You may be thinking Autism training?
I don’t need more training!
My child’s teacher, principal, (fill-in-the-blank here) needs more training!
And yes, you are right. They all need training too. Feel free to share this post with them as well. (wink, wink.) But… since I have you here with me, here is
7 Reasons Why You Need More Autism Training:
1. Lack of Understanding of Autism
First and foremost, you need training, because THEY need training. Now, I say the proverbial, THEY, as anyone in your path. Autism awareness is there, but there is so much more to be done. There are FAR TOO MANY people out there that have no idea what Autism is. I know many administrators, principals and general education teachers that need help understanding how to best suit the needs of their autistic students.
So, share the wealth!
Actively seek to become a better Autism teacher by informing yourself. Take classes, conferences and workshops and spread the valuable information you have with others. I teach everywhere I go. I have even been known to teach while standing in line at the grocery store. Sometimes something as simple as explaining what I do for a living helps inform others. Helping to raise awareness to those who may not understand is vital to what we do as teachers. I hate it when I see sneers from onlookers as a parent struggles with their autistic child. I spread awareness because it’s important. If I can convince one person a day to not judge so quickly that, “that kid is a BRAT,” I feel good. But of course, I don’t stop at just one person…and neither should you! : )
2. Autism Research is ALWAYS Changing
Okay, maybe that is an exaggeration.
Or maybe not?
Although the DSM does not change often, it’s most recent change in 2013, it does change. And it's change was significant. This revision changed many lives. The DSM-V called for the assimilation of Asperger’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and Rhett’s Syndrome to be grouped them into one large conglomerate term, Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Also, latest research suggests that Autism is caused by an overgrowth of neurons in the brain, while others suggest that there is a schizophrenia link.
Because there is so much research circulating around it is important to stay up to date and informed. I suggest researching from reputable sources on the internet, talking informative peers, and continuing your education through courses, conferences, and workshops on autism.
3. Your Students NEED You!
Here’s the truth. Your students and their families rely on you. In most schools I have been in, a student’s case manager or special education teacher is the liaison between school and home. Now I don’t want to stress you out, and you may already feel this way, but they need you. I know that many of my parents are relying on me to train and raise awareness within the school. I accept this mission and I try to show any skeptical staff member just how amazing all of my students are. I make sure that my parents know how their child’s day was at school.
4. Parents Need Your Support
As much as you help assure your student’s parents that you will teach their child to the best of your ability, they are helpful to you as well. They need to be able to trust you. The easiest way to do this? BE HONEST! Be truthful, open and honest every day. Student had a great day? Let them know! Student had the worst day ever? Tell them! Now, I’m not suggesting that you neglect tact. It’s important to make sure your parents know you are someone that they can trust, but not at the extent of respect. If a student has a bad day, be honest and direct, but be caring and hopeful. Tell them that their child had a tough day, but offer hope that tomorrow will be better. Or let them know how you will change your instruction to best assist their child. It’s a symbiotic relationship. If you fight for their child, their will fight for you.
5. Be a Model
HA! I wish!
No, I’m not talking about a run-way model. I’m talking about being a ROLE model. Have you ever heard the quote, “be the change you wish to see in the world?” That is what I mean. By being an autism advocate, spreading awareness of autism, and teaching others about how to best assist these students in the classroom, you are being a fabulous role model! Just as you model behavior for your students, model it for colleagues, administrators and principals. By actively seeking, researching and learning about Autism, you can continue to grow and show your colleagues just how important Autism training is.
6. Strength in Numbers!
Receiving more Autism training will help make you the expert in your school. You will also be able to meet up with like-minded individuals. By networking with others you will find your “tribe” and be able to bounce ideas off of each other. Connecting with other Autism advocates will help you become a better teacher. Having a group of supporters will invariably force you to hold yourself accountable for your teaching and training. Find your tribe by talking to colleagues, family and friends. On social media? Search Facebook Groups or follow others on Twitter.
7. Change the Future!
Okay, this last one may be a bit far-fetched, but… maybe not? Let’s think about this. If you continue to get more Autism training, learn how to inspire change in 5 people in the next month, and they continue to inspire change in 5 more people and so on and so on, you have started a wonderful chain reaction of spreading awareness that will continue forever. So what’s holding you back? Why aren’t you getting more training? You need it! And if you don’t need it, your students need you to have it. And your students’ parents want you to have it. So, go on and get it!
And let me give you a boost! Get my FREE week-long email course! You’ll be glad you did!