Educators and healthcare professionals don’t always receive in-depth training specific to autism and other cognitive disorders throughout their education, which is why autism certification can be so helpful for many professionals.
A Certified Autism Specialist or Autism Certificate credential is meant to help educators and healthcare professionals be better prepared to serve individuals on the autism spectrum in a variety of ways, in turn making them a resource for the individual, families, and co-workers alike.
As Autism Rate Grows, so Does Demand for Certified Professionals
The prevalence of autism is growing across the US, as is the demand for professionals who are qualified to work with people with autism. Becoming a Certified Autism Professional (CAS) has a host of benefits for the students or patients, the professional, and their colleagues.
Here are 8 of the top reasons to pursue an autism certification, with many of them straight from educators and healthcare professionals who have already earned the CAS credential themselves.
1. Understanding each individual with autism is different
“If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” – Dr. Stephen Shore, IBCCES Board Member who is also on the autism spectrum.
Individuals with autism can present with a wide range of abilities and challenges – naturally, individuals will need different approaches. Understanding and working with these differences is often crucial to obtaining the goals of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or therapy outcomes for students and patients.
2. Improve outcomes of treatments for individuals with autism
“The IBCCES training has allowed me to take a deeper look into the therapy plans I create for my patients and students. I have a better understanding of the Autism Spectrum diagnoses and how to overcome challenging behaviors. I feel that I am now more equipped to adapt the environment to the patient/student or adapt the student/patient to their environment.” – Shala Brooks, MS, OTR/L, CPAM, CAS
A better understanding of autism spectrum disorder is helpful to better understand how students on the spectrum can be best set up for success.
3. Recognize the signs of someone on the autism spectrum
Many students who act out are not ‘bad students’ but are students who are displaying symptoms of autism and are not receiving proper support. Becoming certified helps therapists make sure they are familiar with those signs that can often go unnoticed in medium to high functioning students on the spectrum. This is the first step in helping them address their needs more effectively.
4. Establishes you as a resource on autism and cognitive disorders
“As I continue to strive to expand my knowledge and expertise to work with individuals with cognitive disorders, the IBCCES credential provided tons of insight to move forward in my career and as an advocate for all the students I work with. The autism certification gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation about the challenges these students face.” -Monisha Karandikar, Individual Needs Teacher, CAS
There are lots of professionals who interact with children on the autism spectrum that could benefit from a better understanding. With a CAS or AC certification, in addition to your expertise, you are better equipped to help give them that understanding, whether it be a parent, a student, or a co-worker.
5. Increases confidence in providing the best care
“My training and certification has giving me the confidence to share my expertise in the area of autism. I also utilize my certification when planning behavior modification and communication strategies.” – Rajashree Srirangarajan, MS., CCC-SLP, CAS
Completing the Certified Autism Specialist credential (CAS) means that you are kept up to date on the latest research and best practices in the growing field of autism and cognitive disorders.
6. An independently verifiable credential from an internationally recognized organization
Each person who completes the training will have their name and credential listed on the online public registry for autism professionals. This will serve to promote your knowledge and skills with interacting with students with autism and show that you take the initiative to go above and beyond to earn additional credentials to better serve your clients.
7. Increase chances for hospital, clinic and district contracts
The landscape for school districts has changed since the 2017 case of Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District that determined that according to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. a student’s “educational program must be appropriately ambitious in light of his circumstances” and “every child should have the chance to meet challenging objectives.” –The Atlantic
While this applies directly to schools, this is certainly something that will have caused any clinics or hospitals that deal with children with special needs to take notice. It is also important to keep in mind that even clinics that don’t focus on autism will likely have patients who have autism. A certification can both add to your skill set and help to differentiate you from when looking to transition to a new position.
8. Increase Your Ability to Attract New Clients with Autism
If a parent of a child with autism has the choice between their child going to someone who is a Certified Autism Specialist (CAS) or someone who is not, the choice is simple. If you are looking to add new clients to a practice then this will give you the skills you need to add a specialty field that includes a large and growing demographic.
Is Becoming a Certified Autism Specialist Right for You?
Rates of autism are continuing to rise, and so is the demand for educators and healthcare professionals who can meet their needs. If you’re looking to distinguish yourself in the workplace and establish yourself as a leader in meeting the needs of individuals with cognitive disorders, a CAS is exactly what you are looking for.
Find Out How To Become An Certified Autism Specialist