If you have got to the point where you have decided that a private tutor is the best way to give your child the education that they need to thrive, you are probably wondering where to start.
There are lots of fantastic companies out there who specialise in recruiting the best private tutors in the world.
Tutors with exemplary academic records and a proven track record of getting young people into the best schools and universities.
But the truth is that not all of these candidates will be the right fit for a child or young person with autism. And most will lack the relevant expertise to enable them to be successful in their role without specialist support.
The following qualities should be sought out and prized in your search for the right candidate:
Young people on the Spectrum need a flexibility in terms of approach. A willingness from those around them to try a range of strategies and approaches until they find the one that fits is critical. As is an understanding that works today will not necessarily work tomorrow. Tutors will need a large toolkit to draw on to be able to support your child to reach their potential and a determination to think outside of the box when needed.
A tutor who has firm boundaries but who is able to apply those with kindness will be key. Young people with autism need consistency. It’s essential that if something is going to be allowed one day it will also be allowed the next. An authoritarian tutor is unlikely to be able to build the relationship needed to grow a young person’s confidence, but a tutor who is able to balance having authority with fun and understanding can make a huge difference to long term success.
Creativity both in terms of the curriculum that is taught and the way that the curriculum is approached can have a dramatic effect. A tutor who shares your child’s special interest, or at least one who is willing to go out of their way to learn about and understand that interest, will enable your child to realise their potential in a way few others can ever dream of.
Young people with autism thrive best when those around them all use the same approaches and strategies. The ability to share their approaches with others in your child’s life and to listen to the advice of other professions will be key. Many tutors, by the vey nature of the role, are used to working in relative isolation so establishing that they are comfortable with working in a more collaborative way is key.
The ability to forgive and forget, to treat each day (and sometimes each hour) as a brand new one, and an enquiringly mind that will never give up on evaluating what could be done better is absolutely essential. Our children have the ability to challenge the best of us and require a kind of dedication and resilience from the staff that they work with in order to ensure that they reach their potential.
Do you need more help?
Why not join our lovely, friendly Facebook Group full of parents and teachers working together to share strategies to help our children.
If you do want to learn more you might find our journal useful place to start. It’s full of different posts containing strategies to try out.
If you need more intensive support our support packages are a great place to start.
Whilst if you’re looking for help with specific interview questions to ask, why not join our tribe below to receive our free checklist.