Special Ed Master's Preps You to Work with Autistic Children

Jennie Kroeger

Students who have autism is a growing demographic in today's education industry. As more progressive approaches to education continue to improve access to students with disabilities, teachers who are able to support new teaching methodologies and who are trained to specifically work in that environment are going to be in demand. With a bachelor's degree, many educators aren't fully trained to deal with the nuances of working with children with Autism; however, many graduate programs that focus on special education help provide students with the ability to work effectively.

Challenges of working with children with autism

A cornerstone of autism is the way it affects one's ability to fully comprehend social interactions, non-verbal communication, and develop healthy behavior patterns. As a teacher who works with students who have autism, being able to fully understand the challenges of educating these students in a social setting, like a school, is a crucial skill to have. Additional complications arise when you start to look at how autism impacts one's ability to digest or comprehend information, task planning, and focusing. Teaching a classroom of children with autism presents so many unique challenges, you can't simply approach it the same way you would any other classroom. Special skills and education are required to be able to tackle these problems and help your students overcome challenges and process the information they are given.

How does a master's degree in Special Education help?

First, any educator who is determined to take on the task of teaching students with autism (and succeed) needs to have a fundamental understanding of how to deal with those challenges. As noted above, there are social considerations, learning and cognition differences, and other behavioral issues that can all impact a student's ability to learn, as well as those around them. A master's degree in Special Education is designed to give educators the tools to be able to deal with these nuances both in the classroom and on a policy level. In particular, Florida State University's Special Education program prepares teachers to gain knowledge and skills, as well as engage in research in special education and other related areas. With a commitment to top-notch personnel preparation, adherence to the needs of the State of Florida, and nationally-recognized research, graduates of Florida State University's Special Education program will emerge with an increased understanding of children and adults with disabilities and how they function in the educational environment. Being part of a Research I institution with some of the best faculty in the country, the Florida State University Colleges of Education is well-suited to prepare its students for careers in working with students with disabilities. FSU offers an online master's degree in Special Education as well as on-campus specialist and doctoral degrees. Learn more about FSU's Special Education Program