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Becoming an ASD teacher?

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by millymolly2, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. Hi does anyone have any advice on how best to go about becoming an ASD teacher? I'm a qualified secondary school teacher but have been out of teaching for 5 years. I'm currently working as an LSA in an Autistic Referral Unit and am really enjoying it there - have been there for 7 weeks. I really would like to eventually become a teacher for students with ASD but feel a bit overwhelmed by it all. It is so different to mainstream teaching and feel that I may never pick up the skills to do the job thoroughly. For those who are teaching ASD - how did you get into it? Do you feel that continuing to work as an LSA is the best way in? I also have a postgraduate qualification in Autism, have completed year one of MA.
    Any advice much appreciated.
  2. Hi I suggest that you continue working in a referral unit for a while longer and when you feel more confident ask to take a lead for one or two sessions. The best way to get back into the teacher role is probably arrange to visit a local special school, see if they are eager to take on someone new to train up. I have no doubt you will feel more confident after a bit more experience and soon you will want to be the lead again!
    Consider getting some specific training in TEACCH or PECS it will help.
  3. If you want a good solid background including theory (educational, growth and development and psychology, assessment, phycical disabilities) then I suggest two and a half years of full time university at a good US university. Otherwise, just take a few 'courses' here and make it known that you are willing to work with ASD students. You probably don't need any formal qualifications at all at most state schools.
  4. I have just started working as an ASD teacher in an SEN school and my way into it wasn't that easy. I was a qualified teacher abroad and, while waiting to have my qualifications recognised, I worked as an LSA in a mainstream school, mostly with ASD children (2 years). Then I had a teaching role (once I had my QTS) - 1:1 numeracy intervention for another two years. This September I started working as a supply teacher, meanwhile looking for a full-time position, unfortunately because I didn't have a whole class teaching experience in the UK, no one wanted me even for a trial day. Luckily, one of the agencies I registered with, sent my CV to this SEN school that was looking for an ASD teacher and I had an interview (a successful one). The head was a bit concerned with my lack of experience as a class teacher but I convinced her I was just right for the job. And here I am :) I suggest you to stay in the unit for some time to gain more experience and confidence and then try to apply to SEN schools directly or look for an agency. Good luck.
  5. I qualified as a teacher, but took a role as an LSA in an ASD class. This helped my learn skills and techniques, the teacher also let me lead some sessions and be involved in the assessment and TEACCH process which I think helped greatly in my application/interview. Experience is they key, and you seem to have plenty! I was an LSA for 9 months before I applied. Hope this helps? :)
  6. mk84

    mk84 New commenter

    H Paula,

    Well done on convincing your school that you are right for the job. I am in a similar position to what you were. I an trying to work out a route into special needs but have only a little experience with AEN learners. I have an interview next week for a role in a specialist support unit attached to a mainstream school mainly to work with SLCN. As your interview experience is recent and successful please can you tell me what sort of questions you were faced with. My interview is a gruelling whole day event.
    I would be very grateful


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