Partnering with four prestigious universities – Hong Kong University, Chinese University, Baptist University and City University, Autism Partnership (AP) offered 12 internship places to university students to help them gain practical experience in work setting and maximize their potential beyond classroom lectures. AP had designed a comprehensive internship program that engaged the students to learn ABA treatment and work with children with autism. Through the program, they could gain awareness and knowledge towards autism, hands-on experience in applying ABA in the overlapping therapy, work-related skills such as critical thinking, analytical skill, adaptation skill and organizational culture.
The students who joined the internship program are mostly from the Department of Psychology and Education. The internship program ran from June 1-26, where students would be able to experience working at the AP center as well as at AP School.
Students found the program to be enlightening, as it gave an opportunity for them to learn about ABA therapy in more depth. Two students, Sam and Pat, both found the program to have exceeded their expectations. Sam valued the first-hand experience in working with children who had autism and the experience has helped him focus on his future career plans. He said that he now has “more desire to help improve the wellness of children with SEN and autism.” For Pat, she had learned the importance of “professionalism, passion and knowledge from the therapists” and that it too, had changed her career goals. She now aims to become a clinical psychologist.
A third student, Francesca, found the working experience at AP School particularly enjoyable, as she was able to learn how to design an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and apply different teaching methods for students of special needs. “The most valuable experience”, she said, “was to learn how to teach students with autism.”
Towards the end of the program, they were needed to give a presentation on how to generate awareness of autism to the public. Mr. Toby Mountjoy, Associate Director of Autism Partnership, presented a certificate to each student to acknowledge their effort and completion of the program.