What Careers Are Available For Helping Kids With Autism?

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Updated: February 29, 2024, Reading time: 8 minutes

Careers for Helping Kids With Autism - featured image

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An autism spectrum disorder is a common disability that happens when the brain develops differently. Occurring in 1 in 36 children in the US, autism is still largely a mystery among experts, with its causes attributed partly to genetics.

The fact remains, however, that kids with autism require specific assistance, treatment, or help that well-educated and properly trained professionals offer. 

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What is Autism?

Referred to as ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder, autism is typically the result of brain variations. Social communication and engagement are often problematic for people with ASD. It also affects the way a child learns, moves, or pays attention to.

It is important to keep in mind that some people may exhibit some of these symptoms even if they do not have autism spectrum disorder. But for those with the autism spectrum condition, these characteristics may make life extremely challenging.

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What Careers Are Available for Helping Kids with Autism?

What Careers Are Available for Helping Kids with Autism - Image

Developmental Psychologist

Psychologists help kids tackle autism and improve their daily lives. There are many different professional settings where developmental psychologists work, including clinics, hospitals, and even schools.

They collaborate with therapy teams to develop various treatments, therapies, and interventions for kids with autism spectrum disorder, as well as coping methods. 

Developmental psychologists work closely with caregivers of children with ASD. They assist speech and language pathologists and other therapists and work closely with the patient’s families during the treatment process in order to improve social interactions and relationships. 

Overall, developmental psychologists assist the child in managing relationships at home and in school. Would-be developmental psychologists must possess a master’s degree and specific qualifications in order to practice professionally. 

Behavior Analyst Therapist

One of the best methods that are effective and necessary in handling autism symptoms and many of its comorbidities is ABA therapy. ABA therapists usually have a degree in behavioral science. They mostly work with young people who are on the autistic spectrum.

They are typically a licensed behavior analyst and have passed the certifications and licenses required to practice the profession. ABA therapists are trained to identify and strengthen links between a child’s environment and behavior. 

ABA therapists are experts in determining what provokes kids with autism to behave the way they do. They assist the kids in controlling those triggers and making the behavioral adjustments required to lead the most autonomous life possible.

A Master’s in ABA Therapy is required to practice as an ABA therapist working with children who have ASD.

Speech Language Pathologist

Communication and language development are usually difficult for autistic children. Children with autism will often learn alternative communication methods with the help of a speech-language pathologist.

They use sign language, images, specialized equipment, and alternative communication approaches where speech and language pathologists are well-versed in these methods.

These professionals work with their patients to help them achieve their speech improvement goals. To work as a speech-language pathologist, one must hold a master’s degree in the discipline. A license will also be required in several states.

Special Education Teacher

The specific information and techniques required to serve kids with ASD and other learning disabilities are possessed by teachers with advanced special education training.

Special education instructors can assist in developing the mental and social abilities of autistic kids, and at the same time, they can learn all the knowledge and information necessary for them to go through life. 

SPED teachers are also trained to undergo and overcome all the challenges that they may experience when educating autistic children. Some special education teachers may work exclusively with one student. Some people work with children in a group. 

Special education instructors assist autistic youngsters in developing reading and communication skills in specific academic courses.

To serve as a special education teacher for children with autism, one must hold a bachelor’s degree in education, psychology, or a related field. Every license may come with different requirements, so it’s best to inquire early. 

Social Worker

Social workers can assist kids with autism. A wide variety of duties are assigned to social workers. This entails connecting with people in extremely trying circumstances.

Autism is something that can be overwhelming, most especially to small families or new parents. To help people develop their social and cognitive abilities, social workers collaborate closely with individuals and their families. 

This entails providing encouragement and suggestions to the patient’s therapy team as well as the patient’s family. Many social workers assist in coordinating therapy and other activities that will be advantageous to the entire family.

A bachelor’s degree in social work can be sufficient to land a work in the social work industry. You can find employment in special education schools and childcare facilities. However, having a master’s degree allows you to explore higher levels of jobs in the social work field. 

Occupational Therapist

Another profession for those who want to help autistic kids is an occupational therapist. The efforts made by occupational therapists might help a lot of people become more independent.

Occupational therapists who specialize in helping individuals with autism spectrum disorders are brought to their calling to help children live better. 

Occupational therapists usually begin by observing and evaluating how a person interacts with their environment. Through development and engagement, they assist individuals in acquiring the necessary abilities and skills.

They undergo intensive training in occupational therapy during their bachelor’s program, which is focused on handling special children. While a bachelor’s degree can help you land entry-level occupational therapist jobs, it’s best to secure a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy and acquire a license in your state. 

Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialist

Autism Spectrum Disorder specialists usually implement roles that are similar to the applied behavior analysts. While focusing on managing daily activities, an ASD specialist works closely with a single client and the rest of their therapy team.

Academic, social, and self-care activities are all part of this. Education institutions typically employ autism spectrum disorder specialists. Many work as school therapists or classroom assistants, which is typically not what an applied behavior analyst does.

The majority of autism institutions or care centers will call for a bachelor’s degree in special education, while state requirements may differ. However, the majority will expect you to hold a master’s degree already or be enrolled in graduate school. Specialists in autism spectrum disorders must also pass tests given by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

Developmental Service Worker

A developmental service worker is a member of the social services industry who makes certain that patients receive high-quality treatment from medical professionals. They may meet with clients to gauge their experiences and issues, follow up with providers regarding concerns, and keep records on various providers and clients to achieve this. 

Additionally, they may function as a client’s advocate to help them switch healthcare providers, get treatments or procedures, or get in touch with insurance providers concerning medical expenses.

When working with clients who have ASD, developmental service providers can help them identify therapists and specialists and explain what they need from those services.

What Therapies Can Help Autistic Kids?

What Therapies Can Help Autistic Kids - Image

People with autism can enhance their talents and lessen their symptoms using a variety of therapies. Your kid should begin therapy early, perhaps at preschool or earlier, but it is never too late to seek treatment.

Play Therapy

Many professionals specializing in ASD know play therapy. Children on the autistic spectrum frequently play in ways that are unique from other youngsters. Rather than the entire toy, they’ll probably concentrate on its component elements, like the wheels. They tend to isolate themselves from other playmates and prefer to play alone. 

However, play is how a lot of kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) communicate themselves; their toys and behaviors can serve as their speech. Through play, kids with ASD can learn and form understanding connections with other kids and adults. Art therapy is also an excellent source of treatment.

Speech Therapy

Major communication difficulties with speech and nonverbal cues are common in people with ASD. They could also struggle greatly with social interaction. These factors make speech therapy a crucial component of autism treatment.

It facilitates children’s speech, engagement with others, and communication. It may entail nonverbal abilities, including maintaining eye contact, dividing the discourse into turns, and using and comprehending gestures. Speech and language pathologists usually utilize this effective therapy for autistic kids.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy assists with daily living tasks and the usage of commonplace items, such as teaching someone how to use a fork or button a garment properly. However, it might be anything that has to do with work, leisure, or education. The needs and objectives of the kid determine the focus.

Careers for Helping Kids With Autism - fact

While facing discrimination, stigma, and wrongful exclusion from social, educational, and medical possibilities, kids with autism suffer from the same health problems as the general population—and have the right to the highest standard of bodily and mental well-being! 

Due to their autism and other co-occurring disorders, however, they need specific medical care that only highly trained professionals can provide.

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