A Dad's Passion for Learning about Autism Leads to a Rewarding Career Working with Children on the Autism Spectrum | UNB

Global Site Navigation (use tab and down arrow)

College of Extended Learning

A Dad's Passion for Learning about Autism Leads to a Rewarding Career

A Dad's Passion for Learning about Autism Leads to a Rewarding Career Working with Children on the Autism Spectrum

This is the story of Andrew Dorey, a father, educator, and mentor and his journey to further his education to learn how to work and communicate with children on the Autism spectrum.

One of Andrew’s children was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at a young age. That was the moment Andrew set out to learn skills to help his child develop and grow. He read books and took advantage of various short courses and workshops available to parents of children on the spectrum through the autism centre in his community.

His dedication to learning about autism and the success with his child did not go unnoticed. Andrew was approached by the principal of Sussex Christian School to see if he would be interested in becoming an education mentor to a new student who was on the spectrum. The principal, familiar with the work Andrew did with his child, believed he could make a difference. Andrew accepted the challenge.

That was five years ago. Andrew now leads a program at the school where he is responsible for eight children on the autism spectrum and monitors a few others not yet diagnosed.

"Once I started working with different students, parents and doctors were happy with the results they were seeing. It was then that I realized I needed more training if I was going to lead a program and be responsible for so many children."

Andrew discovered the Autism Intervention Training Program (AITP) at UNB through social media. The program appealed to him as it was offered online and included a hands-on practicum.

“Naturally, I was apprehensive having been out of school for 20+ years, and wondered if I could I do it.”

Photo of Andrew Dorey

But he faced his fears and set out to complete the program.

"I liked learning online. Especially working full time, I could come home in the evening and watch the videos, do the readings, and study. I found it was an easy way to learn, and I did well in the courses."

The practicum was a highlight.

"During my first practicum, we took a child outside to teach him about playing with a ball. In a short time, he learned the difference between bouncing, rolling, or throwing the ball. It was neat seeing how the skills we learned in the courses worked with a student so effectively."

"The practicum brought it all together, it was like the lights came on, and it all made sense."

Andrew took the first part of the Autism Intervention Training Program designed for autism support workers. He then went back to take the additional required courses for his advanced certificate. He was able to complete a second practicum at the Sussex Christian School where he works.

“It was an ideal situation being able to work with my own students,” he adds.

The course prepared Andrew to go on to write the Registered Behavioural Technician (RBT), a certification that provides credibility and the ability to be part of an internationally recognized board. He now aspires to obtain his BCaBA and eventually, his Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) designation.

AITP is offered in collaboration between the UNB College of Extended Learning and CCNB Continuum and is available in French and English. The French program begins Sept. 16, 2019, and English begins in March, 2020.

For more information on the Autism Intervention Training Program or to register visit go.unb.ca/autism.

Back to our full listing of news and stories