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Working with autistic children.

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I am after some help/guidance/advice or any stories you can provide on what it is like, and how to go about working with children with autism. I have reached a point in life where I am changing caree… Read More
minifish33 Avatar
7y, 9m agoPosted 7 years, 9 months ago
I am after some help/guidance/advice or any stories you can provide on what it is like, and how to go about working with children with autism. I have reached a point in life where I am changing career and I am interested in working in this field but don't know a great deal about it.
Any thoughts or pointers would be heartily accepted.
Cheers.
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minifish33 Avatar
7y, 9m agoPosted 7 years, 9 months ago
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#1
A bit of research yourself with your local social services or autism group. You;ll need to have a CRB check.......
#2
I worked for social services for a year looking after a small group of children who had autism. It was hard work...so tiring but I'll always remember them. I got into it through training to be a nursery nurse. Have you looked at what sort of courses are on offer at your local night school or collage?
#3
What about doing some volunteer work and respite care, thats what I do and it's very rewarding
#4
having 2 autistic sons myself, i would say that this is not an area you just jump into... you would need to have a great understanding of the children's needs before getting into it.
try contacting speach & language department in your area and ask about their earlybird courses although i'm not sure if these are just for parents
#5
I have done volunteer work for 17 years with a local Gateway club for adults with learning difficulties (from deafness to downs syndrome and everything in between) so I have a sturdy background of working with all walks of life. I have great patience, understanding and willingness. I'm just struggling to find out how to land a 'paying' job in this line of work and what training to do to get one.
#6
minifish33;5833631
I have done volunteer work for 17 years with a local Gateway club for adults with learning difficulties (from deafness to downs syndrome and everything in between) so I have a sturdy background of working with all walks of life. I have great patience, understanding and willingness. I'm just struggling to find out how to land a 'paying' job in this line of work and what training to do to get one.


Not being funny......but if you had all of the above experience you would know about all the resources available and where to go to progress :?
#7
There is an Open University course linked to psychology that specifically focuses on autism. dont know if its what you are looking for but thought I would mention it. :)
#8
StevenA2000_uk;5833661
There is an Open University course linked to psychology that specifically focuses on autism. dont know if its what you are looking for but thought I would mention it. :)

really? that might be worth looking into for me to have a greater understanding of my boys :)
#9
my girlfriend works at an autistic school so she will be here tomorrow and i will get her advice if it helps?
#10
choc- Apart from CRB and bi-annual fire checks, I am not involved in the running or academic side of the club. I just help weekly with the entertainment, tuck shop, bus driving etc. However, the club leader probably is a good source of information and/or contacts. Thanks for your input.
Cheers Steven, that's a great thought. I'll look into it.
#11
banthedrummer
my girlfriend works at an autistic school so she will be here tomorrow and i will get her advice if it helps?


Excellent. Yes please, every little helps!:thumbsup:
#12
cheerleader
really? that might be worth looking into for me to have a greater understanding of my boys :)


Here is the link that tells you about the course and the content :)

http://www3.open.ac.uk/courses/bin/p12.dll?C01SK124
#13
The NAS prints out any number of leaflets and information also, some of which are free.

contact them x

I was at a meeting just recently through work held by the NAS and the work being done now communicating with children who have no or very little language skills or capacity to maintain an attention span is amazing.

We all have keyrings with symbols on... the child wants a drink say, they have to place the symbol for drink. If they're allowed a drink they receive it with the symbol, if not there's a big X symbol you can place over theres.

Like this :-

http://specialedandme.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/pecs.jpg
#14
I have an autistic son and whilst there are numerous books you can read on autism, whilst some of the 'symptoms' and actions of a child with ASD are as described in the literature, other actions/areas of development are totally different, as although a child is given a diagnosis of ASD, there's a spectrum which basically has mildly autistic at one end and severely autistic at the other, and each child with ASD you meet could be anywhere on this spectrum, thus their needs and abilities will be different from another child with ASD.

I've learnt with my son that you need more patience, tolerance, imagination and safety awareness than you would with a 'normal' child, but the main thing is never take anything for granted with them, as anything can change in an instant with my son.

You'll probably find amongst other things that you'll get hit, have to possibly deal with toilet training a lot later than usual children would, and try and get them to participate in messy play (which sounds simple, but my son is tactile sensitive, which I was told a lot of ASD children are, which means it's taken his carer at nursery a whole year to get him to participate in painting and glueing activities without freaking out if he gets anything on his fingers) but it's also really rewarding when you see even a small change that you've helped with. A lot of children with learning disabilities respond better to one to one support, so you'd really be doing something worthwhile :thumbsup:

I'm not sure where you'd start finding out about what you need to do exactly, but maybe it's worth talking to a special needs school or nursery in your area and ask what qualifications they would be looking for if taking someone on, so you'd know where to start :)
#15
The NAS seems like a large source of info but an awful lot of it is aimed at parents and adults with Autism or Aspergers. I am slowly wading through though to find info on courses for carers. Good shout.
Charlie & Lola-Thank you so much, it's nice to know that me wanting to do something like this can be appreciated and hopefully, once I've contacted some local social services or special needs schools, I'll have a clearer direction to go in.
Thank you all.
#16
I'm a SENCO at a secondary school. Your next steps would depend on whether you want to work only with pupils with autism or whether you would consider kids with all types of need. My advice would be to enquire about volunteering first of all though, as mentioned earlier, you would need an enhanced CRB check to be able to do this. If you are taken on as a volunteer then you could ask about ways in which you could move into this as a career. Alternatively study and obtain qualifications in this field. Would advise volunteering though as the reality may not be what you expect.
#17
Is it just kids you want to work with ? I work for a company who work with adults with learning disabilities who are now in the community. Worth a look on Turning Point's website, depends where you live as to what services they have in your area. They take on volunteers or casual staff, leading to permanent , All training is provided and no background in learning dis is needed just willing to learn and the right attitude! Good luck in whatever you choose to do x
#18
I teach students with learning difficulties, including autism, and reading books doesn't help much!!

They're all completely different, much like everybody in the world!

I work in a FE college and we have about 15 Learning Support Assistants in our department, perhaps that could be a route in?

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