After thinking through the kinds of things I would need to set up a school I got a little overwhelmed. I started searching the Internet for Montessori schools in my area. The ones that are really close to where I live have always come across as cold and unwilling to help my special needs children. We live in a suburb of a very large city, so I began searching that city. I found several schools so I checked each site to see where they were in relation to where I live and to see if they were searching for aides. I thought I might be able to be sponsored for training. On an impulse (or was it inspiration) I called one and made an appointment with the directress.
I also searched the Internet for ways I could get trained. I settled on three but was having difficulty choosing. The first way is through the Montessori training school that is about 30 miles away. It costs about $6,000 dollars to be fully trained and certified. The second is through Washing Montessori Teacher preparation. They have a video course that can be used to become fully trained. I started this course when I lived in Washington 15 years ago when I lived in Washington and worked with a Lady trained through them. I had to stop because I kept having children and couldn't spend time in our office typing up the notebook sheets they require. I think I could do it now. It costs about $2ooo-3000 when you include the air fairs that I would need. And I would need an approved school to be an intern but I would be fully certified and trained. The third way is the Internet course from the North American Montessori Center in Canada. It cost about $2000 but doesn't qualify for complete certification due to lack of an internship requirements.
I went to my appointment with the directress of the one Montessori school I called. She was very open to helping me set up something for children with Autism. Her experience is that Montessori is very helpful to these children. After talking for a long time we came to an agreement. She hired me as a substitute teacher. I could have been an aid, but I am not sure I am ready for that kind of commitment. It has only been 3 months since all of my children have been in full day school and I am still adjusting. After 20 years of having children at home I have had a hard time adjusting. I do not want to overwhelm myself. I do that way to easily. My husband would not like me working part time just yet. I have a lot of housework to catch up on and he has felt neglected for many years because I have been to weary to be available to him. Since I have found out I had allergies and have gotten on the proper medication, I feel great. He doesn't know how different and energetic I finally feel. In time that will change. (In other words, he has good reason to worry that I will be too tired for him.)
The directress highly recommended the online course so I plan on taking that. I asked for it for Christmas. DH was not happy with what I did, but he is pleased that it is substitute teaching and that someone else will be the administrator. I just have to figure out how to set this up.
I have been, once again, searching the Internet. My plan of action right now is:
Do the 3-6 year old Montessori training from the North American Montessori Center
Do a course recommended by Michelle Lane (Toronto Montessori School for Autism) on ABA
Save up for and bring Michelle Lane here to teach her course on using a combination of Montessori and ABA
Work toward getting this school certified by Michelle Lane (this will take time as the teachers need 3 years experience working with autistic children)
I am on my way!