Nadhuva Husein, MSc Applied Behavior Analysis, CAS
School/ Organizations: Maldives Autism Association
How has earning the Certified Autism Specialist been meaningful and satisfying?
Earning the CAS License gives me the confidence and encouragement to grow in this particular field. It is especially significant for me in the Maldives as I believe there is a great need for advocacy here. The Certificate is an assurance of my ability to provide my services, which is an advantage to me, as an advocator and consultant (in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Behaviour Analysis) and the children I represent. In that sense, this is profound in its potential.
How has the CAS credential affected your professional growth?
It has boosted my ability to provide constructional criticism when working with a team, and to more effectively guide my clients/parents towards the necessary outcomes. It also helps me keep my finger on the pulse – by keeping up with the latest research in the field, I am up-to-date every day – and able to be current and therefore more effectual.
How has your CAS credential been a benefit to your district/ organization/ or employer?
I am the first Maldivian with a CAS license so far – in that sense, the benefits of the credential will act as the catalyst for others to get accredited. It will also be a tremendous help now, for me to practice and guide other professionals as well as those clients in need.
How do you like to be recognized, acknowledged and rewarded for a job well done?
My biggest acknowledgement and reward, ever since I started working, has been the progress in the status of my clients. Their improvement is its own reward.
What is your greatest challenge or roadblock?
One major challenge I faced is that lack of professional expertise in the Maldives, both in this field and other multi disciplinary teams to help children/people with special needs, which makes it extremely challenging to take certain decisions, when providing services for the growing number of children with autism.
What makes you feel like a valuable contributor?
What makes me feel like a valuable contributor on an individual level is seeing the difference made by early intervention, as well as when I have been able to identify methods to help people on a larger scale.
I have been working in this field for the past ten years, and I have had my own personal levels of success in providing early intervention to children with autism as well as behavioral intervention to those in need, which has allowed me to successfully mainstream development in a number of kids I’ve worked with. In addition to this, along with an app developer team we have developed an iPad application in the local Dhivehi language that assists children/people with speech/communication difficulties. At the moment, the app is being studied and researched in order publish an evidence based method of augmentative and alternative communicative application.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Although it sounds like a cliché, it is extremely warming to see the happy, bright faces of the clients I work with every day. It is a wonderful feeling when I am able to be the reinforcing person in the room of a child with autism, and especially when a child willingly initiates and invites me to join in their play.
What support, tools/resources, skills or empowerment do you need to be more effective?
Support from other professionals and experts would be the best resource I could ask for right now.
What strengths or talents do you possess that aren’t being used?
I do wish to share my expertise on a broader level. In that sense, I will be looking for more opportunities to interact with those who need, or are passionate about working with children with autism, on a wider scope, in addition to those who I interact with directly.