Maureen Wilson M.S., CCC-SLP, CAS
City/State: Oswego, Illinois
Organizations: SD 308, The Speech Bubble SLP blog
1) How has earning the Certified Autism Specialist been meaningful and satisfying?
I have always had a passion when it came to working with people who had Autism. I wanted to learn all I could about identification, interventions, and other supports. Earning the CAS (Certified Autism Specialist) title recognizes the work I have put into learning about Autism and the extensive knowledge and understanding I have developed. I feel that this certification identifies that I strive to be a well-rounded professional and do my best to support my students with Autism, especially with the increasing number of students being identified and needing support.
2) How has the CAS credential affected your professional growth?
This certificate not only recognizes my independent pursuit of continuing education in the area of Autism, but requires me to continue to pursue this specific continuing education in order to maintain this certification. Earning this certification also demonstrates to my administration my dedication to my field and my personal goal to be as well educated and accomplished as possible in order to support my students.
3) How has your CAS credential been a benefit to your district/ organization/ or employer?
I feel it will make me more valuable to my district as a professional. This credential recognizes my extensive knowledge and understanding in the area of Autism and that I have met required criteria and passed necessary assessments to earn the title of Certified Autism Specialist. This certification means that my district can utilize my specific skills to get input on cases where someone who has been certified as having a specialized knowledge and understanding of Autism can prove helpful.
4) How do you like to be recognized, acknowledged and rewarded for a job well done?
If others have thought that I have done my job well, hearing from them directly that they feel my information has been valuable and helpful means the most.
5) What is your greatest challenge or roadblock?
I feel like my greatest challenge, as an SLP, is staying current on the latest research and intervention strategies in the areas that we provide support in. With so many areas gaining new information, finding the time to sit and catch up can be difficult.
6) What makes you feel like a valuable contributor?
When others acknowledge my input as being helpful or insightful, I feel like my contribution has been of value to the discussion.
7) What do you enjoy most about your job?
When it comes to my job, I love that I get to work with such a diverse population with varying needs. I feel like I get to have so many different experiences and from those, grow into a well-rounded therapist. I love seeing the growth my students achieve in their speech and language as well as their growth as individuals. Working closely with students as they grow allows you to form a bond with them and truly see and appreciate the impact that you can have on not just an individual, but also their families.
8) What support, tools/resources, skills or empowerment do you need to be more effective?
As a professional I feel that having the most recent, up to date information on research, strategies, and interventions are needed to be as effective as possible.
9) What strengths or talents do you possess that are not being used?
I do feel at times that my knowledge as an SLP and the different areas that encompasses is frequently underutilized. My profession covers more than just treating a funny /r/ or learning basic concepts. I am a counselor; I have advice on behavior management. I am a creative thinker and a problem solver. I can offer input and advice on cases and with students who may not have speech and language needs. SLPs tend to become ‘pigeon-holed’ into only being asked their opinion when a students sounds are impacted, but they can offer so much more to a school and its students than strategies for /r/.