Best Autism Training for Teachers

It can be tricky to find good, quality training for teachers looking to learn more about autism. You want to be sure it teachers evidence-based strategies and also comes from teachers who just get it. You want it to be neuroaffirming while using best practices so you know that you are getting the best information and supporting your students fully. 

There are many different lenses one can consider when looking for a training. There are trainings given by occupational therapists, behavior specialists, special education teachers, and even parents. Each one has a slightly different expertise and what you personally are looking for will impact which is best for you.

As a special education teacher, these below are a few of my favorites. There are some that are free or at your own pace and others that are a paid course.

Paid Trainings

TEACCH

TEACCH is an training for people who work with autistic individuals. It is a highly structured, supportive training that gives teachers specific skills they can implent into their classrooms for students with Autism. TEACCH is a paid training. Their headquarters is in Chapel Hill, North Caroline, which can make for a nice little get away for a training. However, they some times have trainings located in satellite spots- so you can check for some near you as well! They even offer an option of an online course!

TEACCH has a variety of trainings that can support teachers, paraprofessionals, admin, and families. It is designed to support autistic people across their lifespan. The focus a lot on the use of visual supports, routines, and structures.

Topics they can cover include:

  • Understanding specific characteristics of autism spectrum disorder 
  • How to implement visual schedules and task systems.
  • Creating structured physical environments.
  • Individualizing instruction based on the strengths and needs of each student.’

The in-person trainings allow for hands on experience to get a good understanding of the techniques they teach.  This training is perfect whether you work with young children, high school students, and beyond.

Don’t let the registration fee scare you- check with your district to see if they would be willing to pay for it or see if you can find a grant that would cover this!

Free Trainings

Autism Academy 360

This is a listen as you drive to work, bite sized PD. I host this podcast with my co-host, Lisa Hollady. Together we bring a variety of experiences and tips right to your ears. It is like listening to a free course on your morning commute!

What makes us so knowledgable with Autism?

I am a certified behavior analyst, was a special ed teacher for over ten years and continue to work with those with autism spectrum disorders. Lisa is a self contained teacher in a classroom for students with Autism.

Together, we give you information and tips on how to best support your Autistic learners both behaviorally and academically. This podcast is not just for special educators though. It is also a great listen for general education teachers. The reason being, they typically are not going to be able to go through an entire Autism training just because they have to focus on curriculum and Tier 1 supports.

With this bite sized PD, your co-teacher can listen to get a deeper understanding of the students in their class. And also understand why you are doing what you are doing! You can share this with paraprofessionals, family members of your students, and even your admin. When you are all hearing the same information you can work better as a team and be more consistent.

So go give it a listen, new podcasts come out each and every Monday!

Autism Certification Center

This is an amazing FREE resource full of online training modules that are just full of information for anyone working in the field of autism. 

They offer comprehensive training modules covering various aspects of autism, including:

  • Understanding autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and its characteristics.
  • Evidence-based interventions and strategies for supporting individuals with ASD.
  • Creating inclusive environments and promoting positive behavior support.
  • Collaborating with families and interdisciplinary teams.
  • Ethical considerations and best practices in working with individuals with ASD.

These modules are great because you can watch and learn at your own pace in your own home. Once you complete a course, you can take an assessment to be given a certificate showing your completion and knowledge of the topic.  There are some additional fees within for specific learning modules, such as if you want ce hours, but the amount that you can get for free is pretty amazing. 

The Autism Certification Center has a wide variety of topics to choose from, so there really is something for everyone! They have real life video examples of the strategies being put into practice to help you understand how to implement it for yourself!

These three supports for learning about autism are going to give you all the tools you need for your classroom. TEACCH, the Autism Academy 360 Podcast, and the Autism Certification Center each provide knowledge and insight into supporting individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). 

Each training avenue offers unique perspectives, methodologies, and resources, contributing to a comprehensive understanding of how to effectively educate and support individuals across the spectrum.

As educators and advocates, it is imperative that we continue to seek out opportunities for professional growth and development in the realm of autism education. By harnessing the knowledge and resources offered by TEACCH, the Autism Academy 360 Podcast, and the Autism Certification Center, we can create classrooms that foster the strengths and abilities of individuals with ASD. 

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