Virginia Skill Competencies

Skill Competencies Slide

The Virginia Autism Council is a group comprised of self-advocates, professionals and family members. This Council works to advance knowledge and understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorders by defining skill competencies needed to effectively support a person with ASD and to advance higher education, training and educational opportunities for personnel and caregivers who provide support.

The VAC website is Virginia’s clearinghouse on education and training opportunities taking place throughout the Commonwealth. Training promoted on this website is designed to advance knowledge and skills of professionals and family members regarding topics related to ASD.

The Skill Competencies can be used in several ways to:

  1. assist individuals in identifying their own areas of need for professional development;
  2. guide development of a program that would strictly address the needs of people who plan on working with children and adults with autism;
  3. guide the development of university-based classes to augment existing programs;
  4. serve as a framework to incorporate into existing programmatic instruction, if universities or others preparing paraprofessionals or professionals consider additional program or class development not practical; and
  5. guide training and staff development for direct service staff that serve individuals with autism.

Skill Competency Resources

Skill Competencies for Professionals and Direct Support Staff in Virginia Supporting Adolescents and Adults with Autism

 These Skill Competencies address essential competencies at four different skill and experiential levels:

  1. Paraprofessionals/Direct Service Staff – Refers to anyone directly supporting infants, children, or adults in a non-professional capacity.
  2. Professional/Direct Service Staff – Refers to direct service professional staff within their first-to-third years of practice.
  3. Master Professional/Direct Service Staff – Refers to direct service professionals who have worked within their domain and with people with autism for more than three years.
  4. Advanced Degree/Program Developer/Specialist – Refers to those individuals who have pursued additional certification or degrees (for example Sensory Integration Certification, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, etc.) and / or those who have extensive experience and training pertinent to supporting people with autism.

Skill Competencies for Professionals and Direct Support Staff in Virginia Supporting Adolescents and Adults with Autism

These Skill Competencies were developed to guide personnel development of professionals and direct support staff supporting adolescents and adults with autism and their families in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The document addresses essential competencies at two different skill and experiential levels. The two levels are:

  1. Direct Support Staff – Refers to anyone directly supporting adolescents or adults in any service setting. Examples include but are not limited to: Day Support, Residential, Employment Staff, Consumer Directed Respite or Personal Care.
  2. Professional – Refers to anyone with treatment planning and/or supervisory responsibility for adolescents or adults in any service setting. Examples include but are not limited to: Qualified Developmental Disabilities Professional (QDDP), Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP), Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional (QIDP), Qualified Employment Service Organization Specialist, and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.