Career Development

11 Special Needs Assistant Skills for Your Career and Resume

Learn about the most important Special Needs Assistant skills, how you can utilize them in the workplace, and what to list on your resume.

Working as a special needs assistant requires a unique set of skills to provide care and support to individuals with disabilities. Special needs assistants often work with children and adults who have a wide range of needs, so being adaptable and having a caring personality are essential skills for this job. If you’re interested in becoming a special needs assistant, learning more about the necessary skills can help you determine if this is the right career for you.


Patience is a skill that can help you work with individuals who have special needs. You may need to wait for them to respond or complete tasks, and it’s important to be patient as they do so. This can help you create a safe space where they feel comfortable taking their time and working through challenges. It also allows you to give them the attention they need when they ask for it.


Observation skills are important for a special needs assistant because they allow you to notice changes in your students’ behavior and body language. For example, if a student is getting frustrated or anxious, you can use your observation skills to identify the cause of their emotions so that you can help them calm down. You also need to observe how your students interact with others to ensure everyone is having a positive experience.


Organization is the ability to keep track of tasks and materials. Special needs assistants often work with many different types of files, documents and information. They also need to be organized when working with students who have organizational challenges. For example, if a student has an assignment that requires them to file papers in a specific order, the assistant must know how to help the student organize their materials.


Mandarin is a language used in China and Taiwan. It’s important for special needs assistants to have knowledge of this language because many children with autism spectrum disorder are from families that immigrated from Asia. Having the ability to communicate with these parents can help you better understand their child’s needs and provide them with more effective treatment.


Flexibility is the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Special education assistants often work with students who have unique learning needs, so flexibility is an important skill for this position. For example, if a student has one set of classroom materials but requires additional support to access them, a special education assistant might be able to find alternative resources and modify their lesson plan accordingly.

Record Keeping

Special needs assistants should be able to keep accurate records of their work and the progress of their students. This can include keeping track of student attendance, grades and any other information that may be important for a teacher or administrator to know. Keeping good records can also help special needs assistants assess how well they are meeting the needs of their students and make adjustments as needed.

Behavior Management

Behavior management is the ability to control a person’s actions and reactions. Special needs assistants often use their behavior management skills when working with students who have behavioral issues. For example, if a student becomes upset or frustrated, a special needs assistant might be able to calm them down by using positive reinforcement techniques. They also need to know how to handle situations where a student may become aggressive.


Special needs assistants often work with children who have unique learning styles and abilities. Creativity is a skill that can help you adapt to these situations, as it allows you to think outside the box when devising ways to teach or motivate your students. For example, if one student has trouble focusing in class, you may be able to use creative activities like art projects or games to keep them engaged.


Communication is the ability to convey information clearly. Special needs assistants often communicate with their colleagues, supervisors and students’ parents. They also need to be able to explain complex topics in a way that others can understand them. For example, if a student has an emotional reaction when transitioning from one activity to another, a special needs assistant might use calming body language and words to help the student feel safe and comfortable.

First Aid & CPR

First aid and CPR skills are important for special needs assistants to have, as they may be the first person a patient sees when an emergency occurs. Having these skills can help you save lives and ensure that patients receive proper treatment if they need it. You should also consider taking a full course in first aid and CPR so you can learn more about how to handle emergencies effectively.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are the abilities to communicate with others and understand their emotions. Special needs assistants often work directly with individuals with special needs, so interpersonal skills can help you connect with them and understand how they may react in certain situations. For example, if a child is prone to tantrums when they don’t get their way, you can use your interpersonal skills to diffuse the situation before it happens.

How Can I Learn These Special Needs Assistant Skills?

There are a few ways that you can learn the necessary skills to become a Special Needs Assistant. One way is to take courses offered by community colleges or online programs that offer certification in this field. Another way is to volunteer or work in a position that provides care for individuals with special needs. This will give you first-hand experience in working with these individuals and observing the types of care they require. Finally, it is important to be patient, flexible, and have good communication and interpersonal skills when working with individuals with special needs.


16 Physical Design Engineer Skills for Your Career and Resume

Back to Career Development

16 Education Consultant Skills for Your Career and Resume