Andre is now an Autism Intervention Therapist in Goa

Andre Velho, MA Autism SEN graduate in 2011

Andre Velho is now an Autism Intervention Therapist at Sethu Centre for Child Development and Family Guidance in Goa, India, after graduating from the MA SEN.

What influenced you to study the masters SEN course? 
The desire to study more about autism; also, at a university that had been running the course for a long time.

How has the MA SEN qualification helped you in your career? 
After moving back to India, I received a number of job offers to work at schools, recreation centres etc. The SEN course provided me with the knowledge and skills to start my career here.

What were the most valuable aspects of the course? 
Learning about the diagnostic procedures, about different perspectives in managing and supporting individuals with autism

What were the most enjoyable? 
Having different professionals come in each week to lecture on their field of work relevant to the course. What’s more, Shirley Egley and her team really spoiled their students by always being there for us.

Would you recommend the course? 
Yes, definitely. Parents and professionals working not only with people with ASD but also working with their councils and policy makers would benefit from the course.

About my job

My job
My work primarily consists of providing early intervention services for families of children with autism. Children receive early intervention therapy and families receive training on supporting their children at home. Apart from this I coordinate parent-training programs in autism and teacher training programs in managing children with autism in classrooms. I also coordinate a social skills program and am involved in a number of public awareness spreading programs and fund raising initiatives.

Best part about it
The most enjoyable aspect of my job is the satisfaction and fulfilment of seeing children with autism and their families improve over time.

Most notable achievements
Being promoted to Senior Autism Intervention Therapist within a year of starting my career at Sethu; using and combining evidence-based approaches like PRT, DTT, the Developmental Technique etc which no other therapists in Goa currently use.

What motivates me
In spite of almost no support from local government, the will-power of families to do the best by their children, no matter what their economic or social status may be. I am also inspired by the director of Sethu, Dr Nandita de Souza, who started Sethu with a drive and vision cannot be marred by numerous disappointments or setbacks that she may have received over the 10 years that Sethu has been providing services.