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One of the things I hear all too often from many people is they have worked or are currently working with an autistic child and that they have tons experience, or are highly qualified. And every one of them has then gone on to freely complain about the parents, of what they haven’t done, should have done, are currently doing, and always something that causes some form of irritation to these workers. Not once have I ever heard something positive spoken about parents.

The fact is many parents don’t do any form of therapy for their autistic children, because of all the roadblocks they face. Unfortunately, finding qualified credible therapy is extremely difficult, as is getting qualified credible therapy within your child’s school. Junk science though is easy to find, and has bilked parents of their life savings, their peace of mind, and provided nothing but sleepless nights and additional stress to these already sleep deprived parents.

Junk science is also supported by governments and very popular in most school districts and alive and well in almost every school. Public school districts provide babysitters only so let’s not confuse what school districts say is qualified support workers. Most school districts have a long way to go to getting on board with working with an autistic child, an individual child’s qualified consultant, and the parents to implement a quality program in school that the consultant has developed for the specific needs of that specific autistic child.  Junk science has no validity, no science to back it up and provides no genuine data. What are provided though are testimonials. Steer clear parents, and definitely do not accept anything offered by a school district unless your consultant has first investigated and these people providing the service are working with your consultant and within the program your consultant has created. A genuine program simply put, Autistic children show remarkable progress that can be tracked and proven, and the program is constantly changing and evolving to keep up with the child’s progress. This again is done by your consultant not the school. There are only a small handful of school districts that truly support the individual needs of autistic children.

So let’s go back to these workers you meet who say they’ve worked with autistic children? Well let’s clarify the difference between a glorified babysitter and someone who is qualified to work with Autistic children, because there is a difference:

Qualified includes at least the following:

  • 500 or more hours of experience working in an ABA in-home program
  • experience working with children with autism in an integrated environment
  • experience facilitating peer interactions with typically developing peers
  • experience teaching in an activity-embedded and generalized teaching environment
  • experience working with a child with autism in a variety of integrated settings
  • experience working collaboratively with an outside consultant
  • participate in on-going training and observations related to school and community based programming, under the direction of a qualified consultant (This term I will elaborate at a later date, consult your local parents group for a list of private consultants to avoid the vast array of consultants who practice junk science)

So what does the above mean? Well … simply without the above qualifications the worker, or support worker, EA  who you meet is merely a glorified babysitter and nothing else, and has no business working with your child. And this has nothing to do with caring, many care, their just not qualified to work with these kids.

And remember no matter what. Parents of special needs children deserve your support, respect and not condemnation and criticism, which are far too often what his freely provided. Gossip is poison. It hurts, and it makes it really difficult for parents of autistic children to function in a community. How many of you know of someone with an Autistic child? And can you leave a comment about one good thing of the parent, and their family?

Lorhainne Eckhart is the author of Walk the Right Road Series, Finding Love ~ The Outsider Series both series bestsellers in mystery series, romance series and westerns, and The Forgotten Child, the #1 kindle bestseller in westerns and western romance.