NWTC to launch Autism Technician degree

Thursday April 28, 2016
First of its kind program in Wisconsin
(April 28, 2016) GREEN BAY – In response to increased demand for training and assistance in schools and the community in not only Northeast Wisconsin but across the country, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) is set to launch the Autism Technician technical diploma for the fall and spring semesters.

NWTC is the first college in Wisconsin to have a program dedicated to autism education.

 “We are really excited about starting the Autism Technician technical diploma program at NWTC. We know that it will not only expand the knowledge of future education leaders, but also to help bring awareness and understanding about autism to the community,” said NWTC Dean of Health Sciences Kay Tupala. “We take great pride in setting the pace for a future that creates strong communities, and quality of life for everyone in northeast Wisconsin.”

Students enrolled in the 28 credit program will be prepared to work directly with persons with autism in a variety of settings including childcare, home and school.

The Autism Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) reports 1 in 68 8-year-old children are identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism is a developmental disorder, which disconnects children from their environment and other people. Currently, autism cannot be cured, but it can be treated.

The Autism technical diploma is designed for behavior technicians, childcare teachers, paraeducators, teachers, teaching assistants, parents, relatives and caregivers.

“This new technical diploma can appeal to those already working in the field or those who want to support people in the community with autism,” said NWTC Health Sciences and Education Instructor Tracy Blahnik.

The program is a mix of both early childhood education and paraeducator courses and includes hours in a practicum placement directly working with persons with autism. Course work will include teaching methods, applied behavior analysis and managing behavior, communication systems and technology, supporting teachers and following senior behavior technicians learning plans at school or in a home setting, supporting individual personal hygiene needs, and transitioning beyond school.

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