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ABA people - what do you look for in a tutor?

(12 Posts)
yanny Sat 17-Sep-11 23:02:10

Just wondered what qualities are most important for tutors? I'm thinking of applying, only 'some' childcare experience is required but I still wonder if I'll be capable (although I'm very interested!). I'd be glad to hear what has been most important for those who have employed tutors.


StarlightMcKenzie Sun 18-Sep-11 09:35:12

where in the country are you?

Qualities that I rate are imagination to solve problems and keep ds engaged and motivated if the task on it's own would be dry.

For example, my ds is learning word associations and what goes together. The tutor tried giving him four things i.e. a cow and milk, and a hen and eggs.

DS was really not bothered by the task. Has no interest in animals. So she turned up next time with the 4 things on a kind of maze so that ds would have to navigate his way through tunnels to pair the two pictures.

She had clocked his interest in mazes on a previous ocassion.

Also good observation and analytical skills and a recognition that if the child isn't doing what they are supposed to be, it is the fault of the tutor not of the child, and they are able to look at their own practise to see why it is so boring, unrewarding for the child that they don't engage with the task.

Finally, it is important to keep on top of the admin and data, and to have respect for it, rather than following your own whims about what might be a good idea to teach. You can have ideas, of course, and you can explore them with the child, but to make it a target etc. it needs to be agreed by the parents and/or consultant.


Agnesdipesto Sun 18-Sep-11 10:33:21

A confident outgoing personality (my son is really passive so needs some major warming up). A willingness to do really silly things to get a child's interest. An ability to work intensively for 2-3 hours without slacking off. Being really calm and unbothered by meltdowns. A genuine interest in how children with autism learn, because if you don't find it fascinating you are going to get bored really really quickly.
Then all the stuff that Star said..

sickofsocalledexperts Sun 18-Sep-11 12:43:43

The best tutors I ever had were patient, kind, intelligent, diligent and good with kids, but not in that frantically bouncy "hi , let's do something really fun today shall we Bertie" kind of loud, just-for-mum's benefit , kind of way. They also didn't tend to think they knew it all, would take instructions from supervisors / consultants and were always on time, and efficient. And they would fill out the paperwork properly, rather than bodge it in the last few seconds. An empty vessel makes most noise was the phrase that came to mind, as many of the tutors who seemed fabby at interview ("oh I love kids, come and bounce with me, what a lovely house") were sometimes lazy once the front door closed behind me.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 18-Sep-11 13:05:16

Funny, but I've found that too. The quiet, nervous ones tend to be outstanding performers once they get into the job.

The loud 'aren't I great' ones tend to be less so.

Can you 'love' someone elses child, even when they scratch you? I don't mean parental love, but enough to be 100% behind their learning and happiness and committed to their development?

sickofsocalledexperts Sun 18-Sep-11 13:11:05

It was the same when I used to interview for people in my previous career - I think I have developed a sense for "interview bullshit". A good interview tip I was once given was - rather than asking general "closed " questions like "are you good with kids?", ask an open question which involves them replying with an "I .... " - eg "can you give me an example of an occasion when you really felt proud you'd taught a child something new, and how did you do it?". When you ask a question like that, and put the person on the spot, their only real option is truth, as there's no time to bullshit up an answer.

yanny Sun 18-Sep-11 14:46:44

Thanks for the replies!

Starlight I'm in Scotland and unfortunately am a bit of a quiet nervous one to be fair. However I can honestly say I would be 100% dedicated, I have a genuine interest in Autism and child development.

Your replies were really helpful smile

bialystockandbloom Sun 18-Sep-11 15:13:47

All of the above, plus a real, instinctive understanding of behaviour and pyschology. ABA is all about understanding the function of behaviour, and until you do, you won't know how to deal with it effectively. We had one tutor who in all other ways was great, but he never quite got the function of ds's behaviour, so was never able to effectively teach behaviour or language - and as a result he just wasn't an effective tutor (we stopped using him for this reason).

Absolutely agree that creativity and thinking on your feet are great qualities for a tutor.

And definitely agree that the hyper, bouncy, screechy types aren't always the best!

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 18-Sep-11 16:11:52

could contact this organisation to see if they had any vacancies or if they would take you as a volunteer for a few weeks to get a feel for it?

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 18-Sep-11 16:12:35

Sorry, link didn't work. Try this

moondog Sun 18-Sep-11 16:14:59

Logical problem solvers.

Steer clear of the gushers and those who profess to having a 'special affinity' with kids or who view child development as a mysterious unexplainable magical unfolding.

The best people I work with are worlds away from this.

graciousenid Sun 18-Sep-11 17:44:08

rock solid reliability
good health & fitness
genuine interest in & affection for my child.

ime everything else can be taught if you have a reasonably motivated & intelligent candidate. Neither ds nor I are interested in working with someone who doesn't like him - the most experienced, well trained, highly recommended tutor I've had didn't like ds & it was an absolute disaster & set him back months - it is my number one consideration now.

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