Tutors are basically teachers who help students or learners to obtain more information and skills on specific subjects. Tutors are professionals who are considered knowledgeable or experts in their specific fields like typing, math, English or other subjects.
Generally, autistic and other special needs challenged students, who are in need of more one-on-one training on a particular subject require coaching outside school hours. Some parents want their students to be the best in their classes or school and acquire tutors to get their students to be even better than they already are. There are so many reasons of why tutors help in a variety of situations. But for this article specifically I will be addressing how it can help autistic special needs students.
Both autistic and other special needs learners ‘sometimes require extra help in some subjects of areas of knowledge and this is where the tutors come into the picture. Often, these special needs children (teens and adults) require extra assistance in reading or in speech.
Autistic students who require tutors on any area of discipline can find tutors from schools or through referrals. However, an easier way to find tutors is through the internet and can come in any form, from live tutoring to online tutoring.
The traditional way of tutoring is through personal tutoring where the tutors go to the residence of the students. This holds true for traditional one on one personal tutoring. There are tutors who teach a small group of students on a particular subject as well. For obvious reasons, this will depend on your situation and your special needs child’s diagnosis. Sometimes a tutor may not work in your situation because of high anxiety and especially if the tutor has not worked with special needs populations at all.
There are tutoring websites that offer both personal and online tutoring, but you may have to dig a little deeper, in regard to these websites and their database of experts. You may have to contact them directly to get more specifics on what subjects they teach and again to find out if they are familiar with working with autistic students with IEPs, special needs behaviors such as rocking, fidgeting, etc. As well as you sitting in on a session or two to see how the tutor works with your special needs child. This may seem invasive or uncomfortable to them (the prospective tutor) or as the parent/caregiver, but necessary to guarantee that what you are paying for and whom your child is being tutored by is legit. If at any time you feel the tutor in question has a problem or you sense resistance, then it is time to move on until you find a tutor that works.
You are investing in your special needs child’s education (social skills, math difficulties/challenges, etc.) and advocating for them. If these tutors, especially those that claim they have worked with special needs populations, then they should not have a problem with you asking for more credentials, portfolios, etc. So, although these databases of experts may be able to tap into any subject make sure you do your due diligence to do your own background checks and research their names etc. Unfortunately, con artists exist and can be detrimental to your special needs child and your family, especially if all the things you thought this person was is false.
The internet has revolutionized the way tutoring is done and the majority of tutoring work is now done online offering virtual classrooms, flexible scheduling and various subject matter. Registering or enrolling is usually pretty easy, and you just need to contact the tutor directly and pay or if the tutor works for an organization, then you pay them this way. If all else fails and you are not sure how to compensate your tutor for his/her services, reach out and ask.
Online tutoring is not something new and is on the uptick as we navigate this changing post pandemic world. But this may be the way to go these days. For us personally, tutoring did not work because of how high anxiety our autistic son is, but in other situations tutors may be able to help in other ways, like socially or academically. It all depends on your situation, environment and how high or low your autistic learner is on the spectrum. So, if you think your autistic learner may benefit from a tutor and needs extra help on a particular subject, then go for it. Also ask around at your local school district (whether you are homeschooling or not). Most school districts provide FREE tutoring services and usually it is from students that are the same age as your child or older, it all depends on your school’s resources and what is available.
Good Luck and thanks so much for reading this article.