Is there a demand for autism specialists?

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TeachHereTeachThere
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2021 9:40 am

Is there a demand for autism specialists?

Post by TeachHereTeachThere »

Is anyone out there teaching autistic students? How are class sizes and resources? Is that demand increasing?
sciteach
Posts: 230
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:49 am

Re: Is there a demand for autism specialists?

Post by sciteach »

It really depends on what level and specialization you are discussing.

There seems to be a large need (at least pre-covid) for special needs teachers and they are often considered to be one of the harder positions to find. The main problem is that these positions tend to be an "everything under the sun position" and it's quite rare to specialize.

There are a few specialist schools that cater to international students - but I'm guessing it would only be one in the major international hubs (think Singapore, HK, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul etc). Most positions seem to be more generalist and it can be a hard slog. For example - students who find it difficult to grasp a second language compared to their peers may be placed into "special needs". I've also seen local students in a couple of schools in asia who don't fit into their national schooling go to international schools.

I've also seen very rich Chinese parents send students who may have social/emotional problems under the Chinese system be moved to international schools in HK and Singapore and then come under the wing of 'student services'. Note that some of these schools make tremendous profits through providing these services.

So is there a strong demand for a person who only specializes in autism? No. But there is a great demand for people with multiple skills in this general area. Just do your research carefully. Some student services departments work with students who would not make it into the mainstream 'student services' or special needs due to being on the lower end of needing help (think of students who used to be diagnosed as asphergers) while other schools are much more complex
sid
Posts: 1383
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:44 am

Re: Is there a demand for autism specialists?

Post by sid »

I suspect we're all teaching students with autism, and many teachers don't know it.
If you're looking for international schools with dedicated classes for students with autism, you might be looking for a long time. Those international schools which consciously accept and serve students with autism, usually do so within the mainstream classroom.
Heliotrope
Posts: 1090
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Is there a demand for autism specialists?

Post by Heliotrope »

As far as I know there's no (or very little) demand for a dedicated autism specialist. However, it will look really great on your CV since most recruiters will know, as @sid says, that every schools has a good number of students with (varying degrees of) autism and a teacher that knows how to deal with this is an asset. Even better if you can train other teachers at your school to better deal with autistic students.
PsyGuy
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

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Post by PsyGuy »

I tend to concur with @Sid, many ITs are likely teaching undiagnosed/undocumented students with varying degrees of autism.
While SEN/SPED/LD is growing, students tend to be those with mild needs and ITs tend to be generalists as opposed to specialists in something such as autism. There is very little demand within global IE for autism specific IT.
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