Are you considering the Autism Studies Track? Hear from program director Dr. Rowe about what makes a good candidate for this exciting focus area.
INTERVIEWER: Who do you consider a good fit for this program? Are there any commonalities of those who might enroll that you can share with us?
SUBJECT: Well, they could come from a variety of backgrounds. Autism is definitely an interdisciplinary field so you have a wide range of practitioners dealing in autism. You've got the special educators. You have the speech pathologist. You have the occupational therapist-- physical therapist. You've got people coming from psychology.
There's a real range of people with backgrounds that could easily transition from if they wanted-- say, it's a second career, for example, and they want to transition into something maybe that's a little bit more meaningful for them. Or for people that have been working a job that's not necessarily something that they want to do the rest of their lives, it brings a lot of those skills into the autism field.
So primarily, we're looking for a lot of enthusiasm, a serious commitment to making a difference, an upbeat personality that can keep the attention of kids, the willingness to be silly and fun and do whatever it takes to keep these kids attending to what you're doing-- someone who is able to listen to parents and help them through the process, as well.
So there's a little bit of social work and psychology in this. It doesn't mean you have to have a background in that. You just have to-- sometimes, the people that have friends that always rely on them is a good match-- people that want the ability to have a lot of autonomy in making decisions and being creative in working with these kids and families.
I think one of the exciting parts about this field is there are always new things coming along. So lifelong learning is another part of this, the ability to really master your skills but knowing that there are always things available that you can become better at what you do.
I think an ability to even mentor others because the model that is used in this field is learning from other experts-- eventually when you become really good at what you do, that opens the door for you to actually mentor other people in learning those skills.