school for kids with autism

Sam Edwards

Senior Therapist

I knew at a very young age that I was interested in working with children but I wasn’t quite sure in what capacity. I knew that I would enjoy teaching very much but I felt that I wanted to contribute to in a different way. My passion for working with youth grew when I started working at YMCA summer camps when I was 15. I absolutely loved working as a camp counsellor and continued to work with YMCA summer camps for many years.

I graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. At first I wasn’t quite sure if this was the program for me. However, throughout my degree, I took many Child and Youth courses where I learned more about Autism and other Developmental Disabilities. This is when I realised the full potential of my passion for working with children with Autism. I was so curious about Autism that I needed to learn more.

Once I graduated from Guelph I worked as the Program Director for a summer camp. In this role I was in charge of developing accommodating programs for children that were coming to camp that had Developmental Disabilities and other Exceptionalities. I worked closely with each staff team and instructed them on how to promote an optimal and inclusive experience for their campers. This opportunity showed me that these children could experience all of the amazing benefits that camp had to offer. I loved seeing how creating and implementing a specialized, inclusive and accommodating program for these children allowed them to succeed in that environment. I absolutely loved this role and wanted to further my education in this field. This is when I discovered and enrolled in the Autism and Behavioural Sciences Post-Graduate program at Conestoga College.

In August 2017 I completed a course in Behaviour Management Systems (BMS) to become The Lighthouses’ BMS trainer. I train and certify all staff at The Lighthouse in BMS. This gives our team the ability to create and manage appropriate behaviour protocols ensuring that all staff and students are safe and risk free on a daily basis.

As of July 2018 I have enrolled in and started a Masters of Education in Applied Behaviour Analysis with the end goal of completing my BCBA. I have without a doubt in my mind that I want to continue working in this field and helping children meet their full potential. I believe this program will enhance my education and knowledge in this field and give me the ability to continue doing what I love most!