The world of work is changing rapidly. New roles are emerging, and old ones are disappearing at an accelerated pace. The Digital Revolution, AI, Machine Learning, the Internet of Things, and other new-age technologies have a massive impact on human work and interactions. These changes bring both opportunities and challenges for professionals across all sectors. So if you’re looking to pivot your career in this new era and toward a high-demand industry like the cognitive disorders (Autism) sector, read on to learn about the top three things to know before making that leap.

Who Are Cognitive Disorders Professionals?

A cognitive disorder professional is trained in diagnosing and treating cognitive disorders like Autism and other developmental disorders. The top professionals in the sector are:

Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist (ABA)

ABA therapists refer to specialists who apply behavior analysis as the preferred treatment method. It follows the study of individual behavior to determine the appropriate behavioral interventions to help the patient live a better life. It is widely used for autistic children and is well-known to be highly effective when used intensively. ABA also involves using positive reinforcement to boost desirable behaviors and a child’s skills.

Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

Board Certified Behavior Analyst is an individual with a qualification in master’s level degree and a doctorate in BCBA and at least a degree in BCaBA. The individual task is to recognize patients with prior training in particular applied behavior analysis. They can work with students with Autism, but their roles are not specific to the condition. 

Certified Autism Specialist (CAS)

Certified Autism Specialists are professionals with at least a master’s degree with a minimum of two years and are actively involved in the field of Autism. They must also get 14 CEUs in Autism after every two years to remain certified. 

There is no limit on the field an individual can be to receive this certification. They include occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, physical therapists, administrators, teachers, counselors, psychologists, university professors, doctors, behavior therapists, and more. The main requirement is to obtain a CAS to demonstrate their commitment and competence in the Autism field.

Autism Certificate (AC)

Autism Certificate holders are individuals working in the field of Autism. They don’t need a degree but must stay in the sector by obtaining 14 CEUs after every two years. They include teachers, paramedics, paraprofessionals, childcare directors, school bus drivers, firefighters, police officers, and many more. The certificate shows that the holder is committed and competent to work in the field of Autism.

What Do Professionals in the Cognitive Disorders Sector Do?

Cognitive disorders professionals work with individuals with disorders like Autism. They provide therapy and counseling services to the patient, close family, and friends to ensure they lead a quality life.  

In most cases, the therapist will advise on parenting and play therapy. This is most common in children with developmental disorders and requires educational guidance at home and school. The cognitive disorder specialist also provides training and coaching to parents and teachers on how best to deal with children with developmental disorders.

The tasks involved in working as a cognitive disorder professional depend largely on the specific sub-sector of the profession you choose to work in. For example, if you work as a cognitive disorders assessment professional, you will conduct cognitive disorders assessments and administer diagnostic tests to patients. You might also be making recommendations based on test results.

On the other hand, if you work as a cognitive disorders therapy professional, you will conduct cognitive disorders therapy sessions with children and adults. You might also be making recommendations based on test results.

Some of the roles that cognitive disorders professionals can specialize in include:

  • Assessment and diagnosis: This includes assessing symptoms and administering diagnostic tests to diagnose a developmental disorder properly.
  • Therapy: It includes cognitive disorders therapy for children, adolescents, and adults. Cognitive disorders therapy may consist of one-on-one therapy, parent training, or group therapy.
  • (Autism) intervention: It includes strategies like applied behavior analysis (ABA), parent training, and special education.
  • (Autism) coaching: This is a new specialty that is emerging with the coming of the new AI-driven economy. Cognitive disorders coaching is not about providing therapy or coaching individuals directly but rather about providing business coaching to individuals with developmental disorders.

How Much Do Professionals in the Cognitive Disorders (Autism) Get?

The salaries and wages of professionals in the cognitive disorders sector are highly variable. This is because the cognitive disorders sector is extensive. It comprises many sub-sectors, each of which has its own specific salary and wage structure.

For example, in New Jersey, the typical annual salary for a cognitive rehabilitation therapist is around $67,216. On the other hand, a Certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (CCBT) in the same region has a base salary of $53000 yearly.

According to ZipRecruiter, the salaries range widely, with some professionals getting as high as $106,000 while others receive as low as $23,500. Most cognitive rehabilitation therapists receive a yearly salary of $49,500 (25th percentile) to $85,500 (75th percentile); the highest earners receive $95,000 annually.

Such diversity in the pay shows that the occupation has a lot of opportunities for advancement and increases in pay based on skill level, years of experience, and location. To keep up with the changes in these salaries, check with a particular organization’s website to determine how much they pay for cognitive disorder therapy services.

Wrapping Up

Autism is a rare but serious, life-changing developmental disorder that affects how a person communicates and relates to others. It impairs social, educational, and occupational functioning and can cause severe mental and physical health problems. Many people on the spectrum are undiagnosed, which can impact their families, jobs, and everyday lives.

Joining the sector is fulfilling and will enable you to earn an impressive living. At Vitalis Consulting LLC, we aim to offer the best search for top talent for your executive, permanent, or temporary staff. Let us put our years of experience and dedication to work and find you the best team to take your business to the next level. Contact us today @ (973) 285-3382 to get started.