Not a place to work if you take your career seriously
Preschool Instructional Assistant (Former Employee) – Manhattan, NY – September 25, 2014
Where do I begin?
In the short time that I worked at AMAC I discovered that many people were hired without their certifications, fingerprints, etc. One assistant had been there for almost a year without her finger prints completed and only when AMAC was going to be audited did they send this employee to complete her prints. Do the parents of the students know who is allowed to be alone and take their children to the bathrooms without having background checks and prints completed?
I watched many different teacher's and assistants antagonize, intimidate, yell at the children. When I reported the things I witnessed or my concerns, I was listened to but little if nothing seemed to come of my report. When I reported abuse to the CEO she basically acted as if I didn't see what I KNOW i saw.
The school, especially the 3rd floor is filthy. Multiple times hazardous items that could cause a child to choke where found with a child because the floors and rooms are left unclean. The administration offers no support within the classroom, rarely do they visit the classrooms.
The certified Behavior Analyst who is supposed to help with students behavior plans is no where to be found. So often when a teacher has a child who is in need of a behavior plan, they are left on their own to figure it out. Or they are told by administration that the child will be graduating soon so just do the best you can till the child leaves the school.
AMAC says they are a school that uses Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) with their students. What they don't tell you is that they have teachers and assistantsmore... who have no experience with ABA running the Discrete Trial Training with the students. I came in with little knowledge and was given little training. I had a teacher with almost no knowledge trying to train me. None of the staff in my classroom were on the same page about Discrete Trail, all of us because we had little to no experience did it differently. Now tell me how this benefits the child?
While there are some employees that are good people, treat the children well and act professional, they are very few and far between. Most of the employees are rude, unprofessional, late often, have no experience with children or children with special needs, they don't care about the job, they hate their job, not willing to learn or gain experience and they do not work as a team.
AMAC is very cliquey. You are lucky if your co-workers smile, say hello or good morning to you in the hall. You are extremely lucky if your co-workers will talk to you or collaborate with you (as a team should). Gossip runs wild at AMAC so be sure to keep your personal life to your self and if you anger the wrong person, congratulations you've just made enemies with half the staff.
If you want to become a teacher or take your teacher's assistant job seriously and if f you value the children you work with, Run! don't walk away from AMAC.
After almost 5 months I quit.
Advice to Management: hire people with the knowledge, experience and compassion to work with the children. hire people who have the experience to run discreet trails with the students. hire people that have their certifications, finger prints, background checks and completed workshops such as DASA. keep your eyes open for mistreatment of the children.less
Teacher Assistant (Current Employee) – New York, NY – January 20, 2014
AMAC is a place where employees who may not have previously been familiar with Applied Behavior Analysis will learn much about the system in a short amount of time. Any information and training here are vital to professional development and advancement, as whatever knowledge you take away from your experience here can be applied universally.
Day Habilitation, Residence, Classroom, Summer Camp
Job Developer/Direct Care Counselor (Former Employee) – 25 w. 17th street NY, NY 10011 – July 20, 2013
A very busy hectic environment. No 2 days were ever the same at AMAC. Working with Autistic individuals on a daily basis over a period of time could really prove to be very stressful and unrewarding. Given the fact that some of the consumers had chronic behavioral problems, some were on meds, some were not the chances of your day being uneventful was non-existant. You had to learn compassion and patients if these were qualities that you did not possess, you were in trouble...and funny thing they can sense it. Management at AMAC at times, was to be questioned, I felt at times it was like a dictatorship. The majority of my co-workers were ok, I am a people's person, I can work with and get along with anyone...and I've had to work with people that I really did not like. The hardest part of this job is when we'd take the consumers out into the community, some of them would just act out. The most enjoyable part for me, was when I was able to sit with some of them and really have a civil conversaton. The majority of them loved to talk so I would just listen, and intervene or correct them when necessary. All autistic individuals have at lease 1 skill or thing that they can do almost to perfection. They are like children in and adult body, but to know them is to LOVE them.
lunches were free, cooking, baking, holiday family feast, trips