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Is it even possible to work with a child with SN?

(35 Posts)
dietstartstmoz Fri 25-Apr-14 08:45:31

Just a general moan and stress. DS2 aged 6 has Asd and attends a specialist asd unit with sen transport to and from. I have changed my hours and work pattern quite a few times during the past 2/3 years but now feel I am getting to the point where I can no longer do my job due to needing to work 9.30-2.30 due to transport and no childcare. I am faced with possible redundancy and although I don't want to lose my job I do feel it would be a relief in some ways.
I was just wondering what jobs others do in this situation or am I being unrealistic about holding down a job? I also need flexibility to take ds to various medical appointments/reviews in school etc.
I am just finding it so stressful juggling work with lack of childcare options (no family help).

PolterGoose Fri 25-Apr-14 09:29:34

Are you a lone parent?

dietstartstmoz Fri 25-Apr-14 09:35:13

No but dh is a teacher so he has no flexibility in his work hours and it all falls on me.

PolterGoose Fri 25-Apr-14 09:49:24

It's hard. We are lucky as dp has a permanent variation in his hours and I work 2 days, so we manage, my ds would not be compatible with childcare! I try to arrange appointments for my days off. It depends on the type of work you do I suppose. The appointments do get less as children get older (unless there's ongoing medical issues). Can dh leave for work after ds is picked up maybe so you can do something with an early start?

dietstartstmoz Fri 25-Apr-14 10:02:26

Thanks Polter, I am just so fed up with it all. We don't have too many appointments but do have a new referral to CAMHS to so thats another one-on a tuesday, a working day for me. I have a professional job but only work 20hrs so I do have flexibility, but it's not local or close to home so I have to get there as well. We don't live too far from the Unit so DS is the last pick up in the taxi at 8.30am so it is too late for DH as he needs to be in school by then. I am looking for another job closer to home but I will have to change career or just give up and have a different plan.
Sorry,I am just moaning and off-loading. Taking voluntary redundancy is very tempting although I worry I wont find another job with the hours or flexibility and I really need to work.
Lots of other SN mums I know don't work and I am now getting to the stage of thinking it's becoming impossible for me to continue long term, DS is only 6 how will I manage for the next 10+ yrs?

littlefirefly Fri 25-Apr-14 16:25:36

I haven't worked since DS was born, am a single mum and he has ASD. For me it was definitely unrealistic to think about working, we used to have appointments at least 3x a week and I was constantly being called to collect him from school as they couldn't cope with him. Things are calmer now he's in a suitable placement and I can send him to school and know I won't be expected to collect him, but it still leaves frequent scheduled appointments and school holidays (with no suitable childcare) to manage.

Personally I've chosen not to try to go back to work as I don't think any employer is going to be sympathetic to my circumstances, plus I'm usually pretty busy during his school hours as it is (am studying and dealing with all the other errands and appointments that need him to be out of the way - I don't know how I'd get them done if I worked school hours).

headlesslambrini Fri 25-Apr-14 16:49:01

Obviously I don't know your circumstances but in our area if you are 'available' ie not in work, then any respite packages which you may get now, holiday club provision, overnight stay etc may be withdrawn. This financial year is a crucial one for many councils in terms of saving money.

stillstandingatthebusstop Fri 25-Apr-14 17:14:51

Hi diet I used to teach and now I work as a dinner lady. confused I did go back to teaching when ds3 (autism, learning difficulties and a heart condition) was about 5. I couldn't manage it though. I didn't work at all for a couple of years and then I got my very part time job. I am cross with myself sometimes for not keeping up with my career (especially when we're strapped for cash) - but teaching and coping with my family took it's toll on me. Ds3's long term health isn't guaranteed so that is a factor in my decision too.

dietstartstmoz Fri 25-Apr-14 17:15:07

Thanks. We don't get any respite services at all so we wouldn't lose any services. I don't even know where to start looking for another job-one that is flexible and school hours. Does such a job even exist?

Rainicorn Fri 25-Apr-14 17:16:57

I gave up work not long after ds2 was dxed, well, circumstances permitted me to leave work anyway. I went back to work recently after a 5 year break just working as a lunchtime supervisor (aka dinner lady) at a local school. The money isn't fantastic but it allows me some adult interaction.

dietstartstmoz Fri 25-Apr-14 17:23:48

Still standing- I could think about lunchtime supervisor roles it's just so frustrating trying to combine a job with sen transport and school hours. I feel that if I lose my job or take redundancy that I am unemployable due to ds2 and his disability and the limitations I have. Loads of jobs are full time and they all want complete flexibility including where I am now. I need to have a brilliant idea and work for myself-I just need the brilliant idea!

dietstartstmoz Fri 25-Apr-14 17:30:35

Just looked and the lunchtime supervisor jobs are for 6.5hrs pw- for those that do this is it minimum wage? There was a salary scale quoted but that would be for 37hrs pw.

stillstandingatthebusstop Fri 25-Apr-14 17:34:42

I am also tied by transport issues (hence my name). And now ds3 is in secondary school I am really trying to focus on getting him to do things for himself (independence/life skills) and I know if I was tired (or should I say more tired) I wouldn't be able to do this so consistently (and consistency is vital for ds3).
It's a really difficult one. I am also trying to think of a good idea for something that pays well, taps into my skills and isn't that time and energy consuming.

stillstandingatthebusstop Fri 25-Apr-14 17:40:03

I get more than the minimum wage. Not sure exactly how much though.

Do you claim DLA? If you gave up work would you be entitled to carers allowance?

homework Fri 25-Apr-14 17:41:37

I moved onto working mostly night shifts , and weekend so that me and my husband have opposite shift patterns , he work weekdays usually 8 till 5 Monday to Friday . It worked for us , although I do get very tired , as long journey on public transport both there and back plus still organising things at home , I get about 4/5 hours sleep those days. Now have a very poor sleep pattern , but needs must.

starfishmummy Fri 25-Apr-14 18:09:57

I work very part time term time only. Its the job I had before Ds and went back after a career break on reduced hours. But its difficult to juggle for all the reasons others have mentioned.

Its a job now. I just do the very basic stuff - no special projects, no acting as section manager like before and "because of my hours" I have to fight to get any training. Not a lot of satisfaction apart from some money at the end of the month.

DS johns the sixth form in September. He's at special school and sixth form have always had transport but the LA may cut post 16 transport so whether I can do that and work remains to be seen - dh does a long train commute and can't drive so couldn't help and there is nk way Ds can take public transport.

WipsGlitter Fri 25-Apr-14 18:13:33

Yes. My child has Downs Syndrome. It was important to me to keep working. I start at 9.30 and finish at 4.15. My sine goes to mainstream nursery then private daycare. My work are great and understanding.

littlefirefly Fri 25-Apr-14 18:46:23

I still get respite services even though I'm not working and 'available'. We get the equivalent of 11 days in school holidays and 6 hours per month in term time. It is based on DS getting DLA and they don't ask whether the parent works or not.

dietstartstmoz Fri 25-Apr-14 18:51:15

We do get middle rate care and lower rate mobility for DS but don't access any respite, I don't know if we are entitled to any support with that. Another thing to consider I guess.

PurpleBoot Fri 25-Apr-14 19:00:39

I have been very lucky to find part time school hours jobs since dd2 was little (she's now nearly 13). I work in accounts, my current employers are very good and have been flexible when needed. Some of my previous employers were less understanding though, you feel constantly that what you do is not enough anywhere.

PurpleBoot Fri 25-Apr-14 19:02:58

I still get quite minimal respite too - it has reduced over the last few years but not to do with working I don't think.

dietstartstmoz Fri 25-Apr-14 19:14:31

I think that's what I need, something pt within a school. The lack of childcare options once they are at school is so difficult. We have never used a childminder and I'm not sure that DS would cope with that arrangement.

Lancelottie Sat 26-Apr-14 11:38:09

I have one with ASD and I work freelance as an editor and proofreader, Dietz. I'd always thought of it as 'keeping my hand in for when he's older', but he's nearly finished school altogether and I think I've probably been out of the job market too long now.

It's been great for flexibility, but sadly not for career progression or income.

bochead Sun 27-Apr-14 11:20:36

I had to give up work when DS started school, before that life was sweet for this lone Mum. I'm now doing an OU MA to retrain into a field where I can work from home at least part time in a couple of years. Home ed means I don't have to constantly dread the 10 am phone call, and can now properly plan my day, unlike the years I was constantly on call for schools.

Depending on the nature of the disability, even if schools don't expect you to be at their constant beck and call - it can be increasingly harder to get childcare as they get older. I VERY rarely see childminders advertising for teen places!

magso Mon 28-Apr-14 08:42:29

I work only 1 regular short day a week. Dh (when he is not away) finishes work earlier on my working day. I have a carer come in to our home to be there to collect Ds from the school transport and look after him till Dh gets home. I have also tried to 'keep my hand in' (and stay on register) professionally, but am now considering early retirement when ds leaves school at 16 as post 16 education for M/SLD is only 3-4 even shorter days a week locally. I may look at other areas of employment, as you are doing, or move to a more rural area to suit ds needs.
I agree with Bockhead that childcare gets harder as children get older. There is a brilliant afterschool club run by Mencap in a town about 10 miles away from us, (sadly not in our area) and even that stops at 14. It is rare to get any SN afterschool provision anywhere, but especially for older children. Ds special school has an afterschool club one day a week ( ITC) but it is only till 4.15 and Ds did not get a place except in year 7 so its of no help to him ( and I would have to drive to collect him - 10 miles away, and in the opposite direction to work. We Average at least one hospital or other medical appointment a fortnight at present- usually on school days.

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