other areas of knowledge include, the use of positive reinforcement and its effect on students, the encouragement of proper communication, and the ability to depersonalize outbursts and inappropriate behavior from students. A basic, overall patient and caring attitude is needed at all times from the ideal Autistic teacher’s aide.
Working as a teacher’s aide in the Autistic Spectrum can be a very challenging, yet rewarding undertaking for any teacher’s assistant. It does take a special type of persona to work in the special needs field. Another suggestion before applying for a particular position would be to volunteer in an Autistic classroom in order to familiarize yourself with the job requirements and day to day activities. Doing so will better equip you with the facts you’ll need to determine if this is a specialized field that would be a good fit for you
If you are a teacher’s aide to a special needs classroom, feel free to leave a comment to share your tips or rewarding experiences.